Best Foods for Joint Pain

Prof. Paul Clayton on what to eat, and what to avoid, for optimum joint health.

8 Minute ReadEducation by Prof. Paul Clayton, PhD

22.03.21 (Updated 06.11.23)

If you suffer from joint pain or arthritis, you’ll know just how physically and mentally challenging the condition can be. It can prevent you from carrying out day-to-day tasks and for some people the pain is chronic.

Joint pain can manifest as a temporary response to over-activity, stress or fatigue, or it may present as chronic and debilitating over a longer period of time. If your experience is more in line with the latter, there is a chance you may be suffering from arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is one type of arthritis that develops in joints over time in response to overexertion and excessive physical exercise. Elite sports people often present symptoms of osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints. In both cases, inflammation is the leading cause of joint pain and stiffness.

Pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints can affect anybody regardless of age or gender. If you are suffering from joint pain or arthritis, some simple adjustments to your lifestyle could help to ease the condition. From changing your exercise habits, to altering your diet and supplementing smartly, there are steps you can take to ease inflammation and improve the health of your joints.

In this article we will take a look at some of the best and worst foods for arthritis and joint pain, and explain how dietary shifts and supplementing with LYMA can help you to feel your best again.

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Why is inflammation at the root of joint pain?

Unless you have sustained an injury, the likelihood is that inflammation is at the root of your joint pain. Inflammation is your immune system’s natural response to stress. In small doses inflammation is a natural and healthy bodily response. But if you find yourself constantly under pressure, extremely busy, eating rubbish and forgetting to prioritise regular movement and healthy sleep inflammation can become chronic and thus detrimental to optimal health.

Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many common health complaints in addition to arthritis and joint pain, including anxiety and other mood disorders, compromised immunity, insomnia, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

According to Prof.Paul Clayton PhD, the leading causes of chronic inflammation in the body are:

  • A diet with an excessive omega 6 to omega 3 ratio
  • A diet high in inflammatory foods
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Over- or under-exercising

Making changes to your diet, and supplementing smartly, can both support the fight against chronic inflammation.


What to eat to beat inflammation and improve joint health.

Prof. Paul Clayton advocates for a diet very similar to that followed by our ancestors at the end of the nineteenth century. He calls it ‘The Victorian Diet’.

"Due to their high levels of physical activity, the Victorians ate two to three times as much as we do, and their diet was largely plant-based. This meant they got substantial amounts of fibre, vitamins, minerals and, most importantly, the plant or phyto-nutrients known to protect against degenerative diseases. Effectively, they ate a super-Mediterranean diet. This made them 90% less likely to develop cancer, dementia and coronary artery disease than we are today," Prof. Clayton explains.

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Omega-3 fatty acids.

The Victorians consumed a huge number of anti-inflammatory foods. Their diets were rich in omega-3 fatty acids and very low in omega-6 compounds. The Victorians loved to tuck into omega-3-rich oily fish such as herrings, sprats, cod and haddock, and enjoyed oysters, mussels, cockles and other seafood in ample quantities too.

Nuts were a staple for Victorian cooks, with hazelnuts, chestnuts and omega-3-rich walnuts staples in most households.

Fish oil supplements are the biggest sellers in the global supplement industry. However, LYMA has chosen not to include omega-3 fatty acids in its formula. Why? Because, time and again, omega-3 supplements have been shown to be ineffective. In the largest global study conducted into the efficacy of omega-3 supplements for improving cardiovascular health in humans, it was concluded that omega-3 supplements had ‘little to no effect’ on cardiovascular health. The take-away? When it comes to your health, you are better off adding more omega-3-rich foods to your shopping list than you are taking a fish oil supplement.


Aim for 5-a-day. And then some.

Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables has been shown to decrease inflammatory markers too. Again, the Victorians were well ahead of their time in knowing this. These days, many of us struggle to reach our five a day, but the Victorians easily snuck in eight to ten servings of the good stuff, and all seasonal and organic. Root vegetables such as potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips and carrots, as well as apples and pears, were all popular choices.


Herbs and spices support healthy joints.

Herbs and spices often contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds too. One of the most frequently cited in the literature is turmeric.

The issue with adding turmeric to your cooking is that, in food, turmeric in its edible form has very poor bioavailability. In fact, studies have shown that when eaten as food, humans are only able to absorb 5% of the active curcuminoids from turmeric. Eating turmeric, then, can be said to have a placebo effect at best. If you really want to experience the benefits of this wonder-herb, you need to take it in supplement form.

LYMA’s formula contains HydroCurc® which is the world’s most effective and bioavailable form of curcumin. Formulated at a proven daily dose for optimal anti-inflammatory benefits, HydroCurc® is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that has been scientifically proven to reduce chronic inflammation, balance the body and increase resilience.


Foods high in Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the western world. A dearth of the aptly named ‘sunshine vitamin’ can result in all manner of health complications from painful joints and brittle bones, to lowered mood and compromised immunity.

Whilst oily fish, eggs and some fortified foods do contain vitamin D3, it can be challenging to get an adequate amount from your food, and your body is unable to manufacture it itself. It is for this reason that government health bodies around the world frequently recommend taking vitamin D3 as a supplement.

The LYMA formula powerfully combines vitamins D3 and K2. Vitamins D3 and K2 must be taken in tandem in order for either one to work in your body.

This is, unfortunately, something many generic supplement brands seem to forget.

Vitamins D3 and K2 work together to facilitate calcium absorption from the foods you eat, and to improve musculoskeletal strength and the integrity of your joints in the process. LYMA’s formula contains highly specialised and patented Vita-algae D3™ and K2 VITAL®DELTA which work together to extract nutrients from your food and distribute calcium to the bones and tissues of the body, boosting strength and resilience.


1,3 1,6 beta glucans can regulate inflammation.

The final nutrient Prof. Paul Clayton recommends for improving joint pain and arthritis is a specific strain of beta glucan. Beta glucans are sugars that are naturally occurring in the cell walls of bacteria, yeasts, algae, plants, and cereals. They are a form of soluble dietary fibre that can help in the treatment of high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders and, yes, inflammation of the joints. 1,3 1,6 beta glucans are the most powerful form of beta glucan when it comes to regulating inflammation in the body.

Whole grains such as oats, bran, wheat and barley, mushrooms including shiitake, maitake and reishi varieties, and seaweed, algae and baker’s yeasts are some great dietary beta glucan sources.

However, not all beta glucans are created equal. Our Wellmune® Blend, as formulated in LYMA, is a yeast-derived highly specialised 1,3 1,6 beta glucan that has been purified for maximum bioavailability and efficacy. The Wellmune® Blend is the only yeast-derived beta glucan that is supported by over a dozen published, peer-reviewed clinical research papers and has been proven to be the fastest-acting and most effective beta glucan supplement in the world. Our Wellmune® Blend is beta glucan in its purest form and contains no wheat or gluten, making it suitable for coeliacs and anybody following a wheat- or gluten-free diet.

In addition, Levagen®+, LYMA's latest ingredient to upgrade its world's first all-in-one proven formula has repeatedly shown in peer-reviews that it is a fast-acting, powerful anti-inflammatory, proven to be as effective as Ibuprofen against pain.


Foods to avoid.

Prof. Paul Clayton cites the western world’s proclivity for ultra-processed food as one of the leading causes of chronic inflammation and joint pain.

“One of the more familiar mechanisms that enables or drives chronic inflammation is an excessive omega 6:3 ratio in the diet, and thus our cell membranes. Thanks to the machinations of the food industry, the average 6:3 ratio in Europeans is now 15:1, while the average American comes in at 25:1. This is one reason why chronic degenerative disease has become almost universal, and why our public health is so bad. It is one reason why consuming ultra-processed foods is so very unhealthy. And it also explains a large part of the ageing process as we experience it today,” he explains.

The LYMA formula includes ingredients that cannot be found in effective doses through food alone to empower people who want to reach their potential and take their health and wellbeing to the next level.

By taking an evidence-based approach to nutrition, the LYMA Supplement ingredients meets the highest standards and provides ultimate nutrition well beyond the capabilities of generic or even ‘organic’ supplements. LYMA’s ingredients have been painstakingly researched, selected and formulated and are supported by the best science and the most rigorous clinical trials. LYMA’s ingredients are up to four times more bioavailable than generic supplements, meaning the body is able to absorb these nutrients more quickly and at a deeper cellular level.

This is the true definition of a supplement. Nothing else comes close.


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