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Give your bones the food they need: Healthy recipes for arthritis patients

Diet plays an important role in reducing the risk of arthritis. Scroll down to find 7 healthy recipes for arthritis patients and those at risk.
Give your bones the food they need: Healthy recipes for arthritis patients. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 11:09 am IST
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Arthritis is an umbrella term that includes different joint diseases that affect people of all races and ages. Did you know that it is one of the causes of disability in many countries? While this disease is not age-related disease, it generally affects older people more than younger people. Symptoms of athritis range from swelling to joint pain. Studies have shown that diet can help manage arthritis symptoms. However, it does not cure the disease.

So, Health shots asked Dr Smriti Jhunjhunwala, B.H.M.S, dietitian, fitness expert, and the founder of VitalSwasthya to share recipes that can help ease the symptoms of arthritis.

Healthy recipes for arthritis patients

Dr Jhunjhunwala says, “Give bones the food they need, and they will give you the strength you need.”

Here are a few recipes by the expert which can help reduce and prevent arthritis and its complications:

arthritis patients
Healthy recipes for arthritis patients. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Leek and Spinach Soup with mackerel

Prep time: 30 minutes

Mackarel is an excellent fish to use in this dish. Vegetarian can use tofu if they would like to try this recipe. It has at least thirteen different flavonoid components that serve as antioxidants, so the spinach in the soup is great for people with arthritis. Spinach is also high in vitamin K, making it an excellent choice for you.

Also Read: Turn to tofu, and give it these 5 tasty twists


  • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable
  • 98 percent fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cups (200 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Canola oil spray
  • 6 ounces (168 g) mackerel fillets (or firm tofu, cubed)
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) seafood seasoning
  • 2 cups (40 g) fresh spinach leaves

How to make:

1. Bring broth to a boil and add mushrooms, leeks, and garlic. Reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, spray a frying pan with canola oil and place over medium-high
3. Sprinkle the fish fillets (or tofu) with the seafood seasoning, and sear in the pan 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
4. Remove from heat, add to the soup, and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
5. Two to 3 minutes prior to serving, add the fresh spinach leaves and allow to soften and wilt.

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Nutritional analysis: Each serving provides 140 calories; 3 g fat; 17 g protein; 8 g net carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; and 38 mg cholesterol.

2. Nutty Granola

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Granola is an easy breakfast food to make at home and is a fantastic source of fibre. This recipe has plenty of nuts to boost the omega-3 content which makes it very beneficial for people with arthritis, explains the expert. You can keep the granola fresh in the fridge with an airtight container.

recipes for arthritis patients
Nutty Granola for arthritis patients. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) jaggery sugar
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) honey
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) omega-3-rich margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 7 cups (525 g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) flaxseed, ground
  • 1 cup (70 g) unsweetened coconut, flaked
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup (125 g) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (62 g) almonds
  • 1/2 cup (62 g) pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (175 g) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) dates or prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup (112 g) wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°(or gas mark 4)

How to make:

1. In a sauce pan, bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and add the brown sugar, honey, and margarine.
2. Once the sugar dissolves, remove the mixture from the heat and add vanilla extract.
3.In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flaxseed, coconut, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and salt.
4. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture, and stir well to coat all of the
5. Line a 9 x 13-inch (22.5 x 32.5-cm) baking pan with parchment paper and cover evenly with the granola mixture.
6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
7. Once the mixture is cool, stir in the dried fruit and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: Each serving provides 280 calories; 16 g fat; 8 g protein;
25 g net carbohydrate; 5 g dietary fiber; and 0 mg cholesterol

3. Buckwheat Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Did you know that buckwheat is gluten-free? It’s not wheat or a grain, but rather a seed. If you have a gluten sensitivity, carefully read the package label to make sure it doesn’t contain any wheat. Only buckwheat flour should be listed on the label, not any form of wheat, avers Dr Jhunjhunwala.


  • 1 packet buckwheat noodles
  • Peanut sauce
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 6 scallions (spring onions- white and green part chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

How to make peanut sauce?


  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, or gluten-free soy sauce
  • grated fresh ginger

How to make peanut sauce?

1. In a blender or food processor, process the coconut milk, peanut butter, lime
juice, garlic, soy sauce, and ginger until smooth. keep refrigerated in a tightly
sealed container for up to 5 days.
2. Cook the buckwheat noodles in water, olive oil and salt – drain the water once cooked.
3. In a large bowl, toss the buckwheat noodles with the peanut sauce to coat.
4. Garnish with the cilantro, peanuts, and scallions.

Substitution Tip: If you’re allergic to peanuts, replace the peanut butter (in the sauce) and peanuts with almond or cashew butter and chopped almonds and cashews.

Nutritional value: Calories per serving: 388; Total Fat: 18g; Total Carbs: 51g; Sugar: 4g; Fiber: 8g; Protein: 16g; Sodium: 542mg

4. Manhattan-Style Salmon Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

The less common variety of chowder, or the red stuff, is called Manhattan-style.The hearty flavor of the salmon holds up well with the tomatoes in this rich chowder. Feel free to add your own veggie choices—carrots, celery, or anything else that catches your fancy. A little basil is good (¼ cup freshly chopped basil leaves), too, just before you serve it, explains Dr Jhunjhunwala.

Manhattan-Style Salmon Chowder
Manhattan-Style Salmon Chowder for arthritis patients. Image Courtesy: Dr Smriti Jhunjhunwala


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped skinless salmon with pin bones removed, and chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, 1 drained and 1 undrained
  • 6 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced (½ inch) sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to make:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
2. Add the red bell pepper and salmon. Cook the fish and bell pepper for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, or until the fish is opaque.
3. Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chicken broth, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Turn down the heat to medium after bringing to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Ingredient tip: A pair of tweezers is invaluable for picking out pin bones in salmon and other fish. Any tweezers will do, just make sure they are dedicated for kitchen use, suggests the expert.

Nutritional value: Calories per serving: 570; Total Fat: 42; Total Carbs: 55g; Sugar: 24g; Fiber: 16g; Protein: 41g; Sodium: 1,249mg.

5. Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Avocados are a fantastic anti-inflammatory food since they are extremely creamy and have a healthy fatty acid composition, she adds. Serve this guacamole with veggies like sliced jicama (yam) as a dip, or use it to top fish tacos or a dish of your choice.

recipes for arthritis

Guacamole recipe for arthritis patients. Image Courtesy: Dr Smriti JhunjhunwalaIngredients:

  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

How to make:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the avocados, red onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro,
and salt.
2. Lightly mash with a fork to mix.

Ingredient tip: Cut an avacado it in half and scoop out the pit. Use a sharp knife to cut cubes into the flesh. Scoop the flesh away from the skin, using a large spoon, suggest Dr Jhunjhunwala.

Nutritional value: Calories per serving: 215; total fat: 20g; total carbs: 11g; sugar: 1g; fiber: 7g; protein: 2g; sodium: 243mg

6. Mushroom Mayonnaise Burger

For burger night, giant portobello mushroom caps provide a hearty and flavorful meat substitute. You can use whole-wheat or gluten-free buns or eat the mushroom caps sans buns.


  • Anti-Inflammatory Mayonnaise (1cup)
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, gills removed
  • 4 onion slices
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Anti-Inflammatory Mayonnaise (Prep time: 10 minutes)


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch sea salt
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to make anti-inflammatory mayonnaise?

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the egg yolk, cider vinegar, mustard, and salt.
2. Turn on the blender or food processor and while it’s running, remove the top spout. Carefully, working one drip at a time to start, drip in the olive oil. After about 15 drops, keep running the processor while gradually adding oil in a thin stream to create an emulsion. You may adjust the amount of oil to adjust the thickness. The more oil you add, the thicker the mayonnaise will be. Keep this refrigerated for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
4. Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until soft for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Apply the mayonnaise on the buns and layer it with tomato and onion slices.
6. Place the mushrooms on the layered buns.

Nutritional value: Calories per serving: 339; Total Fat: 23; Total Carbs: 26g; Sugar: 6g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 12g; Sodium: 278mg.

Caution: Make sure to talk to your doctor before trying these recipes.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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