Arthritis diet: 3 winter snacks to BEAT joint pain – including healthy chocolate truffles

Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain

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Emily Johnson is on a mission to help people feel “empowered” about changing their lifestyle and diet to manage arthritis better. Rather than “fighting” the condition, Emily looks at ways to “live better with arthritis”, including eating some delicious, arthritis-friendly food. Sharing her favourite recipes exclusively with, these are Emily’s favourite snacks to beat joint pain.

When Emily Johnson was 21 she was diagnosed with arthritis, a moment she describes as “complete despair”.

Although Emily finally had an answer to why she had experienced painful symptoms for months, she admitted feeling “embarrassed and ashamed” to have been diagnosed with the condition at such a young age.

The 21-year-old Emily would never have imagined that just a few years later, she would be sharing recipes, tips and her journey with more than 18,000 followers on Instagram.

Neither would she have imagined writing her first book, Beat Arthritis Naturally, in which she collaborates with several different experts and doctors to create a guide to managing arthritis through diet and lifestyle changes.

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A post shared by Arthritis Foodie, by Emily (@arthritisfoodie)

Emily said: “This is definitely the book I wish I had.

“I just thought of myself, sat in a doctor’s waiting room, and the sinking feeling of not knowing where to turn or where to go.

“The book details lifestyle changes to give people a feeling of ownership, because of that feeling of helplessness? That is complete despair.

“Knowing you’re doing something to help yourself, even if it’s as small as drinking green tea instead of coffee, will make a difference mentally, as well as physically.”

In Beat Arthritis Naturally, Emily writes a mix of advice, recipes and tips designed to help manage arthritis better.

When it comes to eating foods that not only warm you up but are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties, Emily shares some snippets of recipes included in her book exclusively with

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Sweet and spicy nut mix

One of Emily’s favourite snacks is a sweet and spicy nut mix, perfect for snacking on as we get closer to Christmas.

She says: “In my book, I include my favourite recipe for an arthritis-friendly sweet and curry-spiced mixed nuts, which you can batch-cook.

“It’s mixed nuts – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans – tossed in some coconut oil, maple syrup, and spices – the full recipe is in the book.

“I make a big batch and put the spicy nuts into a big jar to sit on my desk.”

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A post shared by Arthritis Foodie, by Emily (@arthritisfoodie)

Cacao-dusted truffles

Another delicious arthritis-friendly and plant-based snack is this healthy take on chocolate truffles.

Emily says: “They’re made of coconut oil, medjool dates, cashews, date syrup, peanut butter, cacao powder and a little bit of sea salt – that’s it!”

A key principle of Emily’s book is to create recipes and tips that are accessible to as many people as possible, so recipes aren’t over-complicated or full of exotic ingredients.

Sweet and spicy sprouts

Sprouts contain a plant-based compound called sulforaphane, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it a superfood for fighting arthritis.

But forget boiled, bland, brussels sprouts.

Emily says: “Why would anyone choose to eat this unwanted Christmas vegetable?

“Well, I decided to forget any preconceived ideas I had about this vegetable and began to experiment. It’s now a favourite in our household.

“Oh my god, it’s so delicious: Brussel sprouts, honey and maple syrup, chilli flakes, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and flaked almonds.

“All you need to do is mix them up and roast them in the oven!”

In addition to what you eat, Emily has a few more tricks for managing arthritis in the winter and keeping your joints warm.

Emily says: “In the winter months, I definitely feel an impact in my joints when it gets cold.

“I find microwavable heat packs really useful, I heat them up and wrap them round my ankle or knee – whatever’s hurting. They are so warming!

“Epsom salt baths before bed are so soothing too.

“I have a hot water bottle to warm me up in bed – anything that gets heat into your joints is really, really, helpful.”

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