Can oranges make arthritis worse?


In this post I’ll be talking about:

      • Whether oranges can make arthritis worse. 
      • The benefits of oranges and if they are beneficial for arthritis.


But before we talk let about oranges let’s talk about arthritis and pain. 


Arthritis and pain.

There are a few types of arthritis but the majority of people will experience pain due to Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Now they both commonly have the word arthritis as part of their name. 

But they are very different in nature.   

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear causing the cartilage at the end of the bones to over time wear away.  

Rheumatoid arthritis is very different, this type of arthritis is due to the immune system attacking the joints. [1]1


))When it comes to all forms of arthritis the number one thing that all arthritis sufferers experience is…




Arthritis sufferers will do all to reduce the daily pain that can go along with their disease.  

And this is where diet can come into play.  

A change in diet may help to lower the issue that’s linked with this pain.  


That link is inflammation.


What is inflammation?


What you experience as pain is most likely to have been caused by inflammation.  

Inflammation is your body’s response to your immune system being busy at work.  

Whether you have arthritis or not, your immune system is constantly working hard to remove substances from your body.  

When this happens your immune system will produce substances to kill nasty stuff invading your body.  

As an arthritis sufferer, this process might be felt as swelling, redness, heat and pain 


So the number one thing for an arthritis sufferer is to reduce pain.  


And a reduction in pain could be achieved by looking at reducing inflammation.


What can be done to reduce inflammation?

Many people will seek ways to control or reduce inflammation. 

Doing things to reduce inflammation is called anti-inflammation.   

Examples of this are anti-inflammatory medications called NSAIDs which stand for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  

Or people may use exercise as another way of managing inflammation.  

And some people will use food.  This could be the removal or the addition of certain foods.

When going down this route people are seeking foods to remove from the diet and an example could be removing oranges.  Or they may add specific fruits, vegetables and nutrients like vitamins, minerals and herbs. 


And oranges would be classed as an anti-inflammatory food.


Oranges are high in vitamin C and A, two vitamins classed as anti-inflammatory vitamins.  


Plus oranges are a great source of calcium and potassium two minerals vital for the strength of our bones


So next I’ll talk to you about why people might think oranges are bad for arthritis and to understand this we need to talk about ph levels.  Acid and alkaline!


A spade is a spade.


Right, so the main reason why oranges get a bad wrap is due to them being highly acidic. 


Now, when it comes to food, things aren’t black and white. 

A spade is usually a spade, isn’t it?

It doesn’t change its form once the spade hits the sand. 

But when it comes to oranges and your body, it’s a different kettle of fish. 


As oranges being acid doesn’t mean oranges are acidic. 


Yep, just let that one stew for a bit!


And let it stew for a little while until I address this later in this post. 


For now, let’s get on the topic of acid and alkaline.  Once you understand this you’ll understand why oranges get a bad name.


Acid vs Alkaline

So when it comes to looking at using a diet to help manage or avoid health conditions there are people who follow an alkaline diet.  

An alkaline diet is a favourable diet over an acidic diet. 

An alkaline diet creates more balance in your body.  It also helps with detoxing the body playing a role in inflammation.  So this type of diet could be beneficial for arthritis sufferers!

Eating foods in the alkaline diet means eating foods with a pH balance higher than 7.  


Anything lower than 7 is classed as being acidic. 

Oranges naturally have a ph balance of 3.3 to 4.2.  So naturally, oranges are classed as being an acidic fruit.  But later we’ll talk more about this.  Keep stewing!!


Now, it’s important to promote an alkaline environment in your body.  

For example, having a highly acidic diet could reduce magnesium and vitamin D two nutrients needed for the health of our bones.  

So there are a lot of pros to getting more alkaline foods in our diets.  Especially for arthritis sufferers!

But alongside the pros, there are issues with stating that the alkaline diet is a definite solution to managing arthritic pain.  

And those reasons are due to studies.  

As there aren’t many of them.  

So the argument to support the use of an alkaline diet for chronic conditions is quite small.

[3]3  [4]4



Why do oranges make arthritis worse?

Have you allowed my comment from earlier to stew?  

Remember what you were stewing about?  

If not, let me remind you.  


So earlier I mentioned that oranges being acidic doesn’t mean that oranges are acidic.


Yeah, I know! 

Mind blown?!


Ok, so let me explain…


So oranges are acidic..  




But when an orange is in your gut it will be alkaline.




Well, digestive enzymes and juices make the oranges alkaline.  

Oranges in their natural form are highly acidic, this is due to ascorbic acid.  

Ascorbic acid is vitamin C

And if you remember from earlier, I mentioned that…


Vitamin C is classed as being an inflammatory vitamin.  

And Vitamin C is needed by the immune system.  

So at the moment, I’m sure you can see the many reasons why oranges should be included in an arthritis sufferers diet.  

Do you agree?


So if oranges aren’t bad for arthritis when should they be avoided?

So hopefully you agree that oranges aren’t bad for arthritis.  

But, oranges are an acidic fruit and is best avoided when suffering from digestive issues.  

So sufferers of heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion and hiatal hernias are best to avoid oranges.  

When dealing with these types of conditions you’ll want to do all you can to avoid the contents of your stomach from going into your food pipe (oesophagus).


A way to see if oranges are bad or not.

If you’re not convinced, a way of finding out is by doing an elimination diet. 

We are all different and what might suit some people, might not suit you.  And oranges might be bad for your arthritis, especially if you have an intolerance or sensitivity to oranges.

A way of finding out is by following an elimination diet! 

With an elimination diet, you could eat an orange daily for a week or so, and monitor daily how you feel. 

Then to really know if the oranges are working for you, you’d remove the oranges from your diet and then measure the effect on your inflammation and pain levels.

If after removing oranges your pain increases then you’ll know that the oranges were working!


Now although we’ve addressed the acid and oranges issue. This isn’t to say that you should ignore the acid issue totally!

Avoiding acidic foods is said to be beneficial for arthritis sufferers.  And could be a good route to follow!

So looking at following an alkaline diet could be beneficial!

And remember many arthritis sufferers should be focussing on inflammation. 

So following an anti-inflammation diet could be an answer. 

Below I’ve given you details of how you can find out more about starting an anti-inflammatory diet. 

I have a guide on this website about arthritis and inflammation that you can read.  And I have a checklist that you can download to help you to make a start!

So this post should have hopefully busted the myth of oranges being bad for arthritis. 

And I’m sure you can now appreciate the benefits of oranges for arthritis sufferers!








[8] … Continue reading




About the author

Hello, I’m Cheryl.  I’m a Yoga Teacher and Nutritional Therapist. I provide information to help people who suffer from digestive, hormonal, thyroid and joint-related conditions. And I write on this blog to provide information about nutrition, yoga and movement.

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