Strawberries And Their Support For Joint Health


If you were asked to list all of the ways in which your body is helping you to read this text, what comes to mind? Perhaps you thought about your heart beating, your lungs pumping, or the synapses firing in your brain - but did you stop to consider your joints? If you’re looking to lead an active, vibrant life, they’re well worth your attention; joint pain, in particular osteoarthritis, represents a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide.1 But while you may be familiar with health advice relating to your heart, lungs, and brain, how do we look after our joints? 

Fortunately for us, one relatively simple way to nourish our joints is through our diet, specifically with the addition of a small but mighty fruit: the strawberry. Bursting with vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants, strawberries may support joint health by maintaining joint structure and preventing tissue damage.2

Joints and their role in your daily life

As reflected by its name, a joint can be defined as the point at which two or more bones meet. Different types exist, separated by their structure and function, with each permitting varying levels of movement. You're likely be most familiar with synovial joints - the freely moveable joints in your knees, elbows, and hips that you use to perform the majority of your everyday tasks. Healthy synovial joints consist of a slippery tissue called cartilage (‘kaa-tuh-lij’) which sits between the bones. Cartilage acts as a cushion to allow for shock absorption during weight-bearing activities (such as walking), while also promoting smooth movement by preventing the bones from rubbing together and causing pain.3

What are the causes of joint pain?

If the protective pads of cartilage sitting within your joints are degraded, you may experience pain and restricted movement. Inflammation plays a key role in this.4 Although Inflammation describes the process in which your immune cells are sent to the site of injury or infection. Although it's a normal protective response, it can become a problem when it persists in the absence of these threats to the body (known as chronic inflammation). 

Often going hand in hand with inflammation as a cause or contributor is oxidative stress. This refers to the damage to your cells over time due to the buildup of highly reactive molecules called free radicals - either naturally produced through normal bodily processes or derived externally (e.g. through smoking or pollution).5 

Joint pain can be caused by several reasons characterised by these processes, ranging from short-term injuries to longer-lasting conditions. These include:

Regular exercise helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints to better support them, while helping to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and maintain a healthy weight. Alongside this, a great first step towards achieving better joint health may be as easy as a simple dietary addition. Strawberries, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants known to combat these processes, might be the perfect fruit to incorporate into your daily diet to help protect your joints.

How can strawberries help to maintain healthy joints?

A consumer-favourite fruit across the globe,6 strawberries are more than just a tasty treat; they’re a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with a host of antioxidants including vitamin C, anthocyanins and flavonoids, minerals such as manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as folate (vitamin B9), these small but mighty fruits offer an impressive nutritional profile. It’s, therefore, no surprise that they’ve been shown to help reduce the risk of wide-ranging health issues including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.7 The nutrients available from 100 grams of raw strawberries include

  • Calories: 32
  • Water: 91%
  • Sugar: 4.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 grams
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fibre: 2 grams

The low-calorie, fat, and carbohydrate content coupled with the high water content of strawberries make them a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet. Strawberries are recommended as part of obesity-fighting diets - a previously mentioned cause of joint pain.8

Vitamin C: The Joint's Best Friend

The most abundant vitamin in strawberries, vitamin C, isn't just for supporting your immune system;9 it also plays a vital role in maintaining cartilage by supporting collagen synthesis. Though more commonly associated with its role in promoting skin elasticity, collagen is also a key protein in cartilage, acting in a similar way to scaffolding to support its structure. While the production of collagen declines with age, oxidative stress has also been linked to the breakdown of collagen,10 and even more specifically to the development of osteoarthritis.11 

With more vitamin C (58.8 milligrams) than an orange per 100g, strawberries can contribute considerably towards your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, which ranges from 40 - 120 milligrams depending on age and sex. This powerful antioxidant also contributes to lowering inflammation and oxidative stress,9 with some scientific evidence supporting its potential benefits in the case of osteoarthritis in particular.12,13 

Manganese: A trace mineral with a big impact

Manganese is classed as a trace mineral; only very small amounts are needed by the body. Nonetheless, it plays an important role in many chemical processes.14 Manganese forms an important part of a powerful antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD).15 SOD neutralises the dangerous free radical superoxide, which is overproduced in joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.16 SOD is also found to be less active in people with rheumatoid arthritis compared to those without the condition.17 Consuming the manganese available from strawberries may therefore be a good way to improve antioxidant levels while reducing levels of free radicals and inflammation that lead to joint damage.18 

Polyphenols: Plant-based Powerhouses

Besides vitamin C, strawberries are rich in a potent group of antioxidants called polyphenols, including quercetin, various phenolic acids, and anthocyanins.18 Anthocyanins are responsible for the fruit’s vibrant colour and 70% of its antioxidant power.18, 8 In fact, the level of phenolic antioxidants in strawberries is 2 to 11 times higher than in other fruits.19 

Strawberry polyphenols have been linked to the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress, potentially alleviating joint discomfort;20 one scientific study found that strawberries reduced pain and inflammation in obese adults with osteoarthritis,2 while another explored their use in supplements for the treatment of the same condition.21 Although more research is needed to understand the relationship between diet-derived polyphenols and improving existing joint-related conditions, they certainly appear to play a promising role in supporting joint health.

How to incorporate strawberries into your daily diet

Making strawberries a regular part of your diet is both simple and delicious. Here are just a few of the many ways you can include these joint-friendly berries as part of your meals.

  • Salads: Toss strawberries into your salads for a burst of sweetness and nutritional goodness
  • Homemade strawberry jam: If you’re a fan of cooking, making your jam can provide a healthier alternative for your homemade desserts, or just your toast, to store-bought varieties
  • Strawberry oatmeal: Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast of oatmeal topped with sliced strawberries for a satisfying (and aesthetically pleasing) meal
  • Snacking: Enjoy strawberries as a standalone snack for a guilt-free treat by replacing the traditional cream dip with low-fat or Greek-style yoghurt, or the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate22

While whipping up a strawberry smoothie might be a popular choice, it’s worth bearing their high sugar content in mind. They also count as no more than one of your 5-a-day regardless of the number of fruits you’ve added, so it might be best to think of smoothies as a tasty treat rather than a health drink. 

If within your budget and availability, opting for organic strawberries comes with the added benefits of higher vitamin C content23 - alongside the more well-known advantages of organic produce.24

Finding the sweet spot: How many strawberries should I eat in a day?

While strawberries can be a delightful addition to your diet, moderation is key. NHS guidelines recommend 80 grams, or around 7 strawberries, a day as one adult portion of your 5-a-day. Aim for a balanced and varied diet and consult with your healthcare professional for personalised advice, especially if you have specific dietary considerations or health conditions.

Considerations and precautions

As with any food, it's crucial to be mindful of potential allergies or sensitivities. Strawberry allergies are somewhat common, especially among young children.25 Those with pollen-food allergies may experience sensitivity to strawberry consumption due to a particular protein in the fruit.26,27 Since this protein is thought to be linked to anthocyanins, colourless strawberries may be more well-tolerated by those with strawberry allergies.28 Organic strawberries may also be better tolerated due to their lower likelihood of triggering allergies.25 

Strawberries may also cause issues for those with thyroid problems due to their goitrogens - substances that can interfere with thyroid hormone production.29 Although present in many healthy foods, the oxalates in strawberries may increase the risk of kidney stones in people who have previously had calcium oxalate kidney stones.

If you experience any adverse reactions after consuming strawberries or are worried about their interactions with pre-existing health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional. 


With movement playing a major role in your autonomy, joint health is an important part of experiencing a pain-free daily life - particularly as we age. Strawberries can be a sweet addition to your journey towards healthier joints. Their rich combination of vitamin C, manganese, and a range of other potent antioxidants can contribute to the well-being of your joints thanks to their collagen-supporting, free-radical-fighting, and inflammation-soothing properties. These benefits are best served by consuming the fruit in moderation alongside a balanced diet, regular exercise, and consulting with healthcare professionals - a recipe for healthy joints and a happy body.


  1. Neogi T. The Epidemiology and Impact of Pain in Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013; 21(9):1145–53. Available from:
  2. Schell J, Scofield RH, Barrett JR, Kurien BT, Betts N, Lyons TJ, et al. Strawberries Improve Pain and Inflammation in Obese Adults with Radiographic Evidence of Knee Osteoarthritis. Nutrients. 2017; 9(9):949. Available from:
  3. Sophia Fox AJ, Bedi A, Rodeo SA. The Basic Science of Articular Cartilage. Sports Health. 2009; 1(6):461–8. Available from:
  4. Goldring MB, Otero M. Inflammation in osteoarthritis. Current opinion in rheumatology. 2011; 23(5):471. Available from:
  5. Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008; 4(2):89–96. Available from:
  6. Fan Z, Hasing T, Johnson TS, Garner DM, Schwieterman ML, Barbey CR, et al. Strawberry sweetness and consumer preference are enhanced by specific volatile compounds. Hortic Res. 2021; 8:66. Available from:
  7. Afrin S, Gasparrini M, Forbes-Hernandez TY, Reboredo-Rodriguez P, Mezzetti B, Varela-López A, et al. Promising Health Benefits of the Strawberry: A Focus on Clinical Studies. J Agric Food Chem. 2016; 64(22):4435–49. Available from:
  8. Giampieri F, Tulipani S, Alvarez-Suarez JM, Quiles JL, Mezzetti B, Battino M. The strawberry: Composition, nutritional quality, and impact on human health. Nutrition. 2012; 28(1):9–19. Available from:
  9. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017; 9(11):1211. Available from:
  10. Ansari MY, Ahmad N, Haqqi TM. Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis: Role of Polyphenols. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020; 129:110452. Available from:
  11. Liu L, Luo P, Yang M, Wang J, Hou W, Xu P. The role of oxidative stress in the development of knee osteoarthritis: A comprehensive research review. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 2022; 9. Available from:
  12. Ripani U, Manzarbeitia-Arroba P, Guijarro-Leo S, Urrutia-Graña J, De Masi-De Luca A. Vitamin C May Help to Reduce the Knee’s Arthritic Symptoms. Outcomes Assessment of Nutriceutical Therapy. Med Arch. 2019; 73(3):173–7. Available from:
  13. Dunlap B, Patterson GT, Kumar S, Vyavahare S, Mishra S, Isales C, et al. Vitamin C supplementation for the treatment of osteoarthritis: perspectives on the past, present, and future. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2021; 12:20406223211047026. Available from:
  14. Aschner JL, Aschner M. Nutritional aspects of manganese homeostasis. Mol Aspects Med. 2005; 26(4–5):353–62. Available from:
  15. Holley AK, Bakthavatchalu V, Velez-Roman JM, St. Clair DK. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase: Guardian of the Powerhouse. Int J Mol Sci. 2011; 12(10):7114–62. Available from:
  16. Di Cesare Mannelli L, Bani D, Bencini A, Brandi ML, Calosi L, Cantore M, et al. Therapeutic Effects of the Superoxide Dismutase Mimetic Compound MnIIMe2DO2A on Experimental Articular Pain in Rats. Mediators Inflamm. 2013; 2013:905360. Available from:
  17. Bae S-C, Kim S-J, Sung M-K. Inadequate antioxidant nutrient intake and altered plasma antioxidant status of rheumatoid arthritis patients. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003; 22(4):311–5. Available from:
  18. Basu A, Schell J, Scofield RH. Dietary fruits and arthritis. Food Funct. 2018; 9(1):70–7. Available from:
  19. Scalzo J, Politi A, Pellegrini N, Mezzetti B, Battino M. Plant genotype affects total antioxidant capacity and phenolic contents in fruit. Nutrition. 2005; 21(2):207–13. Available from:
  20. Pap N, Fidelis M, Azevedo L, Carmo MAV do, Wang D, Mocan A, et al. Berry polyphenols and human health: evidence of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, microbiota modulation, and cell-protecting effects. Current Opinion in Food Science. 2021; 42:167–86. Available from:
  21. Valsamidou E, Gioxari A, Amerikanou C, Zoumpoulakis P, Skarpas G, Kaliora AC. Dietary Interventions with Polyphenols in Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review Directed from the Preclinical Data to Randomized Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2021; 13(5):1420. Available from:
  22. Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011; 15(10):2779–811. Available from:
  23. Newerli-Guz J, Śmiechowska M, Drzewiecka A, Tylingo R. Bioactive Ingredients with Health-Promoting Properties of Strawberry Fruit (Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne). Molecules. 2023; 28(6):2711. Available from:
  24. .Vigar V, Myers S, Oliver C, Arellano J, Robinson S, Leifert C. A Systematic Review of Organic Versus Conventional Food Consumption: Is There a Measurable Benefit on Human Health? Nutrients. 2019; 12(1):7. Available from:
  25. Aninowski M, Kazimierczak R, Hallmann E, Rachtan-Janicka J, Fijoł-Adach E, Feledyn-Szewczyk B, et al. Evaluation of the Potential Allergenicity of Strawberries in Response to Different Farming Practices. Metabolites. 2020; 10(3):102. Available from:
  26. Seutter von Loetzen C, Schweimer K, Schwab W, Rösch P, Hartl-Spiegelhauer O. Solution structure of the strawberry allergen Fra a 1. Biosci Rep. 2012; 32(6):567–75. Available from:
  27. Muñoz C, Hoffmann T, Escobar NM, Ludemann F, Botella MA, Valpuesta V, et al. The Strawberry Fruit Fra a Allergen Functions in Flavonoid Biosynthesis. Molecular Plant. 2010; 3(1):113–24. Available from:
  28. Hjernø K, Alm R, Canbäck B, Matthiesen R, Trajkovski K, Björk L, et al. Down-regulation of the strawberry Bet v 1-homologous allergen in concert with the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway in colorless strawberry mutant. Proteomics. 2006; 6(5):1574–87. Available from :
  29. Zamora-Ros R, Béraud V, Franceschi S, Cayssials V, Tsilidis KK, Boutron-Ruault M-C, et al. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fruit juices and differentiated thyroid carcinoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Int J Cancer. 2018; 142(3):449–59. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Aleena Khan

BSc Biomedical Science Graduate (first-class honours), University of Birmingham, UK

Aleena is a first-class biomedical science graduate striving to make the world of science more accessible to the everyday person. By combining her love for writing with her teaching experience, she takes a person-centred approach to communicating the explanations behind health and disease. Through her work, Aleena hopes to empower each and every individual with knowledge that is both evidence-based and actionable, ultimately aiming to help them improve their own and others’ wellbeing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818