The foods you eat can have an impact on your joints strength and flexibility.
Inflammation is your body’s natural defense mechanism. It’s what turns on when you have a cold, or break a bone, or have to fight off an invasive virus or bacteria. But sometimes the immune system doesn’t turn off after it’s done fighting off the invader—instead, it persists even when you’re not threatened by any foreign invaders. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy: many major diseases that plague us have been linked to chronic inflammation.
One of the best ways to reduce inflammation is by following an anti-inflammatory diet.
“Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
For healthy joints, avoid the consumption of these foods:
– processed foods including fried foods;
– refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries;
– red meat and processed meat (hot dogs);
– foods with added sugar, sugary beverages.
To help reduce joints inflammation, eat more of these anti-inflammatory foods:
– nuts and seeds – packed with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids known to fight inflammation and help reduce it in your connective tissue and joints. Examples: almonds, walnuts.
– fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines;
– colorful fruits and vegetables – these have antioxidants, vitamins, which fight free radicals and reduce the damage caused by inflammation. Top rated are green leafy and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards. High antioxidant foods include onions, garlic, green tea, berries, pomegranate, oranges, tomatoes.
– ginger and turmeric have potent anti-inflammatory compounds and are included in many joints supplements.
– olive oil;
– whole-grains like rice, buckwheat and amaranth;
The best thing you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis is generally to keep active and eat a healthy diet.
What else can help ease joint pain?
Keep a healthy weight – for every extra pound you lose, you can reduce the load on your joints three-fold.
Stay active, but go low-impact – getting at least 30 minutes of gentle exercise ideally daily can keep you joints healthy. Many people find joint-supportive exercises such as swimming, yoga and stretching most helpful to keep their joints flexible and pain-free. Also include muscle-strengthening exercises and joint mobility movements in your workout plan. Ask your doctor which exercises are good for you.
Rest your joints regularly – listen to your body and know when you need to take time out. When your joints are tight and sore, you may notice that your daily activities become restricted. The best way to prevent this is to regularly exercise and rest your joints.
Get 15 minutes of sunshine to help boost your vitamin D levels, which are low in people with osteoarthritis.
Don’t forget vitamin D-rich foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified spreads.
Keep your joints lubricated with healthy fats such as oily fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and other healthy fats.
Take supplements if you have risk factors for osteoarthritis, such as smoking or if you are overweight. Supplements with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D can are good for bone health and can help keep your joints strong. Supplements good for the joints also include ingredients such as omega 3 fatty acids or esterified acids, boswellia, curcumin, collegen, condroitin, glucosamine, collagen.