As we age, some of us may experience pain in our joints. Sometimes this pain may result from arthritis, also called joint inflammation. Although you may be able to alleviate this kind of pain with certain medications, there are also foods you can eat to help promote healthy joints. On the other hand, there are also certain foods that you could be eating that contribute to joint inflammation. In this blog, we will suggest some foods that contribute to joint health while also suggesting some foods to avoid.
Foods that are good to eat include foods that have calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. For instance, foods that are high in calcium and protein contribute to healthy bones and stronger muscles. A lot of joint problems can result from decreased bone health and weak muscles, so it is important to eat these foods to help avoid potential problems. Here are some suggestions:
- Dairy products: Dairy contains substantial amount of calcium and protein. Emphasize foods such as milk, yogurt, or cheese. Be careful with cheese, however, since it can contain high amounts of saturated fats. If you do not eat animal dairy, then consider soy milk or almond milk which is often fortified with calcium. The primary purpose of consuming enough calcium is to ensure healthy bones and to provide protein for stronger muscles.
- Dark, leafy greens: Vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, and spinach are good sources of calcium. Dark green vegetables also have other great vitamins and minerals in them like vitamin K and beneficial antioxidants.
- Omega-3 sources: Such foods may include nuts, seeds, and certain fishes like salmon and trout. Try adding walnuts or chia seeds in your oatmeal or make a healthy baked salmon for dinner. Compounds in omega-3 acids have been associated with decreases in joint pain.
- Other sources of food that have anti-inflammatory benefits are ginger and turmeric. These foods are said to decrease pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Ginger and turmeric can be put in many different meals like lentils (e.g. Indian dhal), curries, smoothies, juices, and soups. Another great idea is to put a teaspoon of turmeric for every batch of rice you cook. To find out more ideas, try searching the web for recipes!
Foods to Avoid
There are sources of food, too, that should be avoided if you wish to prevent inflammation. These recommendations should be taken together with the exhortation to maintain a healthy bodyweight and to protect your heart health. For instance, avoid eating fast foods, fried foods, refined sugar, flour, and alcohol. Not only can these foods contribute to inflammation in the joints, they are linked to weight gain, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes. You should try your hardest to avoid these kinds of foods since their health-related downsides extend beyond joint inflammation.
Joint health is closely linked to the kinds of food we eat. Try to incorporate some of the recommended foods above into your diet. You may notice a difference over time. If your joint pain is severe, then consider seeing your doctor and he or she can make further recommendations.
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