When keeping your joints healthy, one of the important aspects is maintaining a healthy diet to ensure you get key nutrients and vitamins. A healthy diet can also help to lose any unwanted weight that could put pressure on your joints.
Although there is no diet cure for joint problems there are a number of foods that have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Along with a balanced diet, adding all or some of these foods to your diet may help to ease the symptoms.
To help maintain health joint function, we’ve highlighted some of the best foods for arthritis and joint problems:
Certain types of fish are packed with inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids and experts recommend at least three to four ounces of fish twice a week. Omega 3 rich fish can include salmon, tuna, mackerel or herring.
Studies have shown that cherries help to reduce the frequency of gout attacks and research has shown that the anthocyanins found in cherries have an anti-inflammation effect. Anthocyanins can also be found in other red and purple fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Low fat dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both found to increase bone strength. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and it has been shown to boost the immune system.
Rich in vitamin K and, broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.
Green tea is packed with polyphenols, which are antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Studies also show that another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin -3 -gallate (ECCG) blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and limes are rich in Vitamin C and research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin can aid the prevention of inflammatory arthritis and maintain healthy joints.
Extra Virgin Oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. However, it’s not the only oil which contains health benefits, Avocado and Safflower oils have shown to lower cholesterol and Walnut oil has 10 times Omega -3 than olive oil.
Whole grains are known to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and joint problems. Foods like oatmeal, brown rise and whole grain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.
Beans are packed with fibre, a nutrient that helps to lower CRP. They are also an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, which is important for muscle health. Some beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, Zinc and potassium, all known for their heart and immune system benefits. Look for red beans like Kidney and Pinto beans.
Studies have shown that people who regularly at foods from the allium family, such as Garlic, onions and Leek, shared fewer signs of joint disease. Researchers believe the compound Diallyl disulphine, which is found in garlic, may limit cartilage damaging enzymes in human cells.
Nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and immune boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA), as well as filling protein and fibre. They are heart-healthy and beneficial for weight loss. Try walnuts, pine nuts and almonds.
Although there is no cure for joint problems such as arthritis as it is a degenerative disease, eating a healthy diet and taking natural, nutritional supplements can reduce the symptoms and manage pain that comes with joint stiffness.