Eating to support the optimum function of the joints is an amazing way to take control over this aspect of your health. If you are currently experiencing pain, stiffness, or inflammation of your joints, then you may already have gone down the medical route to alleviate the seriousness of your symptoms.
Although in many instances medication can be extremely helpful for tackling joint problems, it can also be a great idea to look to make changes in your diet.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is known to have many great benefits for the body and mind, and the health of your joints is no exception!
The basic idea of this diet is to eat an abundance of foods that are low on the glycemic index, such as fruit, vegetables, and legumes, as well as foods that contain high levels of unsaturated fats, such as olive oil.
This is accompanied by a moderate consumption of fish and will not involve too many dairy products. Those who enjoy this diet will also generally consume a small but regular amount of alcohol, usually red wine.
When considering how this diet is beneficial to joint health, we can largely look to the inclusion of fish. This is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is key for the health of the joints. The best sources of fish in this instance are those of the wild variety, such as salmon, trout and sardines.
Studies have shown that an adequate consumption of fish oil can not only help to relieve joint pain, but that it is also great for improving cardiovascular health.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, and this is another primary reason why this diet is great for the joints. Vegetables are a fantastic source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Studies have shown that a certain antioxidant found in cruciferous vegetables in particular, known as sulphorphane, can actually block an enzyme in the body that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. This is useful information both for sufferers of joint pain, such as those who have arthritis, as well as athletes and other sports people who often place their joints under extreme strain.
More About Omega-3
Although fish is reported to be the best natural source of omega-3, it is still possible to consume an adequate amount if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The best non-animal sources of omega-3 are soybeans, chia seeds, and flax seeds. These are all incredibly easy to shop for and to include in your diet regularly.
A Word About Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice that is utilised for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it has been used throughout history in Asian medicine for this very reason.
Experts have suggested that there could be a promising link between turmeric consumption and the prevention of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, although further research is required into this idea.
Turmeric will have quite a potent flavour when used in cooking, and is therefore often used very minimally with each dish. However, opting to eat meals often that include turmeric will help you to get more of it into your diet. You can also find high quality turmeric supplements, as well as choosing to add a teaspoon of it into your smoothies!
Foods to Avoid
Avoiding foods that can cause harm to your joints is equally as important as eating foods that will do them good!
Sugar is thought to be one of the worst foods for contributing to poor joint health, with refined grains also being on the list of foods to avoid. Adding sugar to food is something that is advisable for a whole host of reasons, not least of all preserving the function of your joints.
You may also want to pay attention to how much sugar is in the foods that you are eating, and working to make healthier sugar-free or low sugar choices. You may find that you enjoy replacing typical refined sugar with natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar.
Over-consumption of pasta, white rice, and white bread could cause harm to the joints, as well as harming other areas of your general health.
Red meat is also believed to be on the list of foods to avoid when you are eating for joint function. Trans fats and products that contain hydrogenated oil should also be avoided or at least consumed thoughtfully in moderation.
Keeping Your Joints Healthy
Knowing how to care for your joints is something we believe everyone should be aware of, and we always strive to share the latest information with you!
Taking care of your body in order to prevent injury is always going to be preferable to seeking treatment for an issue or ailment. When it comes to your joints, this statement is especially true. Click here to read more about how to keep your joints healthy!