A big part of avoiding bone and joint discomfort is making sure you are proactive about your joint health. Natural wear and tear on your joints can cause extreme discomfort and can hold you back from being active and doing the things you love.
Fortunately, there are foods that contain certain nutrients which can help ease joint pain. Better nutrition alone won’t help you get rid of your joint pain, but a healthier diet combined with better lifestyle choices may help minimize joint pain. Here is a list of a few joint healthy diet essentials.
Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals in your body which can damage joints and cause major discomfort. Foods that contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, or selenium are great for fighting off free radicals.
Foods containing these nutrients include:
- Vitamin C – Fruits such as grapefruit, papaya, oranges, mangoes, raspberries, tomatoes, and pineapple. As well as vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and red peppers.
- Vitamin E – Avocado, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
- Selenium – Salmon, brazil nuts, oatmeal, and brown rice.
- Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, and butternut squash.
Some fatty acids can help reduce joint swelling and reduce discomfort. The most common types of fatty acids are omega 3s. Foods containing omega 3 include salmon and herring, green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
If you don’t get a sufficient amount of these nutrients in your daily diet, you can also try taking supplements. Try glucosamine dietary supplements. Glucosamine is a natural way to maintain joint cartilage and can help rejuvenate your joints by counteracting all the wear and tear they go through. Glucosamine is also supported by scientific studies so you know it’s safe and effective.
A few more guidelines for preventing joint pain include:
- Drink more water. Water helps lubricate your joints, making them less stiff. Try drinking about 20 ounces of water with every meal.
- Use spices. Certain spices such as curry, cinnamon, and ginger help with inflammation.
- Cut back on red meats. Try incorporating more fish and poultry into your everyday diet.
- Bromelain. This enzyme can be found in pineapple and has been shown to reduce inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis.
- Lean proteins. Beans and other lean proteins such as poultry and nuts are building blocks for muscle and cartilage and help repair tissue.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you are putting extra strain on your joints. If you are looking to relieve joint pain, it might be time to reevaluate your dietary habits all together. Try to eat four or five small meals over the course of the day as opposed to two or three large meals.
- Eat clean. Try to avoid processed foods because they lack natural combinations of nutrients. Buy food in its most natural form like whole grains, fruits, raw vegetables, and lean proteins.
Eating foods rich in these nutrients will nourish your joints and provide you with the building blocks you need for better joints. Creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself will help you get back to doing the things you love without having to worry about joint discomfort.
Trisha Banks is a blogger for Matthew Boes M.D. Orthopaedic Surgery in Raleigh, North Carolina. Trisha has been experiencing joint pain and wanted to know if her dietary habits could help reduce her pain.