Superfoods For Healthy Joints
Joint pain, whether it’s the aches and pains of growing old or pain after an injury, joint pain is something that can be debilitating and crippling. Our joints help our body move and are under constant pressure and strain. As we age or through injury our joints become inflamed and this inflammation can be extremely painful. Pain generally reminds the body to take it easy and rest the joint affected, but when your whole body is aching, rest alone doesn’t quite cut it. Diet can play a major role in reducing inflammation within your body and without the unwanted side effects that can occur with many pain medications.
Causes of joint pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Injuries; sprains, soft tissue trauma
How can superfoods help?
Try these superfoods to fight inflammation and ease the joint pain.
1. Soothing OMEGA-3s in Chia and Flaxseed
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health and are probably one of the most effective dietary way to fight inflammation. Most modern diets are deficient in these healthy fats, they cannot be made by our body so they must be consumed in our diet. Omega-3s lower the risk of developing arthritis and have been shown to reduce pain by fighting inflammation and reducing joint tenderness. They are also beneficial in heart disease, brain and skin health – even more reason to incorporate these good fats into your diet.
Plant sources of Omega-3 include;
Flaxseed is a great plant source of Omega-3s. If using the seeds you should grind them before adding them to your food or for more effective results flaxseed oil can be taken as supplement.
Chia seeds – Tiny seeds that have 3x more Omega-3 than salmon. Chia is also high in fibre, vitamins and protein. Chia seeds have a subtle flavour and can be added to any meal or smoothie. For more concentrated dose of Omega-3s Chia oil can also be taken as a supplement.
Camu Camu is a fruit from the Amazon. It contains a concentrated amount of vitamin C, in fact, 23 times more vitamin c than an orange. Vitamin C has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and daily consumption of vitamin C may reduce the risk of cartilage loss and disease progression in individuals with osteoarthritis.
Camu has a mild citrus flavour and can be added to juices, smoothies, yoghurt, baking and desserts.
In addition to including the above Superfoods into your diet, you can also look after your joints by focusing on the below:
1. Joint Supplements:
Glucosamine – protects, builds and maintains the cartilage and connective tissue. Beneficial in the treatment of arthritis and sports injury.
Calamari oils and krill oils – anti inflammatory action can help relieve sore joints
2. Maintaining a healthy weight:
Weight loss can significantly improve symptoms of arthritis. Extra weight puts strain on the knees, hips and ankles. Excess weight can also cause inflammation in the body.
3. Keep moving
Probably not the first thing you feel like doing when you are in pain but moderate exercise will help to maintain muscle tone and support for the joints. Balance is the key – too much or too vigorous exercise will put strain on the joint, aggravating symptoms. Try swimming, bike riding, yoga or other low impact exercise (it will also keep the weight off).
4. Throw away those heels.
Sorry ladies…If you are suffering from joint pain (even if you are not) you may need to consider another form of foot wear. High heel shoes throw off your balance and degrades cartilage in your joints – dramatically contributing to the potential of developing arthritis later in life.