Whether it's a chronic condition or the effects of getting older, joint pain is a real problem many Americans face. Throughout your life, your bones and joints will continually change their structure and composition. By the time you're 30, bone formation slows dramatically and bone tissue dissolves, leading to joint stiffness.
Although regular exercise can stimulate bone formation and strengthen your bones and muscles, it also puts a strain on weakened joints, making it important to pair your workout with foods that will aid joint recovery and healing. Eating a well-balanced diet full of joint-healthy foods can help keep your joints moving freely.
Here are eight healthy foods you can incorporate into your diet to help promote good joint health.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whether you use it to cook your favorite meals or as a dressing for your salads, extra virgin olive oil is great for your joints. Olive oil has tons of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Including lots of olive oil in your diet has also been shown to increase levels of bone formation proteins such as osteocalcin.
2. Dairy Products
Low-fat milk products are great for bone and joint strength. Foods such as yogurt and cheese are packed with tons of calcium and vitamin D, which are crucial for joint movement and fighting inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly known for their heart-healthy benefits. However, these essential nutrients can also help support joint health and comfort. Eating 3 ounces of tuna, salmon, herring or other types of fatty fish twice a week can help with joint pain.
4. Soy-Based Foods
Soy-based foods such as edamame and tofu are low in fat but high in protein and dietary fiber. Protein helps the body heal itself and rebuild and maintain the cartilage in your joints. Both protein and fiber also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve joint pain.
5. Leafy Green Vegetables
Kale, collard greens, spinach and other dark green vegetables are chock full of calcium — one of the most essential minerals for strong bones. Leafy greens also have antioxidants — beta-carotene and vitamin C — that are linked to joint health.
Cherries get their beautiful red coloring from a natural anti-inflammatory called anthocyanins. Whether you pop a few cherries in your mouth or enjoy a tart and refreshing glass of cherry juice, a healthy dose of cherries may help if you're having a flare-up of joint pain.
If you're looking to add a little spice to your dinner, have tumeric handy. This spice is found in curry and is a staple in Indian cuisine. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which has been found to ease joint aches and pains nearly as well as ibuprofen. Other spices that can help with joint inflammation include cinnamon and ginger.
8. Green Tea
While not technically a food, green tea is a refreshing beverage that you can enjoy while protecting your joints. Green tea is packed with antioxidants shown to reduce inflammation and minimize damage to cartilage.
Schedule Your Appointment With a Joint Pain Specialist
If joint pain is impacting your quality of life, contact Dr. Mufaddal Gombera. We can evaluate your joints and come up with a treatment plan to address your specific needs. Give us a call at (713) 794-3457 or make your appointment online.