It is important to maintain a healthy diet, even if you do not have joint pain. However, if you suffer from joint pain caused by osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis, you may want to incorporate these foods into your diet to help fight inflammation and joint health.
1. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help in fighting inflammation. As a bonus, they are also good for heart health. Reducing inflammation is essential for managing pain and restoring function. Omega-3s can be especially helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis that causes swelling in the joints.
Find it in: oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring; linseed; nuts; Edamame
For keeping bones healthy and strong, calcium is essential. It also helps in muscle control and blood circulation. Our bodies don’t naturally produce calcium, so we need to get it from the foods we eat. When we don’t get enough calcium, our body starts removing it from the bones. This can ultimately weaken the bones and lead to osteoporosis.
Most people get their calcium from dairy products, but there are also non-dairy foods that contain calcium.
Find it in: dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt; fortified cereals; Edamame; dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale; fortified soy or almond milk
3. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D goes along with calcium – your body needs vitamin D to properly absorb calcium from food. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but too much sun also exposes our bodies to excessive UV radiation, which can lead to skin cancer. That is why it is recommended to consume vitamin D through food or supplements.
Find it in: oily fish like herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna; egg yolks; fortified milk; fortified orange juice; fortified cereals
4. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is helpful in maintaining healthy joints and reducing the risk of inflammatory arthritis. The key is to get the right amount, neither too much nor too little. The daily intake recommendation of vitamin C is 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.
Find it in: grapefruits, limes, mangoes, oranges, strawberries, pineapples, peppers
Also Read: Bad to the Bones: What to Avoid for Bone Health
Anthocyanins are antioxidants found in purple and red fruits. Not only do anthocyanins impart their pigment to fruits, but they can also be helpful in lowering levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation.
Find it in: purple and red fruits like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and strawberries
Polyphenols are antioxidants that can help reduce joint inflammation and slow down the breakdown of cartilage. They can also improve bone strength and help the body fight infections, which can be helpful for patients with rheumatoid arthritis who need to take immunosuppressive drugs.
Find it in: teas (black, green, oolong and white), especially matcha (powdered green tea leaves) because it has a higher concentration of polyphenols
Studies have shown that sulforaphane can block enzymes that destroy joint cartilage and help reduce inflammation. Both of these things are helpful for patients with osteoarthritis.
Get it in: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale
8. DIALLYL DISULPHIDE
Research has also shown that diallyl disulfide can limit enzymes damaging cartilage. According to a study, people who regularly ate foods containing this substance had fewer signs of osteoarthritis at early age.
Find it in: foods in the allium family like garlic, onions and leeks
You will find that the foods listed above are generally part of any healthy diet. You don’t have to hunt for unusual foods to maintain a diet that supports healthy bones and joints. Plus, these foods contain many other health benefits that are worth including in your diet, even if joint pain is not a daily problem.