What to Eat for Healthy Joints
Joint problems are a common concern as we get older and can range from aches and pains to more serious conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis. But, by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and eating right, you can maintain good joint health. Here are seven foods that can help keep your joints healthy.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a natural anti-inflammatory compound. Chronic inflammation develops over time, as cartilage becomes torn. And that can lead to weakened and eroded joints. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include sardines, mackerel, trout, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower can help protect against the development of arthritis, according to one long-term study. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale and bok choy.
Some studies have shown olive oil to be linked to reduced pain and stiffness in the joints. Olive oil has also been found to be a good anti-inflammatory, as it contains the antioxidants polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids. Add more olive oil to your diet by making your own salad dressing with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
Ginger is believed to be a natural remedy for various conditions, including migraines, hypertension and colds. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for the joints, according to the Journal of Medicinal Food. Include more ginger in your diet by adding slices to your tea or grating fresh ginger in sauces and stir fries.
Vitamin C may help reduce the risk of developing arthritis, according to some research. Oranges are a well known source of vitamin C, but you can also try bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple and kidney beans. Be careful not to overdo it though, as high doses of vitamin C have been shown to worsen arthritis symptoms in some cases.
Vitamin E can help protect joint cells, and almonds are a healthy source of it, along with sunflower seeds or peanuts. Almonds also contain antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress, which studies have shown to be associated with osteoarthritis.
Apples contain an antioxidant known as quercetin, which helps build collagen and slow its deterioration. This is important because collagen is the main component of cartilage and allows the joints to withstand pressure and pounding. Quercetin is mostly found in the apple skin, so don’t peel the fruit.