SUPERFOODS TO HELP JOINT HEALTH!

By krushmichheda

Joint health issues have been on the rise and factors like obesity, sedentary lifestyle, low bone density, heredity, female gender, age and injuries puts you at risk for the same. At this point in our lives where we are all under lockdown and due to inactivity and unavailability of variety of groceries the reasons to take care of our joint health is higher than ever.

But every problem comes with a solution and who knew this solution was always sitting in our kitchen racks. There are some foods that are high in nutrients that can lead to a decrease in the inflammation or aid in the recovery process of joint health. Let’s take a look at some of these foods:

Berries

A study in Korea showed how eating higher fruits and vegetables has a positive effect in reducing pain for older age population, from these strawberries and blueberries were highlighted as they are on the higher rank of anti-inflammatory foods. They have a wide variety of polyphenols like quercetin, anthocyanins, etc. which give the berries its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Berries are now also available in a dehydrated form but avoid picking up the artificially sweetened ones. They are also easy to include in your meals as you can pair them with nuts as a mid-morning snack or a travel snack.

Turmeric

This yellow root has not only been used in Ayurvedic medicine but also in Chinese and Japanese therapy. Since ages, joint health’s DIY cure has been linked to turmeric (or its active component – curcumin). It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and has shown to support the efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of arthritis. As Indians, we often consume  a higher amount of turmeric in our food than the Western population but for significant effect additional turmeric extract or curcumin needs to be consumed.

Guava

Pink or white guavas are one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which is responsible for improving collagen synthesis and also possesses antioxidant properties. It reduces cartilage loss and aids in the re-making of the same.

Flaxseeds

Seeds are a good source of protein as well as healthy fats, which are both key nutrients to promote joint health. In flaxseed’s case they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which has shown to reduce the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Flax seeds are also used to reduce depression, hypertension, asthma and coronary heart diseases.

Dark Green Leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), kale, mustard greens (sarson) and collard greens are highly rich in micronutrients like vitamin A, C and K which are essential for the building of bones. These green veggies ensure a good amount of calcium in the diet.

Nettle Tea & Green Tea:

Herbal tea has very often been categorized as functional foods. The polyphenol content in nettle tea and green tea have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. These have successfully been used to treat pain associated with arthritis.

Avocado

Unlike other fruits, avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat. They are a rich source of Vitamin E which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a rich source of carotenoid, lutein that suppresses inflammation. Regularly eating this fruit has shown to not only reduce pain but also decrease the risk.

OTHER TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Get your sunshine for Vitamin D!

Vitamin D3 and Calcium have always been a winning combination for the bone health. Some calcium rich food sources are almonds, sesame seeds, sea food, tofu, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables and milk products. For Vitamin D3, get yourself some sunshine for 20-30 minutes and have a regular consumption of fish and eggs. If you are a vegetarian or deficient in this vitamin, you could initiate supplements on a health professional’s advice.

  • Refrain yourself from the calcium leaching foods!

To avoid a dip in your calcium stores, avoid sugary, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks are high in phosphates and if there is an imbalance in blood phosphate and calcium, it will lead to calcium being taken from the bones. Sugar-laden beverages and caffeinated drinks promote the discard of calcium through urine.

  • Exercising is vital!

Many are under the impression that basic exercising will worsen their joint pain. Infact, it’s the opposite, not exercising will make your joints stiff and painful. Indulging in low impact activities especially weight bearing exercises  at low to moderate intensity will improve bone density and muscular strength around your joints.