The Best Diet for a Lifetime of Healthy Joints
Joints are an amazing part of your body – they allow you to run, paint a picture, ride a bicycle or do housework. And most people don’t think about them until something goes wrong and they are left with joints that are painful, swollen or stiff with the aging process or disease. However, while some diseases and condition cannot be avoided, many can be improved by the foods you eat, such as the ones below.
If you really want to beef up your protein intake – pardon the pun – salmon is a great way to go, as are other fatty fish like tuna or mackerel. These are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the joints themselves.
That is why these kind fish are so popular among those who want to eat as healthy as possible. Salmon can be prepared in a number of delicious ways, including being pan-fried with lemon juice and butter or sautéed with balsamic vinegar.
Are you really committed to joint health, then citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are also a great choice. They are rich in vitamin C, which not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also is used to make collagen. Collagen is a compound which the body uses to manufacture and protect the joints and thus a high vitamin-C diet can help to ease this condition.
Oranges are also easy to add to your diet: you can section them and put them into a parfait with yogurt, for instance, or use them to make delicious sauces for stir-fries.
Do you want to harness the properties of omega three fatty acids without having to eat meat and fish to do it? Then consider adding walnuts to your diet. They are a great choice for vegetarians and vegans, not only for these essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the joints, but also because they are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Sprinkled into oatmeal or ground into flour and made into muffins, they are equally excellent.
Cucumbers might seem like a pretty simple food, but they are actually a complex mix of fiber, water, and a whole array of vitamins and minerals. The most important, for the purposes of this article, is silica, which has been shown to promote and sustain the health of joints. Cucumbers can be sliced up and put into a salad or pureed into delicious summer soups.
The cuisines of Thailand and India as well as other parts of southeast Asia have, over thousands of years, come up with some amazing curried dishes featuring a variety of vegetables, meats and even tropical fruits like mango.
Curried dishes are a great thing to add to your joint-healthy diet because they are rich in turmeric, the deep gold Indian spice is rich in a compound called curcumin, which many studies have shown has a powerful anti-inflammatory affect and can reduce the swelling, pain and stiffness of arthritic joints.
Chai tea is India’s national drink – and due to its delicious flavor is becoming increasingly popular here in America. And how does chai fit into your joint-healthy diet? It is rich in ginger, a plant which is botanically related to the turmeric plant and shares many of turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is rich in compounds called gingerols that multiple studies have also shown can reduce joint inflammation and increase their suppleness and mobility.
So if you are interested in supple, strong joints even into middle age or beyond, consider adding foods like the ones mentioned above into your diet on a regular basis. Whether it is due to anti-inflammatory compounds like curcumin or vitamins and minerals like silicon or vitamin C, they all will promote healthy joints no matter the stage in your life.