Millions of women struggle with chronic or intermittent joint pain, and if you are one of them you know how uncomfortable it can be. Whether it’s arthritis, an injury, or overexertion at work or at the gym, even the simplest of tasks can become uncomfortable. Depending on the severity of your pain, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and surgery are options to get some relief.
Another is to include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans, but low in processed foods and saturated fat” is ideal for treating joint pain. You can recognize these foods as part of the Mediterranean Diet, which many experts recommend for their myriad of general health benefits. Whenever you are dealing with joint pain, consider adding one or more of the following foods to your plate.
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Best foods for joint pain – vegetables
Foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale greens, kale, and beets are considered members of the Brassica family and contain certain antioxidants that help relieve joint pain. Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, cardiology nutritionist and owner of EntirelyNourished tells SheKnows. “Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and cooked kale are also high in vitamin K, which relieves joint pain because vitamin K-dependent proteins are present in joint tissue,” she adds. “If you lack this vital nutrient, it can worsen joint pain.” These foods, especially broccoli, have also been shown to help fight osteoarthritis, as a compound called sulforaphane slows down the destruction of the cartilage in the joints.
Omega-3 fatty acids
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Best Food for Joint Pain – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil and cod liver oil both contain a high proportion of two omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which reduce inflammation in the joint and connective tissue and also help reduce the proportion of inflammatory omega-6 compounds, which are often responsible for joint pain. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish such as salmon, nuts or seeds, so you can easily consume foods rich in omega-3s. You can even take care of other parts of the body with omega-3 as it is good for the heart and skin too.
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Best foods for joint pain – fruits
Fruits are high in fiber and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and disease in the body. They also contain tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help nourish our healthy gut bacteria, keep our blood sugar levels in balance, balance hormones, promote regularity, and promote heart health. Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN and Founder of Real Nutrition NYC tells SheKnows. Fruits to look out for include blackberries, plums, apples, papaya, pineapples, and especially blueberries and purple grapes because they contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin that helps prevent inflammation in the body and joints.
Lentils and beans
best food for joint pain – lentils
Since protein in red and animal meat can cause inflammation, lentils, beans, and legumes are great vegan and vegetarian alternatives that contain fiber, protein, and anthocyanins, the powerful phytonutrient that reduces inflammation in the joints, Shapiro says. However, she warns against eating too many beans and legumes, as these can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Best food for joint pain – garlic
Last but not least, spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric also help reduce inflammation and can even prevent cartilage damage from arthritis, which is a common cause of joint pain due to the enzyme diallyl disulfine. Tip: opt for fresh garlic from the product department. According to the Arthritis Foundation, preservatives can be added to bottled garlic, which can reduce some of its strength.
What Else Helps Relieve Joint Pain?
In addition to including these foods in your diet, according to Dr. Nilanjana Bose, a rheumatologist in Houston, Texas, made many other lifestyle adjustments to relieve joint pain. “I recommend that patients cut down or cut out red meat, carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods and increase their water intake. For more motivated patients, a vegetarian or vegan diet can also be good, ”she says. “These diets can help reduce inflammation and total caloric intake, leading to weight loss and less stress on the joints. I also recommend using nutritional supplements, regular low-impact aerobic exercise, stress management techniques – deep breathing, meditation, yoga – and physical or aquatic therapy. “
Collagen peptides, or collagen from bone broth, can also help relieve joint pain and potentially increase joint function in those with arthritis. Tea has also been shown to help with relief. “Green tea contains many antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the joints,” says Shapiro. “Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a powerful agent that blocks the destruction of joints.”
Best foods for joint pain – pin graphic
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