Joint problems are getting more and more common as we age. After years of continuous cyclic loading on our joints, “wear and tear” occurs. Pain in the joints are often caused by inflammation and the pain can be suppressed with the aid of pain relief medication and physical therapy. What many people don’t know is that the food we consume can only help improve the condition of our joints. Making small changes in the diet we consume on a daily basis can allow us to lead a better quality of life.
Salmon is a fatty fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin D. Omega-3 helps to decrease the synthesis of COX enzymes in our body which will lead to a decrease in inflammation. Vitamin D also helps the body to reduce swelling and tenderness. Protein are the body’s building blocks and it will help to repair muscles and body tissues.
Olive oil is a very healthy oil packed with a bunch of polyphenols which are rich in anti-oxidants and possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil is also rich in oleocanthal, a polyphenol which inhibits synthesis of enzymes that will cause inflammation. Whenever possible, try to use extra virgin olive oil as they have even higher contents of polyphenols.
Brazil nuts are packed with an incredible amount of selenium and other minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. However, it is their selenium contents that make it ideal to strengthen joints. Insufficient consumption of selenium may lead to an increased risk in suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. You can easily obtain 280mg of selenium by consuming 4 nuts while you can only get 63mg of selenium from 85g of tuna.
Almond is another excellent nut that is rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is important to our body as it will coat around the outer membrane of our cells, protecting it against harmful free radicals. Research has concluded that rheumatoid arthritis is caused by oxidative stress which in turn are caused by free radicals. By consuming adequate amounts of food rich in Vitamin E, we are able to neutralise the free radicals.
Green tea is rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECCG) which is a very powerful anti-oxidant. ECCG is able to lower inflammation levels by suppressing certain gene expression and signalling function.
Ginger is a commonly used plant throughout Asia and it is rich in a polyphenol called gingerols. Gingerols are able to inhibit production of COX-2 enzymes which are responsible for causing inflammation.
Although consuming certain foods are not able to help us to totally eliminate joint problems, they can help to provide pain relief and allow a better quality of life. They are completely natural and we do not need to constantly rely on drugs to achieve a pain free lifestyle without any side effects.