They say never go shopping on an empty stomach. But what about shopping on a bum knee, sore shoulder, or painful hip? While there are foods that may satisfy your sweet or salty cravings, maybe your joints are craving some nourishment as well! Here are the five best foods for your joints (and the five worst) for next time you head to the supermarket.
Five Best Foods for Your Joints
1. Cherries. We can’t tell a lie! Cherries have been relied upon for centuries to alleviate the symptoms of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and joint stiffness. That’s because cherries – and other richly colored berries to include raspberries and blackberries – contain anthocyanins, which have been knows to reduce uric acid in the blood and is prized for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And remember, the tarter the cherry, the greater the power! If you aren’t a big fruit fan, there are plenty of cherry supplements and tart cherry extracts to choose from. For a treat, mix cherry juice with seltzer for a refreshing summer spritzer.
2. Tumeric. Maybe you haven’t heard about the healing properties of turmeric, a spice most commonly found in Indian food, unless you know someone who takes turmeric on a regular basis, and then probably, you haven’t stopped hearing about it! That’s because turmeric is nature’s anti-inflammatory. Many who suffer from joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, as well as back and nerve pain have come to rely on turmeric rather than over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and prescription pain killers. One can take turmeric in their tea or as a flavor to their foods. But most who swear by it for its medicinal power take turmeric in capsule form.
3. Oatmeal. For years we have heard that whole oats and oatmeal are “heart healthy,” but did you know those whole grains can help reduce inflammation? Oats are high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B6 which helps maintain healthy blood vessels and can reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, it can actually make you happy, thanks to a boost of serotonin!
4. Salmon. Who doesn’t love the flavor, texture, and versatility of salmon? Salmon is high in the Omega 3 fatty acids that work at the cellular level to interfere with the body’s inflammatory response. Canned salmon is an easy alternative for cooking up for a fish that is high in Omega 3s. And good news for sardine fans! If you are looking specifically for a convenient snack to benefit your joints, consider packing a can of sardines in your lunch.
5. Red peppers are loaded with vitamin C, which helps your body make collagen, the stuff found in the ligaments, tendons and cartilage that support your and cushion your joints. Like to turn up the heat? Hot peppers have many of the same properties as red peppers.
Five foods you should avoid if you want to maintain good joint health
1. Dairy. While dairy products are known to support bone and teeth health, for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain, dairy might actually contribute to the pain. That’s because dairy products contain some proteins that have been found to irritate the tissues that surround the joints.
2. Alcohol and cigarettes. OK, they aren’t exactly food, but smokers are at a higher risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, while alcohol increases the risk of developing gout.
3. Salty foods. Most any food that you consume will have added salt. That’s because salt is used as a preservative as well as flavor. And face it, we Americans love our salt. But salt can contribute to joint pain and can make you feel boated and uncomfortable.
4. Omega 6 acids. Unfortunately, Omega 6 acids are not twice as good as good as Omega 3. In fact, they should be avoided as much as possible because they actually trigger inflammation. Corn oil and other oils used in snacks are very high in Omega 6s; if you do use oil try olive, pumpkin, or flax oil. As an aside, flax oil is the only vegetarian product that contains Omega 3s.
5. Fried and processed foods. Instead of fried foods, try a baked and breaded option such as panko. Rule of thumb: natural vs. processed; baked vs. fried.
When you cravings are getting the best of you, remember that a good diet can contribute to your overall health and well being and can even supplement medical treatments for certain conditions. Plus, it’s the easiest and most satisfying way to maintain a strong and healthy body.
Attentive, available care is always a good ingredient for good health. Patient Care Now Urgent Care in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania is ready to support your urgent care and preventive medical needs. Plus, we are open from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. Call us at (267) 202-6433 or use our online check-in form.