Joint Pain – something we endure when we age but we can alleviate

Most of us past a certain age will start to experience joint pain. However, in many cases, we can alleviate the pain with some simple changes to our diet and the addition of some supplements. For example, I suffer from pain in my left hip, especially when I walk too far. Therefore, I have been taking supplements and changing my diet to incorporate all of the below-listed foods in my diet.

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The first supplement I take is The Joint Health Bundle from FutureYou Cambridge. All the good stuff in one bundle. Each bundle contains a 28-day supply of easy-to-absorb supplements from their Joint Health health range. This combination of key nutrients offers complementary support.

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I already take their Magnesium which helped with my sleep. I know that this company is reputable, and every product they produce is scientifically researched.

I have recently done a Gut Cleanse with Synergy Purify products and feel refreshed and detoxed. It is my annual cleanse, which, unlike a diet, does not deprive the body of much-needed nutrients and minerals. Instead, I feel full of energy having completed it, and it re-educates my body to crave the right foods and not the processed or high-sugar content foods.

I also add to my morning smoothie FL-3X from Synergy Worldwide for my joint pain.

Synergy’s FL-3X gel is the perfect complement to an active lifestyle, as its ingredients support the way you move. FL-3X contains 500 mg glucosamine HCL and 300 mg chondroitin sulfate, the fundamental components of joint tissue involved in the production of hyaluronic acid.

This formula also includes plant extracts and 125mg MSM for additional health and mobility benefits. Likewise, Vitamin C benefits the body’s ability to defend itself and form important collagen needed throughout the body. Vitamin C also contributes to a normal energy-yielding metabolism. So enjoy the effects, the convenience, and the tasty orange flavour.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids / Fish Oils

Cold-water fish are a terrific source of Omega-3s fatty acids, essential nutrients for human health. These essential nutrients are also sometimes referred to as polyunsaturated fatty acids. Not only are they proven to reduce inflammatory proteins in the body, but they also improve brain function and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.

Omega-3 can be found in cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, halibut and sardines. Taking a daily fish oil supplement is another way to absorb Omega-3s.

Nuts and Seeds

There’s good news for the vegans and vegetarians among us. Omega-3s can also be found in a variety of nuts and seeds. A small daily portion of walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds or pine nuts can help reduce inflammation in the joints and connective tissue.

Brassica Vegetables

What are those, you might ask? Also known as cruciferous vegetables, brassicas are commonly associated with the mustard and cabbage family. Leafy greens like mustard greens, arugula, kale and purple cabbage are in the brassica family. Several other popular (and tasty!) vegetables make the list, including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

This particular subset of the vegetable population has been known to block an enzyme that causes swelling in the joints. Plus, they’re chocked full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients for overall health and well-being.

Colourful Fruits

Fruits sometimes get a bad rap because of their high sugar content, but many are excellent antioxidants. In addition, like with vegetables, certain fruits are more effective than others in reducing inflammation in the body.

We’re particularly partial to blueberries, which are high in anthocyanins – one of the most potent flavonoids. These help “turn off” inflammatory responses in the body.

Apples are another fibre-rich, anti-inflammatory fruit, and they deliver added benefits for gut health.

Pineapple is also on our shortlist for its bromelain content, a nutrient shown to reduce joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, most of the bromelain is found in the stem and core of the pineapple, so blend the core into a smoothie to get the maximum benefit.

And finally, tomatoes (yes, they’re a fruit). Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene. Cooked tomatoes are even more lycopene-rich than uncooked ones. Be sure to consume the skin to get the most significant benefit.

Olive Oil

Toss out your vegetable oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil – all of which can increase inflammation. Instead, opt for a few tablespoons of olive oil for cooking and making salad dressings. Better yet, go with the extra virgin variety that is less processed. Olive oil is often associated with a Mediterranean diet, an unsaturated “healthy” fat. And guess what, it’s another source of Omega-3!

Lentils and Beans

Beans and lentils are known for their health benefits. They’re an excellent source of protein, fibre and essential minerals. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans and soybeans are all great sources of anthocyanins – that magical flavonoid that reduces inflammation.

Garlic and Root Vegetables

Garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies have shown that these pungent root vegetables can help treat arthritis and other joint pain symptoms. So incorporate these vegetables into meals for added flavour. Plus, they’re all available in a supplement.

Whole grains

Research suggests that proteins found in refined grains (such as white bread, white rice and regular pasta) may trigger an inflammatory response in the body. However, high-fibre whole grains help produce fatty acids that are thought to counteract inflammation. Therefore, stick with the whole grains.

The Arthritis Foundation provides a detailed list of grains recommended for arthritis suffers – including whole wheat, whole oats, barley and rye.

Bone Broth

Glucosamine, chondroitin and amino acids are well documented to help maintain healthy joints, while calcium is essential for bone density. Bone broth contains all of these. The gelatin-like substance that comes from cooking bones mimics collagen that occurs naturally in our joints, tendons and ligaments. Whether or not bone broth can actually stimulate the regrowth of cartilage is a fiercely debated topic in the medical field. But taken regularly as an oral supplement, it has been known to reduce joint pain and increase function for people with arthritis.

Bone broth can be consumed as a hot broth or used in recipes as a cooking base or sauce. Abel & Cole, for example, sell various ready made bone broths.

Dark Chocolate

Now we’re talking! Indeed, chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, contains antioxidants that can counteract genetic predisposition to insulin resistance and inflammation. The higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher its anti-inflammatory effect. But remember, chocolate can be high in sugar and fat, so enjoy it in moderation. If you’re going to indulge, choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.

So there you have it – 10 picks for foods that help reduce joint pain and inflammation. But, of course, there are some DON’Ts when it comes to eating for joint health. So pay careful attention to the effects of foods that can be linked to inflammation:

  • Limit refined grains like pasta, rice and white bread.
  • Keep salt to a minimum. Salt causes fluid retention, which is associated with tissue swelling. Additionally, the Arthritis Foundation reports that limiting salt intake can reduce calcium loss, thereby reducing osteoporosis and fracture risk.
  • Steer clear of processed foods whenever possible.

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