A little joint wear and tear can be expected as we age, but what we eat makes a big difference to joint health throughout life. We need a good intake of specific nutrients to build and repair healthy connective tissue and bone while other nutrients help support joint function.
The following foods and nutrients may help to support bone health, healthy joint lubrication, and connective tissue health and immune function:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Starting with one of the most rigorously researched nutrients out there, omega-3, it’s not hard to find evidence that this type of unsaturated fatty acid offers significant support for overall health, especially to help reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in adults in conjunction with conventional therapy.
To experience the health benefits of omega-3, make sure your diet includes plenty of flax and chia seeds, walnuts and algal oil. Omega-3 is also found in fish and fish oil supplements.
Members of the family Zingiberaceae, including turmeric, have been traditionally used in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory to help relieve joint pain.
Dietary amounts of turmeric are considered safe, so try adding ground turmeric into savoury baked goods or hot meals.
During summer increased sun exposure boosts our synthesis of vitamin D, a nutrient that is needed to support the development and maintenance of bones, as well as a range of other essential bodily processes.
Besides oily fish, there are few natural sources of vitamin D, although plenty of fortified foods are available. A 20-minute walk in the sun can help top up levels too!
Brightly Coloured Vegetables and Fruits!
Ok, so this is a bit of a catch-all, but brightly coloured vegetables and fruits typically contain high levels of beneficial fibre, as well as antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin.
A healthy diet for overall health should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy fats from olive oil and seeds, and healthy whole grains. It’s also important to know what to avoid eating and drinking to help protect the body, such as limiting or avoiding simple sugars, animal-derived products such as meat and dairy and other sources of saturated fat.
So, to promote your healthy joint function try including these foods and nutrients for joint health into your diet and put a spring back in your step!
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.