10 ways Nutrition Can Improve Your Joint Health

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eat the rainbowInflammation is a tricky little concept to identify with because we don’t really come face to face with it until we are in pain or possibly in poor health. Nutrition is such an important way to be able to mediate inflammation on a daily basis. Will better nutrition alone prevent you from having joint pain or developing cardiovascular disease? Probably not, but the cumulative effects of better eating in combination with better lifestyle choices may help to prolong the development or decrease the severity, which sounds pretty good to me

When it comes to nutrition we all seem to be focused on calories, carbs/protein/fat, or the latest trend that we lose sight of what nutrition is all about — NOURISHING THE BODY.

Each time we eat we have an opportunity to provide the body with nutrients it needs to function and nutrients it wants to decrease inflammation that is occurring on a continual basis. Big contributors to increasing inflammation in the body are uncontrolled blood sugar, deficient omega 3, and too much omega 6.

So, simply put, the nutritional rules for decreasing inflammation are:

Fibre Focus

Choose whole grains that have at least 3g of fibre per serving. Fibre controls blood glucose and therefore contributes to inflammation control.

Include omega 3 fatty acids in your every day

Walnuts, Cold Water Fish, Flax Seed and Fish Oil Supplements. These essential fats have been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation. Try boosting your intake with fatty fish (tuna, salmon, ect), walnuts, and flax. If you can’t get it through food, then supplement with 1-3g of EPA/DHA per day from Fish Oil.

Eat a Rainbow

Fruits and veggies are naturally high in all the good stuff and many times include a variety of nutrient combinations and phytochemicals that simply can’t be found in a pill. Moreover, there are specific foods to look out for that work even harder in the body to put the flame out on inflammation.

Drink More Water

Yes, I know we have all heard it before. But little do we know we are regularly walking around in a semi-dehydrated state. Water helps to lubricate the joints and keep your body functioning well.

Spice It Up

Certain spices, like curry, cinnamon and ginger have been shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Try curry with rice dishes, cinnamon with your cereal and latte and ginger with your tea, sushi and salad dressing.

Cut Back

Try to cut back on the 4-legged animals and increase weekly consumption of animals that have no legs such as fish, beans and 2-legs poultry. This will help reduce amount of inflammatory proteins that you consume that could lead to joint pain.

Learn to love those Antioxidants

Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which may be damaging to the joints. Aim for a diet high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and selenium. Remember to Eat A Rainbow Often and choose yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, rockmelon, apricots, and dark leafy greens for vitamin A. Good sources of vitamin C include capsicum, broccoli, citrus, papaya and raspberries. Avocados, almonds, peanut butter and whole grain breads are good sources of vitamin E, and for selenium choose brazil nuts, salmon, and brown rice.

Look for the Bro…

Bromelain – the active enzyme in pineapple has been shown to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Several studies have examined the effects of bromelain and other enzymes like papain in patients with osteoarthritis.


… and other lean proteins provide the essential building blocks for muscle and cartilage which are linked to joint health. Eating lean sources of protein helps to build and repair tissues. Good sources of lean proteins include beans, skinless poultry, fish and seafood, and nuts in moderation.

Get a little guidance

Make sure you seek out a health professional if you have any queries about joint pain or ways you can enhance your nutritional changes with physical rehabilitation. Evidence supports the benefits of strengthening for joint pain secondary to conditions such as arthritis

And if that wasn’t enough info…

Nutrients that Nourish Your Joints. Eating foods rich in these nutrients will help provide your body with the building blocks it needs for better joints.

  • Vitamin C: May slow the wear and tear on your joints by playing a key role in the formation of collagen, which is a key component of cartilage and bone.
    – Vitamin C rich foods: Strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, raspberries, oranges, cantaloupe and broccoli.
  • B vitamins: May help to reduce joint inflammation and pain.
    – Vitamin B Rich Foods: lean meats and fish, tofu, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, eggs, whole grains, bananas and soybeans.
  • Vitamin E: May vitamin helps ease osteoarthritis pain and leg cramps.
    – Vitamin E Rich Foods: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Assist in prevention of additional bone loss and in maintaining healthy/strong joints
    – Calcium Rich Foods: Low-fat milk, Greek Yogurt, String Cheese, other low fat dairy products, Kale, Okra
    – Vitamin D Rich Foods: Eggs, Salmon, Makerel, low-fat milk products