Do you know how important nutrition is for joint health?
The basic purpose of nutrition is nourishing your body. Several times a day you will find yourself faced with the ability to provide your body with what it needs to stay strong and healthy. Nutrition is an essential factor in keeping joints healthy. Dr. Harvey Danciger, foot and ankle specialist in Coachella Valley, CA reminds patients that whether they are in pain or not, it is important to be providing their body with the nutrition that it needs.
More than 20 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease. It is often called the wear and tear arthritis due to the wearing down of cartilage in your bones. Observing a healthy diet can decrease pain and actually improve the structure of your joints. Nourishing your body with what it needs can slow down and even prevent joint problems such as osteoarthritis.
Often, when pain is present, many people just chalk it up to being a part of the aging process. They take painkillers that just mask the problem and the problem continues to worsen. It is important to catch your joint pain early on and understand that proper nutrition and slow it down and even reverse it.
Do you know what foods to include in your diet for joint health?
Here is a guideline for what you should include in your diet that will greatly benefit your joint health:
Omega 3 fats
Found in tuna, salmon, walnuts and flax, these fats have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation and help keep joints healthy. Take oil capsules if fish is not a favorite.
Aim for at least 20 oz five to six times a day to help lubricate joints and reduce muscle cramps and joint pain.
Season it up!
Several spices have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Dash on some cinnamon, ginger, curry and cumin the next time you cook.
Follow the rainbow
When in doubt, choose anything that is brightly colored in the produce section.
Beans and protein
Both beans and lean protein are linked to joint health. They help keep muscles and cartilage healthy. Be careful though about eating too much meat, especially from four-legged animals as an excess can contribute to gout and bone loss.
Avoid processed foods
This type of food does not contain needed nutrients and is not healthy for joints or health in general.
Take your vitamins
Many of the vitamins out there are crucial for bone and joint health. Vitamin C helps form collagen. Vitamin B decreases inflammation. Vitamin E lessens pain from osteoarthritis and Vitamin D prevents bone loss and keeps bones and joints strong.
It goes without saying as well that maintaining a healthy weight is an important factor in keeping joints healthy. One pound of weight adds 4 pounds of pressure on your body. Carrying extra weight adds stress on your joints and increases the risk of cartilage breakdown. Sugar also triggers reactions in your body that can advance chronic inflammation. Watching your nutrition intake will keep your weight down, reduce pressure on your joints and improve your general health all around.
If you are suffering with joint pain, have it treated promptly. Untreated pain can contribute to cartilage breakdown. When joints get down to bone-on—bone, diet and supplements won’t be as effective.
Call Dr. Danciger’s podiatric office today at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment. On our website homepage, you can also order a complimentary copy of Dr. Danciger’s book Why Do My Feet Hurt? It will provide you with all the information you need on foot and ankle health.