Arthritis or joint pain is a common complaint among the elderly. It is often accepted as a part of growing old but this is a common misconception. Like any disease, arthritis could be avoided by following simple health tips. Joint pain can be unbearable and could affect a person’s quality of life. By limiting our normal range of motion, performing even the simplest tasks is difficult.
Pain is the body’s signal that something’s wrong. It is felt in areas where damage and in this case the person’s joints. When joints become inflamed, normal blood flow is impeded and pain is felt. Joint pain could be caused by a number of causes which include trauma, arthritis, bursitis, and gout.
Joint pain could be managed by taking anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers. But this is just a band-aid solution and does not provide any long term relief. In some cases where joint pain could be due to certain conditions such as gout, switching to a healthy diet could provide a solution. Certain foods labeled as “Superfoods” in particular could be a healthy way of not only providing temporary relief but preventing joint pain from coming back.
Foods to look out for:
Diets rich in fat and sugar can increase your risk of developing joint pain. These could lead to weight problems which increase pressure on the joints. High concentration of fats and sugar could also lead to a very active immune system that could lead to inflammation. This in turn causes fatigue, blood vessel damage in the joints, and episodes of pain.
Chia and Flaxseed
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is found in concentrated amounts in Chia and Flaxseed. Omega 3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that naturally relieves joint pain. This fatty acid cannot be produced by the body and could also be sourced from foods like Chia and Flaxseed that already contain them.
Chia and Flaxseed are not only great for managing the pain but could also be used to prevent the development of joint pain. Natural sources of Omega 3 include oil from cold water fishes (salmon), calamari oil, flaxseed, and Chia seeds.
Consider replacing refined wheat bread, pasta, rice, and cereals with whole grains to reduce your risk for inflammation. Whole grains contain high levels of fiber which decreases C-reactive protein an indicator of inflammation. Be sure to check food labels as some foods labeled “whole grain” may contain sugar which could counteract the health benefits of fiber.
Nuts are rich in anti-inflammatory fats. It is also rich in fiber, Vitamin E, calcium (strong bones) and alpha-linolenic acids. Nuts are brimming with anti-oxidants which could also counter the negative effects of inflammation. Although nuts are not often used as food ingredients, nuts could be taken as healthy snack alternatives.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Here’s another good reason why you should start eating your greens. Dark green vegetables are rich in Vitamin E which lowers the amounts of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are required for the immune system’s inflammatory process.
Milk and dairy products are common culprits for inflammatory diseases. This could be caused by an allergic reaction towards casein, a dairy protein. People who might not have an allergic reaction to dairy should switch to low-fat milk products. Milk helps strengthen bones and joints which reduces the risk for injury and bone loss. Milk products are rich sources of calcium and Vitamin D and skipping this food group altogether could cause more harm than good.
Color is a good indicator of the number of healthy components a vegetable has. Those with deep and striking colors are more than likely to contain vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and peppers are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Peppers especially “very hot” varieties are rich in capsaicin, a vital ingredient in some pain and anti-inflammatory ointments. However, this might not work with everyone. People might have an allergic reaction to pepper which triggers the inflammation process.
Tomatoes, especially those of the red varieties are rich in lycopene. It is especially effective in managing inflammation. Nutritionists often advise that cooking vegetables should be kept to a minimum because it destroys nutritional value. But what’s surprising about tomatoes is that cooking it increases lycopene levels.
Don’t let its tiny stature lead you into believing that its nutritional contents should be ignored. Beet and beetroot juice can reduce inflammation. Beets are also excellent for protecting your heart and anti-cancer agents. It is a powerful antioxidant because of its high fiber content.
Ginger is a spice commonly used in many Asian dishes. It helps manage blood pressure by improving blood flow. Ginger could be used to treat joint pain by ensuring steady blood flow to the area and reducing inflammation.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.