Healthy joints are taken for granted by many of us who haven’t experienced aches and pains. Our joints allow us to make all movements possible, so without our joints we wouldn’t be able to bend, jump, or move at all!
As a medical professional myself, I have used my expertise and experience to my advantage and created a premium supplement system. I have recently launched a new healthy aging line, where I have created supplements that can provide a variety of benefits. If you experience joint pain, and haven’t had luck with other remedies in the past, try out my spermidine supplements. According to research, these supplements have been proven to inhibit joint inflammation.
Along with supplements, there are so many foods beneficial to our joint health that most of us aren’t aware of. In this article, I will be covering points related to joint health that include:
- Importance of joint health
- Potential causes of joint pain
- Best foods for joint pain
What can Contribute to Joint Pain?
The most basic parts of our life require our joints, like everyday activities such as walking, making food, and brushing our teeth. No matter what age, it’s important that we keep our joints as healthy as possible.
One of the main causes of joint pain comes from arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that affects 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. The term “arthritis” means joint inflammation, and will primarily impact the hands, hips, knees, and spine.
Less common cases of joint pain might also include:
- Adult Still’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis) (death of bone tissue because of limited blood flow)
- Bone cancer
- Broken bone
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (chronic pain due to a dysfunctional nervous system)
- Gonococcal arthritis
Follow a Mediterranean or Plant-Based Diet
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can help lower the risk of various chronic diseases and provide other health benefits.
Mediterranean food is characterized by a high level of vegetables, fruit, and legumes, as well as a moderate amount of alcohol, mainly from wine. It also has low levels of red meat and dairy products.
A study from 2015 revealed that a plant-based diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet, can help lower the pain levels and improve the functional status of adults with osteoarthritis. The diet consisted of vegetables, grains, and fruits, and no refined foods.
Top 15 Foods for Better Joint Health
Your diet alone may not cure arthritis, but there are numerous foods and nutrients that can support joint health and prevent inflammation. A joint-friendly diet will incorporate foods that are anti-inflammatory, and will be most beneficial when you consume less processed foods and certain proteins like red meat. Here are some of the best foods that can provide the proper nutrients to keep your joints strong and healthy!
Commonly used in Indian and curry recipes, the spice known as turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of hydroxycurcumin, which is a chemical compound that gives it its yellow color. A 2021 review also revealed that people with knee osteoarthritis who took turmeric supplements experienced better pain relief and function.
Aside from being used as a spice for flavoring food, it can also be used as a beverage. A good way to incorporate the ingredient is to try out a warm drink made with golden milk, which is a combination of milk, black pepper, and turmeric. If you're not a fan of spicy or savory flavors, you can add in some honey for more of a sweet touch.
Besides nuts and seeds, seafood can also be a good source of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. One of the most common types of fish is salmon, which has plenty of nutrients and is a good source of both EPA and DHA.
There is a lot of evidence out there supporting the link between heart health and omega-3 fatty acids, and studies suggest that they can help reduce inflammation and improve the quality of life for people with arthritis. Studies have also found that these nutrients can help prevent swollen and tender joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
The AHA suggests eating at least two servings of cooked fish like salmon each week.
Although broccoli is full of fiber and antioxidants, it also has a component called sulforaphane which can help lower the risk of arthritis because of various anti-arthritis benefits.
Grape products can reduce the levels of C-CRP, a marker of inflammation. Various compounds found in grapes have been shown to be helpful in treating arthritis, with one of these known as resveratrol. Resveratrol can be found in the skin of grapes.
A study conducted on 110 individuals with knee osteoarthritis revealed that taking a 500mg supplement of resveratrol alongside a drug known as meloxicam significantly reduced the pain levels.
Although more studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of this treatment in humans, animal studies have shown that compounds found in grapes can help slow down the progression of arthritis.
These studies were conducted on animals that were given high concentrations of antioxidants. Compared to the amount of antioxidants that you would typically consume in a serving of grapes, the animals among the studies were given much higher amounts.
These studies also showed that the animals were given concentrated amounts of antioxidants, which significantly exceeds the amount that most people would consume. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to determine how these results could translate to humans.
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth can be used as a base for a variety of recipes or consumed on its own. Its components include amino acids, calcium, and nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which are all very helpful in maintaining healthy joints. The properties of bone broth resemble the collagen found in our bodies, which helps us move easier.
As both a healthy and nutritious food, avocados are often used in many meals like scrambled eggs, guacamole, and salads. They contain important fatty acids and vitamin E, which can help strengthen our joints.
Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, avocados also contain other beneficial compounds that can help heal damaged cartilage and prevent joint damage. One serving of avocados can help decrease LDL cholesterol and raise HDL.
7. Red Peppers
Red peppers are known to contain Vitamin C, which can help strengthen your bones and joints. In addition, vitamin C can help produce collagen and keep cartilage cells from deteriorating.
For people who are prone to osteoarthritis, red peppers can help prevent this condition. A half-cup of red peppers can provide you with about 75 mg of vitamin C.
Although lentils and beans may be often associated with bloating and gas, these nutritious food items among the pulse family are actually part of a healthy diet that can help lower inflammation. They are filled with fiber and protein, which can help lower the risk of developing chronic conditions. Eating these nutritious food items also provide a great alternative to red meat.
Consuming lentils and beans can help lower inflammation, as they contain magnesium, which can help reduce the severity of the condition. A meta-analysis conducted in 2022 revealed that taking magnesium supplements can help reduce various inflammatory markers. Other food items such as chickpeas, black beans, lima beans, and red lentils also contain anti-inflammatory magnesium.
Nuts and seeds are known to be beneficial for joint health due to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. A study from 2016 revealed that regular nut consumption can help improve the appearance of inflammatory markers.
Nuts are also known to contain high levels of omega-3 and other nutrients like antioxidants and fiber. They are a great source of plant-based and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Although nuts can be a healthy addition to your diet, the AHA suggests that you should limit your intake to a small handful per day. Whole nuts can also be substituted for 2 to 3 tablespoons of nut butter. To keep your sodium intake to a normal level, try and choose unsalted varieties.
Known to contain anti-inflammatory properties, berries such as blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries have high levels of antioxidants. These fruits also contain anthocyanins which can reduce inflammation.
Getting active and losing weight are two of the most important factors that people with arthritis consider when it comes to managing their condition. However, food also plays a role, and a study revealed that compounds found in berries can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by knee arthritis.
11. Green Tea
One of the most consumed beverages worldwide is green tea. Because of its potential to benefit one's health, the effects of this drink are the subject of extensive research.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause discomfort and have adverse effects. The compounds found in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties, and they can complement nutritional therapy.
Pineapples contain bromelain, which can help decrease swelling and pain in people with arthritis. They can also be used as a part of a healthy diet by adding them to stir-fries, fruit salad, or even a smoothie.
Although bromelain can be taken as a supplement, it should be noted that it can increase the likelihood of bleeding. It can also interact with other drugs, such as blood thinners. If you’re taking any blood thinners, your doctor will let you know of any foods you should avoid.
Besides adding flavor to your favorite dishes, onions also contain various nutrients that can help lower inflammation. They're low in calories and have virtually no fat!
One of the most powerful sources of flavonoids in onions, as they help remove free radicals from the body. One of the compounds found in them, quercetin, can inhibit the production of certain chemicals that can cause inflammation, such as histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins. It can also help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties similar to onions. Its compounds function similarly to ibuprofen and aspirin. This versatile root can be used in a variety of ways, and it can add flavor to stir-fries, seafood, or even acorn squash soup.
Although ginger can help reduce inflammation, it's important to consult a doctor before taking it. It can cause blood to thin, which could be dangerous if you're taking certain medications, such as warfarin. In addition, taking too much ginger can cause blood sugar levels to drop, which could lead to hypoglycemia.
15. Olive Oil
In addition to being full of healthy fats, olive oil also contains a compound that can help prevent arthritis from developing. This compound, known as oleocanthal, can block the inflammatory pathways of ibuprofen and aspirin, two commonly used medications to treat arthritis pain. Whenever you cook the next time, try adding in some olive oil to your cooking oil mixture!
Olive oil can help you lose weight to reduce your arthritis. However, keep in mind that all of the fat, including healthy fat such as olive oil, is high in calories. To get the most antioxidants, choose extra virgin olive oil.
Favorite Joint-Friendly Foods
Now that you are more familiar with some of the best foods to keep your joints healthy, which ones do you see yourself incorporating into your diet? Possibly a new smoothie or soup recipe?