In my practice I often see patients who are struggling with joint pain. Joints are meant to be flexible and resilient, but your joints can be weak points of your musculoskeletal system. When a joint is forced to take more pressure than it can handle, the result is often painful. Worn cartilage and torn ligaments are injuries that can occur when your joints fail. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to strengthen your joints and your diet and activity is a big part of accomplishing that goal.
We would rather see patients get their joints in good shape before joint replacement is necessary, so here are some foods you can eat that will give your body the ingredients it needs to build healthier bones and joints:
· Fatty fish
· Nuts and seeds
· Olive oil
· Leafy greens
· Bone broth
· Dark chocolate
Your bones are the foundation of your joint strength. Joints like the knee are supported by the network of muscles, ligaments, and tendons that attach muscle to bone and to other muscles. When your bones are healthy, these attachment points become stronger and less likely to fail. To keep your bones as strong as possible, a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D is important since they work together to provide your body with the raw materials it needs to build bone tissue. Dairy products are high in calcium, as are many green vegetables like kale and broccoli.
One of the problems your joints face is that they are under constant attack from free radicals, the invisible, energetic atoms which bombard our bodies every day and are thought to be responsible for the aging process. When free radicals attack your joints, they cause painful inflammation which can get worse over time. Foods high in antioxidants can slow down this constant assault, keeping your joints healthier longer. Some of the more common antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, and E, which can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamins A and C are abundant in almost any fruit you can think of, while Vitamin E can be found in avocados, whole grain products, and peanut butter. Also, the power of garlic, ginger, and turmeric should not be forgotten when it comes to adding flavor to your dishes and reducing inflammation in the joints.