Let´s keep our joints healthy!

IMG_8898A joint is the connection between two bones.  Joints and their surrounding structures allow you to bend your elbows and knees, wiggle your hips, bend your back,  turn your head.

There are many causes for joint pain – stress, wrong posture, sport injuries, genetics, also diseases like anemia, lupus, bone disorders, various types of cancers, certain types of tumors, thyroid problems, fever, diabetes and muscular disorders.

Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of  joints. The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain.

Imagine your joints as gears on a bicycle. Oil them with the right stuff, and you can ride “forever”.  So what is the best “oil” for us and what can we do?

– Drink lots of water, this goes without saying, our bodies need liquid. Water lubricates your joints and helps reduce joint pain and protect against wear and tear.

– Increase you calcium (chinese cabbage, tofu, ocra, almonds, canned fish), vitamin C (pineapple, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, kale, broccoli, raspberries) and vitamin D (eggs, seafood, orange juice, breakfast cereals, tofu, yogurt.) intake, also try to take flax seed oil, cod liver oil, glucosamine and/or chondroitin  . It´s good to talk to your doctor before buying any of these as supplements!

-Eat foods that contain antioxidant, certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression, and relieve pain (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, sweet potato, peppermint, asparagus, apricots).

Omega-3 Fatty acids (salmon, trout, herring, sardines, anchovies, flax seeds, walnuts)

– Bioflavonoids such quercetin and anthocyanidins are both forms of antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin may be similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications,  such as aspirin and ibuprofen (kale, apricot, onions, cherry tomatoes, black currant, blueberry, cocoa powder, green tea, apples, leeks).

– Don´t over eat. Increased weight on the load-bearing joints like knees, ankles and hips makes you highly susceptible to osteoarthritis.  Eat smaller portions and don’t buy high-calorie foods.

doctorWhat should you avoid:

Salt, preservatives, alcohol, tobacco, dairy products, sugar, preserved carbs, fried and processed foods. I think we should avoid them anyways for our general health as well.

What surprised me is that dairy products may contribute to arthritis pain due to the type of protein they contain.

All too often, we assume joint pain is a normal part of aging that we just have to learn to live with. Nothing could be further from the truth!  There are a lot of treatment options from exercise and alternative supplements to medications and joint replacement surgery.

So I say – every pain is worth looking into! If you are worried, just pick up your phone and make an appointment to see your family doctor.

Sources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Arthritis

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-to-avoid-with-arthritis#1

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/osteoarthritis-diet#1

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/achy-joints.html

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