What causes joint pain?
Joint pain can appear as stiffness and tenderness in your joint, and it can impact on your movement.
There are several different causes of joint pain including: infection, injury, tumours or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Sprains and strains are frequently incurred joint injuries. Sport can put pressure on your joints and over time this can cause wear and tear of your cartilage. Arthritis is common in the elderly as their joints become worn.
Nutritional advice to avoid joint pain
Arthritis can be effected by what you eat. Here we discuss the foods that will help keep your joints healthy and pain free.
Eat a nutritious and balanced diet
If you have arthritis it’s important to eat a nutritious and balanced diet so that your body has all the nutrients it needs to function well. You need to have a variety of foods including:
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, cereals, pasta and potatoes
- meat, fish and alternatives such as eggs and beans
- milk and dairy foods
- fats and sugar containing foods.
Keep to a healthy weight
Eating a nutritious diet will help you to maintain a healthy weight.
If you carry too much weight, it places excess pressure and strain on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet. This can lead to pain and mobility problems.
Losing weight can help reduce this pressure and help you cope with arthritis.
Eat omega 3’s
Omega-3s can help keep your joints healthy as well as lower inflammation, a cause of joint pain and tenderness in people with arthritis. An omega-3-rich diet can be achieved by eating: salmon (wild, fresh, or canned), herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, walnuts, seaweed, and soybeans. You can also try fish oil capsules.
Cook with extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil has a high antioxidant content and properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Use it to cook with rather than other oils or butter.
Get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong
Calcium and vitamin D can help you achieve healthy strong bones. Having adequate amounts of vitamin D reduces your risk of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Dairy products are the best sources of calcium. Green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale are also a good source of calcium.
Vitamin D is found in cod liver oil, tuna canned in water, sardines canned in oil, beef or calf liver, egg yolks and cheese. Often you will get vitamin D from being in the sun during the summer months. Supplements are available if you struggle to consume enough calcium and vitamin D.
Vamp up your vitamin C intake
Getting the right amount of vitamin C helps to prevent inflammatory arthritis, whilst maintaining healthy joints in people who have osteoarthritis.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, are rich in vitamin C. It’s also found in peppers, strawberries, pineapples, broccoli, kale, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts.
Bring on the beans
Beans are packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They can help lower CRP (a substance that increases in the presence of inflammation in the body), keep you full on less calories and improve your muscle strength.
Time for tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that reduces inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Sipping green tea throughout the day can also help you to keep hydrated without calories.
Snack on nuts
Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds are excellent sources of protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, fibre and immune-boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA). They can help reduce arthritis symptoms. But don’t forget nuts are high in calories so limit your portion size.
Season with ginger and turmeric
Certain spices, including ginger and turmeric, may have anti-inflammatory effects and may be worth trying.