People often overlook their diet when trying to prevent or manage physical pain. Most people understand that maintaining a healthy weight reduces the amount of stress their joints must endure every day, but did you know that some specific foods may help naturally decrease joint pain? Here we talk about the foods that could improve joint pain (and Ones to Avoid).
Berries and Cherries
The anthocyanin in cherries and berries not only gives them a beautiful purple/red color, but it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is a major cause of joint pain and other osteoarthritis conditions. Eating red and purple fruits will help reduce inflammation and may also protect you from gout, another source of joint pain.
Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables contain the antioxidant sulforaphane, known to reduce inflammation throughout the body. These vegetables are also recommended for anyone living with autoimmune issues, as sulforaphane also supports a healthy immune system.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna, both reduce joint inflammation and help joints stay lubricated. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just not a big fan of fish, you can incorporate more nuts, nut oils, and soy into your diet to obtain the same benefits.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation, and whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and cereals help to reduce CRP levels in the body. High CRP levels are associated with several serious conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and inflammation of the circulatory system.
Switch your cup of morning coffee to a cup of green tea to benefit from powerful anti-inflammatories known as polyphenols. Polyphenols ward off several diseases, among them rheumatoid arthritis.
Foods to Avoid
Don’t worry, preventing joint pain doesn’t require you to give up all of your favorite foods. However, reducing your intake of the following items will help:
- Canned goods
- Deep-fried foods
- Pre-cooked frozen meals
- Corn oil
- Salt and salty foods
Processed foods typically contain the toxin known as “advanced glycation end product,” which causes inflammation. They also contain large amounts of salt, which increases inflammation levels.
If you’re already following an anti-inflammatory diet and have eliminated problematic foods but are still experiencing pain from degenerative disk disease or other joint issues, there is help.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has been shown to improve many orthopedic conditions as well as neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions. Stem cell therapy is not guaranteed to help everyone, and each person should consider the available information before making this important medical decision. If you would like to learn more about foods that could improve joint pain or any of the services we offer here at Stemedix, contact a care coordinator today!