Living with joint pain can be very debilitating and really interfere with your lifestyle. When painful joints set in, it’s hard to keep up with being active and getting everything done that you want and need to do. So how can you renew those joints, help them rebound from painful inflammation and allow them to flex and be happy joints again? There are some natural strategies that you may find helpful that will allow you to eat your way to happier joints.
Superfoods for Joint Health
Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Food & Mood, is one of the experts that support the philosophy of diet being so important to overall health and how we feel now and in future years. She recommends adding various superfoods to your diet that support overall health with controlling weight and fighting off disease. She also reminds us that we won’t find superfoods in processed and packaged foods. To get superfoods into the diet, you’ll need to seek out the freshest, highest quality real food sources that you can get.
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, broccoli is one of the best foods you can eat for protecting your joints from osteoarthritis. Arthritis occurs from inflammation in the joints and osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis in which the cartilage associated with joints have broken down. A study Dr. Oz cites reports that broccoli has sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, bioactive chemicals that help support your joint health. You also find this combo in broccoli sprouts in even higher levels and also in Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, horseradish and collard greens.
Antioxidant foods are another good addition to the diet to help keep inflammation away that can lead to joint pain. Antioxidants help the body fight off damage caused by free radicals and the cellular oxidation that can occur. They also support the growth and health of your natural adult stem cells that give the body a way to repair damage. Blueberries are high on this list as they are a rich source of antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, vitamin C and potassium. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits are the best way to load up on antioxidant protection and in general the more color one has the higher it will be in antioxidants. Green tea is another good natural source of antioxidants and rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. It is also one of the ingredients in this antioxidant-algae supplement along with wild blueberry, carnosine, and organic wild AFA bluegreen algae.
Omega -3 fatty acids are another component of superfood for joint health. Not only does it help fight off arthritis, but is also good for heart health, mood and brain health. You’ll get omega-3’s from eating foods such as wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, ocean trout, olive, walnut and canola oil, flaxseed, AFA bluegreen algae, and fortified eggs. Flaxseeds also called golden linseeds are an excellent and cost effective way to get more omega-3 in your diet. The oil from these seeds makes a good moisturizer for skin and the seeds can be added to smoothies, dressings for salad, added to cereal or yogurt or ground up to add to foods. Avoid cooking with them however as the heating process strips the nutritional value away.
When considering ways to keep joints healthy, you have to also consider bone health which means calcium and vitamin D. 1000 mg daily of calcium is recommended by the USDA for adults up to age 50 and 1200 mg for adults over the age of 50. Dairy products are of course a good way to get your calcium in, but you can also get it from sardines, tofu, soy, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, turnip greens and foods such as orange juice or cereals that are fortified with calcium. Vitamin D gets the calcium from the intestines and kidneys into the bloodstream. Without this nutrient, even if you get enough calcium, it can just end up leaving the body as waste and not being used to strengthen bones. Cod liver oil, fish such as tuna and salmon, milk fortified with Vitamin D, egg yolks and being outside in the sunshine all are ways to get Vitamin D.
When it comes to fighting off damage from free radicals and stress of cellular oxidation that can lead to inflammation, plant-based enzymes are another food to have on your side. Enzymes are involved in every metabolic process in the body and research findings report positive results on how they affect inflammation, support joint health and combat cellular oxidation. This enzyme and algae supplement gives you the power of bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, along with wild AFA bluegreen algae.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Healthy joints naturally have glucosamine and chondroitin in the cartilage that exists between the joint bones. Studies done on glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have reported they are able to provide relief from joint pain. Be aware however before taking these type of supplements that there are certain medications they don’t mix with like blood thinners. As with any type of supplement, check with your healthcare provider if you are on medications to make sure they are safe for you. Eating vegetables rich in sulfur such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, radishes, garlic and Brussels sprouts also aids in the formation of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin. When looking for supplementation, we like this one that not only has vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, and UC-II® undenatured collagen, but also a dose of AFA bluegreen algae thrown in for extra nutrition.
Keeping your joints healthy and flexible will keep you moving, active and enjoying life. Eating these superfoods can help you accomplish that goal. And when you can’t get in all the superfoods you need, know that there are high quality wholefood supplements available to help fill in the nutritional gaps.
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