Being a former ballet dancer, I have seriously abused my knees such that, later in life, they can sometimes hurt. So I’m writing a post on how to be kind to your knees in everyday life.
According to noted Tai Chi master Michael Chou of Los Angeles, CA, improper use of or failure to use the knees is one of the primary causes of back pain, leg pain and joint pain in the lower body. In a recent workshop, Chou explained that the knees form a major part of the body’s shock absorption system, and that proper use of the knees prevented excessive strain on the other joints and the spine.
He also pointed out that most people bend over at the waist when picking something up off the ground rather than bending the knees to get closer to the ground. Because the knee joints are such a vital part of the body’s structural system, it’s important to consciously use them as much as possible. More importantly, the knees tend to deteriorate from lack of use. Chou added that one should use the knees frequently — or eventually lose the use of them at all! Use ’em or lose ’em.
If you are like me and have already abused your knees, nutrition is one natural way to address any knee pain you might experience. According to health expert Jason Theodosakis, M.D, there are foods you can add to your diet to support joint health? And when talking about joint health, consider this doesn’t just mean the point where the two bones come together. It also includes cartilage, the tissue between the joint bones, tendons, the tissue that connects muscles to bones, ligaments, the tissue that connects bones to other bones, and synovium, the lubricant fluid that protects from bones rubbing each other. To keep your joints working for you and keeping you active and mobile, just doing the right type exercise and making sure you are eating foods that help keep joints strong can make a big difference.
Joint Friendly Diet
Fruits and vegetables are an especially important part of a joint friendly diet as they provide you with antioxidants to fight off free radicals that can be damaging to joints. Make sure for joint health that you are particularly including the antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. Antioxidants like wheat sprouts and nutrients that stimulate your body to produce stem cells both help joint mobility and decrease pain. Natural nutrition is a better solution than over-the-counter inflammatory drugs, which can suppress healing and cause side effects, such as stomach ulcers. Good food sources for vitamin A include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes, butternut squash, and asparagus. For vitamin C make sure you are eating foods such as grapefruit, papaya, oranges, mangoes, berries, broccoli, red peppers and asparagus. Vitamin E can be added to the diet by eating foods such as avocados, whole grain bread and cereal, peanut butter and seeds such as sunflower. And selenium can be found in salmon, Brazil nuts, oatmeal and brown rice.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another component of a joint health diet as these can help with swelling and joint pain especially for people with arthritis. Research studies have reported that supplementation with omega-3 has led to participants being able to use less NSAID’s to control their joint pain. Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna are good sources of omega-3 as are green veggies, nuts, seeds, and AFA bluegreen algae. Olive oil will not only give you another way to get omega-3 fatty acids, but the University of Catania in Italy has reported findings in animal studies that using extra virgin olive oil helped produce more lubricin which is a protein in the synovial fluid that lubricates joints.
If your lifestyle just doesn’t support your getting all the antioxidant providing foods you need, a wholefood supplement may be called for.
Glucosamine supplements have been found effective in keeping cartilage healthy and supporting joint health. Healthy joints naturally have glucosamine and chondroitin in the cartilage. This glucosamine algae supplement also gives you chondroitin, and UC-II® undenatured collagen to nourish joints and their supporting tissues. Another supplement option that has been found in research to be effective with controlling joint pain and inflammation is orange peel extract. This is due to the nobiletin which is a bioflavonoid found in it. To get some of this from real oranges be sure to leave the white layer on the orange when peeling it or use the whole orange with the peel on to grind up in a smoothie type drink.
Remember to be kind to your knees and they will be kind to you!
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