As a therapy team, we have lots of our patients that will have a pre-existing joint problem; alongside generic joint pain and stiffness, the more common conditions include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to VerusArthritis, approximately 10 million people in the UK alone have Arthritis. It affects a wide range of age groups, including children and teenagers. However, we tend to see Arthritis, mostly in older people.
As part of managing joint health in these conditions, regular exercise is an integral lifestyle habit. However, one of the vastly underrated parts of improving joint health is diet and nutrition. Some of the most simple changes or additions to your diet can yield changes in joint stiffness, pain and disability.
We have devised our must eat, joint nourishing foods that we recommend to all our patients.
Number one in this list is eating a couple of fish portions each week. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it is packed full of inflammation-fighting omega - 3 fatty acids.
Excellent fish sources to opt for include: salmon, tuna and sardines. If you're not a fan of fish, the next best thing is to invest in a good quality fish oil supplement and take between 600-1000mg a day.
Research has shown that taking a regular fish oil supplement can decrease joint pain, swelling and morning stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. With another study showing that after eight weeks of regular fish intake, helped menopausal women with their joint pain.
Another joint nourishing food to consider when looking to improve and maintain good joint health is consuming dairy.
Foods such as yoghurt, milk and cheese are full of calcium which is historically known to maintain a healthy bone structure. Dairy is also full of Vitamin D; a vitamin that over 1 billion people worldwide don't get enough. It is responsible for maintaining bone structure by helping with the absorption of calcium and bolstering our immune system.
If dairy doesn't agree with you, don't despair, you can rely upon a good quality calcium and vitamin D supplement to make up any shortfall from whole foods. Aim to consume ten micrograms a day. Please do not take more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
Don't forget that getting sunlight exposure is also a great way to topping up your vitamin D levels!
Our third "go to" fruit for joint health is berries, In particular, strawberries, blueberries and cherries. These may be small, but they are powerful in delivering antioxidants to the body, which are great at lowering inflammatory markers. Not to mention they go well in a breakfast smoothie or as a healthy snack to curb sugar cravings!
Research has shown that these dark coloured berries contain anthocyanins; a healthy plant pigment which gives fruit and vegetables their deep red, purple or blue hues can reduce inflammation markers within the body. Berries are also known to contain quercetin; a compound found to block some of the inflammatory processes associated with Arthritis.
So be sure to eat your five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Be as consistent as you can for best results, and ensure to vary your food choices to get the best blend of vitamins and minerals for your body.
As Peter Kay once hailed "Garlic bread...it's the future!"
We think he makes a good point!
A test-tube study showed that a specific garlic component could decrease some inflammatory markers associated with Arthritis. Studies have shown that people who regularly ate foods from the allium family – such as garlic, onions and leeks – showed fewer signs of early osteoarthritis. Researchers believe the compound diallyl disulphine found in garlic may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in humans.
Either add some chopped garlic to your spaghetti bolognese or using a blend of foods on this list; add some garlic and prawns into a vegetable stir fry for a definite joint boosting meal!
Some Others to Consider...
The list is rather extensive for foods that can improve joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Some other research-proven foods include:
Dark Chocolate - The higher percentage Cocoa, the better as cocoa has excellent antioxidant properties. However, ensure the sugar content is low here or if you don't mind the bitter taste, opt for cocoa nibs as our best alternative!
Nuts and Seeds - In particular, Pine Nuts, Walnut, Almonds, Flax and Chia seeds. These contain lots of essential fatty acids that, similar to fish, can help provide the nutrients your joints need to stay healthy.
Curcumin - Found in the spice Tumeric, also has anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to cook your weekly curry, and yes, add the garlic too!
We hope you find these nutrition tips helpful for joint pain. We can also help those who feel they need some added advice.
At Namix Performance, we have an expert team of therapists that treat common joint, bone and muscle conditions. We offer both online and in-person services and are dedicated to helping all our patients reach their goals.