Healthy Nutrition for Flexible Joints
Victoria Shanta Retelny, R.D.
When your joints are happy, you don't even know they're there. But if they are inflamed with arthritis, the condition can be painful and debilitating. Although the first line of defense for arthritis is medication, research is unfolding about the effects of diet on joint health. "Managing arthritis is about lifestyle and overall diet pattern coupled with quality medical treatment by a rheumatologist," explains
Lifestyle changes to promote healthy joints. These diet and lifestyle changes may help soothe arthritis symptoms.
Fruits and veggies
Certain plant foods have been deemed "anti-inflammatory," as they can ease the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis (OA.) A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that a plant-based diet of fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale, along with alliums such as garlic, onions, and leeks, showed some improvement with OA of the hip. Eating fruits and vegetables not only keeps body weight in a healthy range, but a compound in alliums, called diallyl disulphide, appears to fend off degrading protein enzymes present with OA.
Ginger has been a topical remedy for alleviating arthritis symptoms for thousands of years in
Potent plant compounds in green tea leaves called catechins, specifically epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that appear to stave off oxidative damage in joints. A 2010 review in
Dietary patterns that show promise in lowering inflammation, according to a 2010 review in the
Fish oil, specifically the omega-3 fatty acids
Physical activity is one of the cornerstones for keeping joints healthy and happy, as well as keeping weight in check. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity such as walking, running, biking, dancing, and strength training each week.
Living with Arthritis
More than 46 million adults live with some form of arthritis--the main cause of disability in people over age 55, according to the
Although the causes for RA are still a mystery, experts suspect genetics, infections, and cigarette smoking may be factors.
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