Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Joint Pain Relief
Anti-inflammatory foods play a crucial role in alleviating joint pain and reducing inflammation. They are an essential diet for individuals suffering from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.
I know you must be familiar with this popular advert: “Doctor abi Good Cook, na who you go pay? OMEGA the Good Cook, na him I go pay”. Have you ever wondered why we are always advised to take Fruits and specific types of food when we fall sick, sustain injuries, have fractures, and especially when feel pains in any of our joints? If you haven’t, this article is for you.
First of all, what are Joints?
What are Joints?
Joints are the parts of the body where the bones meet. They allow the bones of the skeleton to move. Joints can be found in the Hips, Elbows, Shoulders, Knees, Wrists, Ankles, etc.; just like the Muscles and Tissues in the body, we also feel pain in the Joints.
What is Joint Pain?
Joint pain is discomfort, soreness, and aches in any body joint. Joint pain often occurs due to the damage caused by normal wear and tear in the body’s muscles. This is usually a result of extreme stress, tension, anxiety, or being overweight. Sometimes, it can also occur due to an injury or illness. Joint pain is common and usually felt in the Hands, Feet, Knees, Wrists, Hips, ankles, or Spine. The pain may be fleeting (it comes and goes) or constant. Most times, the Joint can feel stiff, achy, or sore.
Also Read: Safe Excercise for Seniors.
A lot of people think that Joint pain is associated with old people or those advanced in age exclusively. They feel that youths or young people should never complain of Joint pain as they are young, strong, and healthy. This is SO WRONG! Though age is a factor, Joint pain is a common complaint. As long as you have bones in your body, whether you are a toddler, a child, a teenager, an adult, or a grandpa/grandma, Joint pain is an inevitable occurrence.
It doesn’t always require a hospital visit. In some cases, especially the extreme cases, you will need to see a Doctor, usually if:
- The area around the Joint is swollen, red, tender, or warm to the touch.
- The pain persists for three days or more.
- There is painful movement or difficulty in bending or straightening the Joint.
- There is a loss of motion/movement, and
- There is a noisy grinding, clicking, or snapping sound when moving the Joint.
But in other cases, which are more common, the following activities will suffice:
- Pain Relief Medicine (Pain Relievers) or anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen or Tylenol
- Light exercise or stretching of the body’s Joints
- Tropical Treatments, such as Ointments or Gels that can be rubbed on the skin over the affected joint area
- Apply ice on the affected joint area or soak it in warm water.
At this juncture, you might be thinking, “Do I really have to take drugs, exercise, or buy ointments every time I feel pains in my Joints? Is there no other remedy or something better I can take or use?” Well… FEAR NOT, dear reader, I have GOOD NEWS for you.
Do you know that doctors have discovered that one of the best ways to relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation is not found in the medicine cabinet but in the refrigerator? Can you guess what it is? You’re thinking of ICE, right? WRONG!!! It’s an anti-inflammatory diet, .i.e., a diet made up of anti-inflammatory foods. So… what are Anti-inflammatory foods, and what do they do?
Anti-inflammatory foods are foods that strengthen connective tissues and build greater bone density. They help reduce Joint inflammation, preserve joints, improve overall Joint health, and offer a natural relief for Joint pain. Anti-inflammatory include:
Many Fruits contain powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body, which aids in relieving Joint pain. They include Tomatoes, which contain the antioxidant Lycopene that provides improvements in physical health; Blueberries, which contain flavonoids that turn off the inflammatory response in your body; and Pineapples, which contain a strong element called Bromelain, known to relieve Joint pain that comes with Rheumatoid, Arthritis, and Osteoarthritis. Others include oranges, cherries, avocados, grapes, and strawberries.
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts contain healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, known to fight inflammation and help reduce it in your connective tissues and joints. They include Walnuts, Almonds, Pine Nuts, Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds.
Fatty and Coldwater Fish
Fatty Fish and Coldwater Fish are also excellent Omega-3 fatty acids and protein sources. These nutrients reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions. They include Sardine, Herring, Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel and Trout.
Cruciferous and Green Leafy Vegetables
They have been discovered to block enzymes that result in swelling of the Joints. They also contain a great dose of vitamins and minerals. They include Brussels, Spinach, Water Leaf, Collards, Broccoli, Sprouts, and Cauliflower.
They are aromatic, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and can aid in boosting joint health. They can also be added to meals for extra flavor. They include Onions, Turmeric, Garlic, Pepper and Ginger.
Beverages such as coffee and Green Tea contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that drinking Green Tea reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils contain anthocyanins, a flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation. They also provide a great source of essential minerals, fiber, and protein. They include Black Beans, Soy Beans, Chickpeas, and Pinto Beans.
They help to counteract inflammation and reduce Joint pain. They include Whole Wheat, Whole Oats, Barley and Rye.
Monounsaturated Fats are also known as healthy fats. They are the best type of fats. Examples include olive oil, nuts, butter, etc. Olive Oil is a healthy fat, packed with information fighting Omega-3s. Studies suggest that consuming refined Olive Oil, especially Extra Virgin Olive Oil, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, brain cancer, and other serious health conditions.
Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
They contain antioxidants that counteract inflammation and aid in relieving Joint pain. These antioxidants, known as Flavanols, help preserve the endothelial cells that line your arteries and keep them healthy. They also aid in reducing the risk of disease and lead to healthier aging.
Researchers have discovered that a lower risk of numerous health conditions, including heart and blood vessel problems and chronic diseases such as diabetes, has been linked to eating anti-inflammatory foods over time. They are cheaper and the most natural and healthiest method of relieving Joint pain.
However, you should see your doctor if you have any unexplained Joint pain, especially if it doesn’t go away on its own after a few days, despite the pain relievers and anti-inflammatory foods you consumed.