Most people experience pain in their joints periodically. However, when acute joint pain becomes more regular or lasts longer than a couple of days, it is a good idea to see a doctor and make lifestyle or dietary changes to mitigate the risk of chronic joint pain.
Suppose you already have chronic joint pain when you wake up or experience stiffness and pain in your joints throughout the day. In that case, you may consider choosing foods to help reduce inflammation, build bone dentistry, and strengthen connective tissue, which can help you prevent injuries and support and preserve your joint health for a prolonged and active life.
We will discuss some causes and symptoms of joint pain and ways to improve joint health and reduce pain through dietary changes.
Causes Of Joint Pain
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain and tends to affect the commonly used joints in the hands, knees, hips, wrists, and feet.
Joint pain can also be caused by:
- Bursitis, inflammation around the joints
- Some infectious diseases like hepatitis, influenza, or mumps
- Chondromalacia of the patella, which is a breakdown of the cartilage
- Infection of the bone or joint
Symptoms Of Joint Pain
The most common symptoms of joint pain include:
- Swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmth around the joint
- Mobility of the joint impacted
- Pain in and around the joint
Consult with an orthopedic doctor to help determine the cause of your joint pain and create a plan to get you moving again.
Best Foods For Those With Joint Pain
We will list ten foods that can help improve joint mobility and reduce joint pain.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids/Fish Oils
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for the health of the human body. Omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes called polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are proven to reduce inflammatory proteins in the body, improve brain function, reduce inflammation and lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in cold-water fish like salmon, trout, tuna, halibut, and sardines and can also be taken as a daily fish oil supplement.
2. Seeds and Nuts
The great news is if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can get your Omega-3s from various seeds and nuts. Including a small amount of almonds, flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, or pine nuts in your daily regime can help reduce inflammation in the connective tissue and joints.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Along with your daily intake of vegetables, you should include a half cup of a cruciferous vegetable every day, like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, cabbage, or kale. Cruciferous vegetables are nutritional powerhouses full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, and they contain an antioxidant compound called sulforaphane that blocks an enzyme that causes joint pain and inflammation.
4. Colorful Fruits
While fruits may have more sugar, they are also full of antioxidants. Certain types of fruits are found to be more effective than others in helping reduce inflammation in the body.
The best fruits to eat include:
- Blueberries contain high amounts of anthocyanins, a powerful flavonoid to help turn off inflammatory responses in the body.
- Apples are fiber-rich, anti-inflammatory fruit with added benefits for your gut health.
- Pineapples contain bromelain, a nutrient that helps reduce pain caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- Tomatoes (yes, they are a fruit!) contain an antioxidant known as lycopene that helps reduce inflammation. Cooked tomatoes are high in lycopene than uncooked and consuming the skin will give you the highest benefits.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil, a staple in the Mediterranean diet, is an unsaturated healthy fat and a source of Omega-3 and can easily be added to your salad or used for cooking.
6. Beans and Lentils
Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and essential minerals and have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and pinto beans are excellent sources of anthocyanins, a flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation.
7. Garlic, Turmeric, and Onion
Turmeric, garlic, and onions are flavorful and have anti-inflammatory properties that help treat the symptoms of arthritis and issues that cause joint pain. They are all also available as a supplement.
8. Whole Grains
Research shows that refined grains like white rice, white bread, or pasta may trigger inflammation in the body. However, whole high-fiber grains help produce fatty acids that help counteract inflammation, so if you are going to eat grains, eat whole grains.
The best grains for arthritis include whole oats, barley, rye, and whole wheat, according to the Arthritis Foundations.
9. Bone Broth
Bone broth is packed with nutrients, including glucosamine, chondroitin, and amino acids which are well documented to support healthy joints. Bone broth is a gelatin-like substance that mimics collagen, which occurs naturally in our joints, tendons, and ligaments. People with arthritis who take bone broth regularly have experienced a reduction in joint pain and improved function.
10. Dark Chocolate
Yummy! Chocolate contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The higher the percentage of chocolate, the higher its anti-inflammatory effects, so choose at least 70% cocoa.
Foods To Avoid
Some foods commonly cause inflammation in the body includes:
- Sugars and refined grains, including white bread, pasta, and white rice
- Trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil
- Omega-6 fatty acids are often found in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, and vegetable oil
- Processed foods
- Check ingredients in salad dressings, mayonnaise, and other condiments
- Too much salt causes fluid retention and swelling
We Can Help You With Your Joint Pain
At Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, our expert doctors and staff have extensive experience diagnosing, preventing, and treating various conditions and sports injuries. If you are experiencing pain in your joints, knees, hips, back, hands, or other areas, we can help you. Contact us today to book an appointment.