Are you suffering from nagging joint pain that would just refuse to go away? Age-related muscular and bone degeneration is the bitter truth of life. One cannot really outdo it; however, a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet may help delay its onset. Our bones, joints, cartilage and the connective tissues are subjected to great pressure and are highly prone to wear and tear. If you happen to have been experiencing joint pain lately, it is imperative to investigate the underlying reason and seek medical help immediately. In general, joint pain can be the outcome of any of the following:
- Excessive weight gain that puts pressure on the weight bearing joints
- Inadequate vitamin D and calcium levels
- Previous injury
- Lack of exercise
- Conditions like arthritis, etc
- Over-exertion on a particular joint
Apart from the above mentioned reasons, your diet can also make your body respond in a manner that could lead your joints to hurt. Food items that can trigger inflammation may cause trouble in people prone to joint issues. "An allergy or intolerance to particular foods could be a contributing factor to joint pain. Pinpointing the culprit foods can be difficult, but common suspects include dairy products, eggs and cereals. Scientific evidence suggests that a diet deficient in antioxidants, particularly vitamins A,C and E and the mineral selenium may also predispose some people to joint problems," as mentioned in Maggie Pannell's book The Detox Cookbook and Health Plan. Excessive consumption of processed food items and sugar has often been tied to triggering joint issues.
Excessive consumption of sugar has been tied to triggering joint issues; Image credit: Istock
"Refined and processed items, carbs, trans and saturated fats are known to raise the inflammatory response instantly," said Dr. Ritika Sammadar, Chief Nutritionist at Max Super Specialty, Saket in Delhi.
While regular physical activity, medication and physiotherapy may help manage your pain and keep it in control, your diet will certainly make a world of a difference. Take a look at the list of foods mentioned below, these must be a part of your regular diet to stave off or manage joint pain -
"People with joint issues and inflammation are asked not to have lot of grains, but millet flours are excellent for them," noted Anshul Jaibharat, a Delhi-based weight-management and diet expert. "Buckwheat is highly nutritious and also gluten-free. It contains quercetin that has anti-inflammatory properties," according to Dorling Kindersley's 'Healing Foods'.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Foods rich in omega 3 - including fish, nuts, dairy and eggs - are excellent for treating joint pain. Their anti-inflammatory properties work like magic.
3. Herbs and Spices
Ingredients like turmeric, ginger, coriander, onions, dill, and lemon among others are all excellent for joint inflammation.
4. Fruits and Berries
Apples, apricots, cranberries are some of the top foods that can bring relief to your aching, inflamed joints. "Fruits are loaded with antioxidants that help the body get rid of cell-damaging free radicals and suppress inflammation. Avoid oranges as they may make some arthritis pain worse," according to Dorling Kindersley's 'Healing Foods'.
Yogurt's soothing, cooling and anti-inflammatory properties are apt to tackle inflammation. It is also an excellent source of calcium for healthier, stronger bones.
Diet can just be a part of managing joint pain. Get in touch with a medical expert to zero down on your condition and to device ways to manage it best.