May 27, 2015
Is chronic joint pain bringing you down? Stiff, aching joints can affect all aspects of your life -- from your ability to get around comfortably to your general outlook and mood. While physical therapy and exercise are important factors in optimizing and maintaining your joint health, your diet can have a significant impact, as well. Shop for these five inflammation-fighting foods next time you're at the grocery store. Incorporate them into your daily diet to help naturally ease and alleviate joint pain. 1. Ginger Adding ginger to your meals can act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Ginger helps relieve pain the same way taking an advil or ibuprofen might, only -- it's organic! Slice up some fresh ginger to add to stir fry and pasta dishes, or sprinkle a bit of ground ginger in homemade soups. An added bonus of this super spice: ginger has long been used to treat nausea and promote healthy digestion. If you're feeling queasy, try brewing your own ginger tea by pouring boiling water over fresh slices of ginger. Add a spoonful of honey and some fresh lemon for an extra boost. 2. Olive Oil In addition to its natural anti-inflammatory qualities, olive oil qualifies as a superfood because of its cardiovascular health benefits. When consumed in moderation, the Omega-6 fatty acids found in foods like olive oil can help promote heart health by boosting your blood vessels' natural antioxidant system. Because it's high in calories, use olive oil as a replacement for butter and salad dressing. dressings. For the most nutrient-dense selection, make sure you always choose extra virgin olive oil. 3. Salmon Eating fish that is low in mercury multiple times per week is a healthy choice for a number of reasons. The naturally occurring oils in fish like salmon contribute to healthy brain and heart function, in addition to their joint health benefits. It's the powerful Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon that help improve your blood flow and thus, decrease inflammation. Add salmon to bed of fresh spinach to make a superfood salad, or eat smoked salmon on whole wheat bread for for a quick on-the-go lunch. 4. Broccoli This green vegetable is full of vitamins that help your joints stay mobile and nourished. On top of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K -- broccoli is a great vegetarian source of both calcium and protein. Also, new research shows that the sulforaphanes released from vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower can help prevent osteoarthritis by blocking molecules that cause inflammation. Get your weekly dose of broccoli by adding fresh bunches to a green salad, or steaming it as a side at dinner. 5. Citrus Fruits Start your day with a dose of citrus and immediately benefit from the rejuvenating effects of Vitamin C. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits full of Vitamin C, are packed with natural inflammatory-fighting antioxidants. People struggling with osteoarthritis can benefit from Vitamin C due its collagen repairing qualities. Collagen is essential in your body's natural process of repairing micro-damages to tendons, joints, blood vessels, ligaments, and bones. While eating these fives foods alone are not enough to entirely alleviate your joint pain, consuming a healthy, balanced diet will bring you closer to optimal health and in general, boost your overall wellness. Aim to consume a diet full of colorful fruits and veggies, lean dairies and proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, and you'll be well on your way to feeling and living better.