Disease, wear and tear, and even our diet can affect the health of our joints. Since we rely on our joints for mobility and flexibility, tending to their care is essential. Keep reading to learn how to improve joint health.
How To Improve Joint Health
Here are a few things to consider when it comes to improving joint health:
- What we eat affects our joint health
- Movement affects our joint health
- Preventing disease affects our joint health
- Our diets can influence the health of our joints
In the same way, we eat to nourish our bodies, we can use food to help keep our joints healthy. Foods that reduce inflammation can help our joints stay strong and flexible and reduce pain from swelling.
Eat foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation.
Some common foods high in Omega 3s are:
- Salmon, Mackerel, Oysters, Herring, Sardines, Anchovies
- Walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed
- Olive oil and ghee
Eating to keep your joints healthy should also include foods that support the surrounding tissues.
Our joints work in conjunction with our bones, ligaments, and muscles. Eating well to support the other structures of the body just makes sense.
Foods high in calcium and Vitamin D are great for healthy bones.
You can easily achieve the daily recommended calcium amount by eating more of these foods:
- Amaranth grain
- Apricots (dried)
- Baked beans
- Bok choy
- Brazil nuts
- Kidney beans
- Sesame seeds
- Spring greens
Exercise Improves Joint Health
We need healthy joints for performance, especially during exercise. It’s hard to know which comes first, healthy joints for movement or movement for healthy joints, but they do go hand-in-hand.
Healthy bodies free from joint pain and disease benefit from regular exercise. Without restrictions, our bodies stay healthier when we keep our muscles and joints working through moderate exercise.
Aerobic exercise and strength training help to keep joints functioning properly. If you do suffer from pain or disease, low-impact exercise is absolutely necessary!
Yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen without jarring the joints. It uses body weight to tone muscle and increases flexibility. Since many poses can be lying down there is much less impact on joints. Focusing on large muscle groups can help avoid pain in smaller joints as well.
Preventing Joint Disease like Arthritis is Key
Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling and pain in the joints.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the body which refers to the general wear and tear on joints that leads to the wearing away of cartilage. Though arthritis is considered a joint-related disease, it can affect other areas of the body.
Preventing arthritis is an important way to prevent joint pain and reduced mobility.
How to Improve Joint Health – best prevention methods:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Do not ignore joint pain
- Give yourself a massage
- Keeping a consistent exercise plan
- Eat well to reduce inflammation
Proper diet, exercise, and massaging joints with a high-quality Ayurvedic herbal massage oil are the keys to keeping our flexibility.
Ayurveda is a complete medical system that offers dietary suggestions, Ayurvedic herbal support, and body therapies and remedies to improve health and well-being
How To Give Yourself a Massage for Joint Health
Use Food to Reduce Joint Pain and Stiffness
For more information on foods that can help with joint pain, read How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation – Foods That Cause and Cure Chronic Inflammation
Foods Ideal For Collagen Production to Improve Joint Health
There is a lot of information out there about foods that support collagen production. Start with foods that tend to be higher in collagen.
Bone broth is said to be one of the highest resources for collagen. Its made by simmering the bones and connective tissues from animals in water and seasonings.
Since the bones are infused with collagen and other vital nutrients that promote collagen production it is said to be a fast-track source of collagen production for the body.
If you don't have the desire or time to make your own bone broth, this is the next best thing. It's made with grass-fed bones and organic veggies and spices for the highest collagen yield.
Eggs are a complete food. Though they aren’t technically made of connective tissue, they do have a significant amount of proline which is one of the amino acids needed to produce collagen.
Since eggs are so versatile it’s easy to incorporate them into nearly any diet.
Poultry meat, especially chicken, is considered a favorite for collagen production. Chicken has a lot of connective tissue that can be cooked and consumed enhancing the production of collagen in the body.
Collagen Supplements Support Collagen Production Too
Supplements are another way to support collagen production.
There are a variety of studies that show supplementing collagen can help boost collagen production which helps increase skin elasticity, reduce fine facial lines, as well as reduce pain in your joints.
It’s important to find reputable sources for collagen supplements to be certain you are getting the right quality.
Look for ingredients derived from grass-fed cows, free of sugars, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
Collagen supplements can be powdered or in capsules, but I've found powders to work best because they are better absorbed.
Collagen is an essential part of healthy skin, bones, muscles…and joints.
Increasing your collagen intake can help you keep the cartilage and connective tissues healthy in your joints, making sure you stay mobile and pain-free.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Help Reduce Inflammation
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish and other seafood. They are a perfect anti-inflammatory food source.
Omega supplements can also be used if seafood isn’t easily available or preferable.
Many people don't like taking fish oil supplements because of the unpleasant fishy burps. But you can still get all the benefits from inflammation-fighting fish oil with these Omega 3-6-7-9 Gummies from Mary Ruth. They have great taste with ZERO fish flavor.
Secondary to fatty fish are nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds are an excellent way to increase your intake of omega 3’s. Walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and chia seeds are great for reducing inflammation in joints and other connective tissue.
Cruciferous Vegetables Help Reduce Inflammation
While all vegetables are amazing, some are excellent for reducing inflammation. Cruciferous vegetables are perfect for fighting joint pain.
Leafy green vegetables like mustard greens, arugula, and purple cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are excellent choices. Adding these vegetables regularly to your diet can help ease pain and reduce swelling.
Use the Right Cooking Oil to Reduce Inflammation
Not all oils are the same. Some oils contribute to inflammation while others reduce it. Vegetable, peanut, and sunflower oils can lead to swelling and pain in the joints.
Stick with olive oil to help reduce inflammation and help keep your food tasting great. Olive oil is unsaturated fat that you can use for cooking, salad dressings, or a dip for your favorite vegetables. Try to find the least processed oil for maximum benefits.
Prevention! Avoiding Injuries Altogether
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – Benjamin Franklin
Wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid injury altogether? To some extent you can. Prevention goes a long way when it comes to managing our joints.
There is plenty that can be done to keep ourselves from hurting our joints and with some simple precautions. Be sure to:
- Listen to your body
- Eat an anti-inflammation diet
- Wear proper shoes
- Use braces or wraps
- Rest when injured
Listen To Your Body
Whether you are working in the yard or training to run a marathon your body will let you know when it has reached its limit.
Pay close attention to what your body is saying. Pushing your body past its limit could have consequences. Be sure you are stopping when your body has had enough. There’s a line between building stamina and causing injury.
Listen to what your body is saying and modify or cease when it’s reached a limit.
Choose Shoes Wisely
Wearing proper shoes can make all the difference. From walking on the day-to-day to running, there is a perfect shoe for every occasion.
Ankles, knees, hips all feel the impact when you choose bad shoes. Making sure your footwear is appropriate and supportive can make all the difference. Shoes are not treated the same. Be sure to do research and make sure the shoes you buy have the best materials and design for your joints.
Brace Yourself For Impact
Many joints can be protected by braces or wraps. From ankles, knees, wrists, to most other joints, you can protect them if you are prone to injury. Braces and wraps can be purchased over the counter or be specially customized if necessary.
Get Plenty of Rest
Your body needs rest…even when you don’t feel joint pain. Making sure you get plenty of rest can help joints recover from strenuous activity or simply rebound from a busy day.
Soak in a hot tub, use ice, elevate, and give your body plenty of rest to prevent degeneration, illness, or injuries.
I've bought a lot of salt for soaking over the years but swear by this mineral bath salt with pure essential oils & MSM.
Preventing joint issues isn’t that hard. Pay close attention to your body and do what’s best each and every day. Use proper equipment and don’t forget to rest. Many injuries are preventable with some simple precautions and your body will be sure to thank you for taking the extra care.