Joint pain might be caused by a recent sports injury or most commonly might be related to arthritis. If you suffer from bone or joint pain you know from personal experience that it can be devastating and annoying in daily life. Even though no exact diet has been proven to cure it, studies have shown that certain foods and spices do help patients — working like natural remedies.
5 Fun Facts did some research and found all the things that, when added to a balanced diet, will relieve you from pain and inflammation, strengthen your bones, and overall improve your day-to-day living.
It is commonly known that fruits contain plenty of vitamins that our body craves, especially our immune system. But there’s more than that.
Grapes: Aside from their flavor, grapes, because of a plant compound that they contain which is called proanthocyanidin, reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Citrus fruits: It is commonly known that our body craves vitamin C, especially our immune system. Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C which helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and joint pains.
Cherries: Cherries, and especially unsweetened tart cherry juice, have been shown to have great results in people suffering from osteoarthritis. A study in women with this disease showed that after drinking tart cherry juice for just 3 weeks, their levels of inflammatory markers were reduced and part of their pain was relieved as well.
Our parents used to say, “Eat your veggies!” all the time and they were right. Vegetables are really good for our health.
Spinach: Popeye the Sailor Man loved spinach because it’s both tasty and high in antioxidants. One of its compounds is kaempferol, which has been proven to reduce inflammation, pain, and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
Broccoli: Broccoli contains sulforaphane which helps in joint pain relief and contributes to a decrease in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Maybe now that you know how good it is, you’ll think more of this wonder veggie.
Soy: Soybeans are also beneficial. They are low in fat and rich in protein and fiber, and contain omega-3 fatty acids that help with inflammatory joint pain. This is true for consuming the vegetable itself and not soy-made products which are high in sugar or salt.
Red beans: Red beans are also rich in fiber, which lowers the levels of C-reactive protein just like whole-grain foods. They are also high in protein, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium which all boost our immune system.
Aside from giving that extra flavor to our dishes, spices have many qualities. To harness most of their soothing properties, it’s better to infuse them in water and make a hot or a cold beverage with them.
Saffron or turmeric: These act as anti-inflammatory agents and help to reduce arthritis symptoms. Studies have shown that crocin, which is one of saffron’s main compounds, is shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiproliferative qualities and it’s effective in people suffering from joint pain.
Ginger: A study of ginger’s effects in people who experienced severe knee joint pain showed that after using it for a while, 63% of the patients reported a high relief from the pain.
Garlic: Garlic has miraculous effects when it comes to symptom and disease prevention. Aside from lowering blood pressure and helping heart disease, according to studies, garlic has strong anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and its painful symptoms.
Green tea: Green tea is mostly known for its antioxidant qualities and for boosting metabolism. Moreover, it contains a compound called polyphenolic that is an anti-inflammatory and helps in pain relief. Another study has shown that epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which is also contained in green tea, stops joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Other foods
The list of foods that help in joint pain relief is not limited to fruits, veggies, and spices.
Fish and fish oil: The fatty fish varieties like salmon, tuna, and trout, and their fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids that have been proven to fight inflammation and immediately decrease joint pain. Their high amounts of vitamin D also help in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and similar diseases.
Whole-grain foods: Even though white grain products should be avoided, whole-grain foods like brown pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals, because of their compounds, have been proven to lower the levels of a protein called C-reactive in our blood. This protein is related to several diseases, including arthritis.
Low-fat dairy products: Products like yogurt, milk, and cheese are rich in calcium and vitamin D which both have been proven to strengthen the bones and boost the immune system. They are a great addition to a balanced diet and help with pain relief from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds: All nuts are nutritious, but walnuts, pistachios, and almonds contain really high amounts of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, protein, and alpha-linolenic that boosts the immune system. Specifically, walnuts are high in the omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain.
It’s really amazing how, aside from modern medicine, nature always has our back. Have you ever felt joint pain or any other pain and realized that nature’s help is valuable? Which other foods do you find beneficiary from your experience? Share your stories in the comments.
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for 5FunFacts.com