You do not need to dive deep into the health science field to realize that one effect of poor nutrition is causing advanced degenerative damage to your knee. Knee joint pain leads to discomfort as you try to exercise, curtailing efforts to remain fit. It also leads to restricted motion.
However, with the proper nutrition and foods, you can be on your way to improved bone density, better-formed cartilage, and an overall reduction in knee joint inflammation.
Research has shown that some foods put you at a greater risk of knee swelling and inflammation. The ideal diet should have the correct mineral and nutrients combination and avoid foods that lead to weight gain and consequently cause inflammation.
The list of unhealthy foods is extensive. Therefore, as per the Dietary Inflammatory Index Scale, we have simplified it to the foods below, which measures foods that lead to the slightest and most inflammation. The scale is also helpful in selecting food recommendations for cancer prevention and heart disease.
Some of the foods that can aggravate knee joint pain include the listed below:
- Foods containing excessive sugar
- Fried foods
- Processed carbohydrates, white bread, white flour, and white rice
- Processed and red meats like deli meats
What To Eat To Help Keep Your Bones and Joints Strong
Consuming anti-inflammatory diets is significantly helpful to your joints. The desire is to advance in a natural food plan, nearer to the earth and with a reduced percentage of processed foods. At the same time, you should avoid fried foods, charred meat, and trans fats, which lead to increased inflammation.
No particular food is an all-in-one cure supporting your joint health. Eating a balanced diet and exercising are essential to maintaining your joints’ proper and free movement. Below, we highlight seven foods you should include in your diet for better joint health and reduced inflammation.
The crimson color of cherries is from natural plant chemicals known as anthocyanins. Studies have proven that tart cherry juice and fresh cherries can curb inflammation. Some studies have also associated fresh cherries with reduced gout flare-ups.
Other foods you should try include colored fruits like blueberries, pomegranates, and blackberries.
2. Red Pepper
Red pepper has an abundant supply of vitamin C that helps the body synthesize collagen, which is a part of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, that cushion the joints and keep them together.
Other alternative foods with similar properties are pineapple, tomatoes, and citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit.
3. Canned Salmon
Salmon may not be your first choice for foods to turn to for stronger bones, though canned salmon with bones, more particularly, is an ideal consideration.
It packs vitamin D and calcium to help maintain the bones strong. Salmon also has omega-3s, which curb inflammation. Our recommendation is for you to make salmon patties from canned salmon.
Another advantage is that eating salmon can help you avoid barbecued spareribs – the type of foods that fuel joint problems.
If you don’t like salmon, you could also try low or no-fat milk or plain yogurt with high vitamin D and calcium concentrations. Also, try naturally oily fish like sardines and trout for the omega-3s.
Oatmeal and other whole grains are associated with reduced inflammation levels. Refined grains like white flour, on the other hand, have adverse effects.
Though exercising helps strengthen muscles and bones, it also strains your joints. Sports nutritionists say that eating for exercise should not be only about fueling the activity but also healing and recovery following the activities. Instead of going for a biscuit with sausage and cheese, eat oatmeal with yogurt and nuts and fruits instead.
Alternative foods, in this case, include barley, brown rice, and quinoa.
Turmeric has an abundant supply of the chemical curcumin. A study found that a curcumin extract is as efficient as ibuprofen in easing knee pains and aches.
If you are not accustomed to directing usage of turmeric, try using curry powder; turmeric is responsible for the associated orange color.
Ginger and cinnamon are other spices with some degree of anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Walnuts have a high concentration of various nutrients that fight inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids included. Remember that though walnuts may be good for you, they also pack high amounts of calories, so you should restrict yourself to a handful per day.
Foods with similar properties include canola oil and flaxseeds. Both provide omega-3s present in walnuts.
Dark leafy greens such as kale have a rich nutrient supply associated with joint health, such as vitamin C and antioxidants beta-carotene. Some greens like collard greens and kale are also rich in calcium which helps maintain strong bones.
Gout Diet: Foods to Eat
Gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid accumulates, forming crystals in the joints. The body synthesizes uric acid following the breakdown of a substance known as purine, found in various foods.
One thing that can help manage gout is reducing the amount of purine you consume. No particular eating habit will entirely prevent flare-ups, though an excellent gout diet should help you. Here are some tips:
- Set and adhere to healthy eating habits
- Realize healthy body weight
- Add foods to help manage levels of uric acid
It would help if you avoided the following food types:
- Grain liquors(like whiskey and vodka) and beer
- Organ meats like kidneys, liver, and glandular meats such as the pancreas or thymus
- Lamb, pork, and red meat
- High-fructose products such as juices and soda, ice cream, cereal, fast food, and candy.
Also, skip drinks and foods high in purines like wild game, seafood, and organ meat to reduce the chances of arthritis/knee joint pain.
Sports injuries, medical issues, and lifestyle choices can be the leading causes of knee joint pain. Since our health is a reflection of what we eat, improving your diet can help in alleviating your knee joining pain. If you have problems with knee joint pains or inflammation, the above information should guide you on the types of food to avoid and those to embrace to reduce knee joint inflammation.