Maintaining good joint health is critical for our wellbeing. A regular yoga practice can increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, enhance respiratory endurance and promote balance – all things that promote good joint health.

Taking a joint supplement and eating particular foods can also help support and repair cartilage, reduce pain and inflammation, plus increase mobility. Try and incorporate these 5 fantastic ‘healthy joint’ foods into your diet.

Salmon

Not only lovely with cream cheese and capers, salmon is fabulous for your joints as it is rich in one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory compounds – Omega-3 fatty acids. Other oily fish such as tuna, trout, sardines and mackerel are good sources too. If you don’t eat fish try flaxseeds and walnuts.

Turmeric

You probably know of turmeric as the beautiful golden spice used in Indian cooking. What you probably don’t know is that it contains the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin. A clinical study assessed patients with osteoarthritis of the knee taking curcumin for 6 weeks. Compared to a placebo, the people taking curcumin had a significantly greater reduction in pain!

Ginger

As well as being lovely in a stir fry, ginger has been used in Asia for centuries to reduce joint pain and swelling. It contains compounds called gingerols, which have a similar effect to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – helping clamp down on the production of COX-2, a key enzyme in inflammation.

Kale

When our bone health is compromised, so too are the joints connecting the bones – hence the importance of calcium for ensuring strong and healthy joints. Most of us think of milk and other dairy products as the way to get calcium. But kale is loaded with the mineral too. It is also cholesterol-free; much lower in fat and calories than dairy; rich in joint-protecting vitamins A, C and K; and packed with two minerals that joints need to stay robust – copper and manganese.

Almonds

In the short term joint inflammation isn’t bad but when it becomes chronic, the joint tissue becomes vulnerable to oxidative damage from free radicals. Antioxidants are a powerful weapon in the fight against free radicals. Almonds are one of the best vitamin E sources (a potent antioxidant), which protects the outer membrane of joint cells. Macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds are also rich in vitamin E, so have a handful for an afternoon pick me up.

 

Caitlin Bancroft is a qualified naturopath and is planning to start consulting again later this year. She will be contributing regular posts with nutrition and lifestyle tips to help improve your health and wellbeing.