Joint pains are degenerative disorders in which body cells undergo degeneration over a period of time.
If you are suffering from joint pain, you must be witnessing symptoms such as joint swelling, stiffness, and a feeling of heat and warmth. The most commonly affected joints due to degeneration are elbows, wrists, shoulders, neck, spine, hips, and knees. Sometimes more than one joint gets affected.
What causes joint pain?
Joint pains may sometimes be due to trauma or most frequently due to joint degeneration (such as in Osteoarthritis that affects cartilage degradation and hence the bone joints) or due to autoimmunity in joints (such as in rheumatoid arthritis occurring due to the body’s own immune system bringing degenerative changes in joints). Most of these joint pains that occur due to degenerative joints must be managed for life. Because of inflammation in joints due to inflammatory mediators, swelling and joint pains occur and aggravate. Foods and beverages that we consume affect joints due to their ability to increase inflammatory chemicals or cause weight gain that affects joints. It is essential to do everything possible to control joint inflammation and thus reduce joint pain.
Relationship between food and joint pain
Foods can cause joint pain directly by producing inflammatory mediators or indirectly by inducing weight gain.
Here are some of the unhealthy food items that can cause joint pain
1. Heavily processed and preserved foods that contain trans fats and preservatives.
2. Fried foods with high salt, fat, and calorie content.
3. If you have gluten intolerance, avoid wheat and oats.
4. Some foods like bacon and seafood are high in purines and cause gout and joint pain.
5. Food products that contain flavors like MSG.
If you have joint pain, you may also avoid the following food and beverages.
1. Saturated fats – Foods containing high amounts of saturated fats, such as red meat, upon cooking generate toxic components that can cause joint inflammation and pain.
2. Sugars such as corn syrup, fructose, and maltose induce inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that cause joint swelling and pain.
3. Refined carbohydrates – Intake of refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white potatoes cause weight gain that affects joints directly. Also, they generate high amounts of Advance Glycation End products that cause damage to joints, blood vessels, etc.
4. Omega-6 fatty acids – High intake of some Omega-6 fatty acids such as Linoleic acid promote the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as arachidonic acid that promote inflammatory chemicals and joint pain. So, avoid safflower, sunflower, and corn oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids.
5. Avoid alcohol that can cause joint pains due to rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
The following foods and beverages can relieve joint pain
1. Intake of adequate amount of water
2. Mediterranean diet (green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits) reduces symptoms of joint pain.
3. Fresh fruits like apples, apricots, oranges, pineapples, grapes, and bananas.
4. Daily fiber intake is to be increased to address weight gain.
5. Take foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric can help naturally over a period of time.
7. Flaxseed oil and olive oil for cooking are preferable to reduce inflammation.
8. Whole grains such as barley and wheat are preferable.
9. vitamins like D, C, and E and minerals like calcium and phosphorus are helpful
10. Green tea helps relieve joint pain over a period of time.
In conclusion, to fight joint pain, the foods that we consume need to be organic, unprocessed, unpreserved, devoid of flavors like MSG, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and low in omega 6 fatty acids, trans fats, saturated fatty acids, low in sugar, salt, high in dietary fiber. Avoid excess alcohol intake and drink adequate water and green tea to help relieve joint pain directly and indirectly.
This content was originally published here.