Eating Right for Joint Pain
I have had issues with my joints for as long as I can remember. I have tried everything from heavy-duty pain medications to simply icing the joints. Yes, such methods were helpful, but I wanted to take a more natural approach to the pain, stiffness and swelling in my joints. I started looking into food and how that may be helpful. I was surprised to learn how significant a role our diet plays in our joint health.
Eat More Fish
I have always been a big fan of seafood, so eating more fish was certainly not a problem. Fish are helpful because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient is associated with lowering inflammation levels in the body. I eat at least two servings of fatty fish each week. Some of my favorite go-to fish choices include salmon and trout. Flaxseeds and walnuts are also high in this nutrient and can be added to many dishes or simply eaten as a snack.
I was also pretty happy about this because I love Mediterranean and Greek foods. Two of the first things I did when adopting a more Mediterranean lifestyle was completely swap out butter for olive oil and swap out salt for interesting spices. There are also butter products out there that are olive oil-based for those who just cannot completely give up butter. I have eliminated a large amount of salt from my diet by simply using more herbs. I add garlic to my fish, rosemary to my chicken and even rosemary to potatoes. This gives them a significant amount of flavor without the sodium overload. One of my favorite dishes is red-skinned potatoes with rosemary and olive oil. I boil and then bake these. These make the perfect side dish for just about anything.
Eat More Dairy
I am not a big milk fan, but know that keeping my bones healthy will help my joints. Calcium is especially important for me because I am given steroids semi-regularly. I like to add milk to my fruit smoothies to get my milk in. I also work low-fat cheeses and yogurts into my diet. Many healthy cereals are also fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so I look for these when picking out cereals. Another great trick is to use warm milk for oatmeal instead of water. This makes it more creamy and allows me to sneak in some extra calcium.