Spending time outdoors can reduce stress and keep you healthy. However, some people experience joint pain, which diminishes the pleasure of walking. To keep your joints and bones strong, eat a healthy diet. Here are our tips and tricks to help you.
Where does joint pain come from?
As we age, our bodies lose collagen and elastin, which impacts the strength, hydration, and normal mechanical properties of the skin and soft tissues like tendons. These changes can lead to joint pain. According to the CDC, 24% of all adults in the United States suffer from joint pain. Severe pain can limit a person’s ability to perform basic functions and seriously compromise their quality of life.
Joint pain can be exacerbated by a wide range of factors, such as bad posture, overuse and misuse of joints, nutrition deficiencies in the diet, and osteoarthritis, among others. But with proper diet and supplementation, you can manage your joint pain and be able to enjoy hiking again.
What has diet got to do with it?
A poor diet can be the cause of excess weight, which will tend to have a greater impact on the joints, especially when hiking, because our knees support our body and the bags that we carry. For example, several studies have shown that weight loss in obese or overweight people was associated with a decrease in osteoarticular discomfort. In addition, a diet high in salt, fat, and meat products increases the acidity of the body, which causes inflammation and impacts our joints. Five of the best foods that you should include if you are suffering from joint pains.
Oily fish contains EPA and DHA fats which promote elasticity and limit the production of certain negative proteins that inhibit certain types of arthritis. The Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish also increase blood flow which can help reduce joint pain during exercises. It is recommended that each person should include at least three to four weekly servings of fish like salmon and sardines. If it is difficult for you to consume such quantities, you can take Omega-3 supplements to support joint health.
Walnuts and Brazil nuts
Like oily fish, walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which reduces inflammation. In addition, eating walnuts regularly can lower cholesterol and relax blood vessels, reducing stress on the heart. Brazil nuts are high in selenium which improves the quality of cartilage protein present in our bones or joints. Snack on three or four on each day and you should get all that you require.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Your mum was right when she told you to eat vegetables. Green leafy vegetables, like broccoli, spinach and kale are packed with antioxidants and vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, which are high in bone preserving calcium. Calcium is known to help form bones and teeth and keep them strong. Also, calcium supplements can help reduce joint inflammation and pain, especially in knee joints.
Onions and garlic
Onions are a rich source of quercetin, an antioxidant that works to reduce inflammation. Red onions are particularly high in antioxidants. Garlic contains quercetin a compound that can help alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. You can add onions to your diet through salads, sandwiches, stir-frys, and side dishes.
To keep your joints strong, you should also include bone broth in your diet. Glucosamine and amino acids are well documented to help the joints while calcium is essential for bone density. Bone broth contains all of them. The gelatin-like substance that comes from cooking bones mimics collagen that occurs naturally in our joints, tendons, and ligaments. Taken regularly as an oral supplement, it has been shown to reduce joint pain and increase function for people with arthritis.
If you want to rediscover the pleasure of taking walks and hikes during the summer, remember that lifestyle and nutrition changes are essential to your bone and joint comfort. All these changes will make it easier for you to go hiking, breathe fresh air and discover new, interesting locations!