Foods That Promote Joint Health

Photo Credit: KoS Public Domain
Joints can become weak and prone to injury due to aging, inactivity, disease or poor nutrition. Joint health can be improved and maintained by eating a healthy diet that includes nutrients that promote joint health. Free radicals in the body can attack joints, tendons and cartilage where they can cause pain and inflammation. Free radicals are toxins produced by the natural metabolic activity (oxidation) of the cells. Foods that contain antioxidants are critical to help rid the body of free radicals by combining with the toxins and helping to remove them from cells. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant. Foods that are rich in vitamins A, E and the nutrient selenium also help to remove free radicals from the body and promote overall health. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin C. Oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, broccoli, asparagusm papaya, mangoes, raspberries and red bell peppers are rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and A. Vitamin E is also a good antioxidant nutrient. Whole grains and cereals are rich in vitamin E.
Foods that are rich in healthy fats, such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to promote joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids promote joint health because of their anti-inflammatory properties. People with arthritis can eat more foods containing these healthy fats or take an omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplement if their doctor recommends it. Tuna, sardines and other ocean fish are healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Shellfish and shrimp also contain a substance called glucosamine, which improves joint health. Nuts like almonds, fresh green vegetables, fruits, grains and seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids. 
Increase the amount of water you drink to help your body rid itself of toxins and free radicals. Everyone should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to maintain kidney and bladder health and to stay properly hydrated. In addition to increasing your water consumption and eating healthy foods, try to exercise at least 15 to 30 minutes every other day. Thirty minutes every day is better if you can manage.

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