joint pain eating into your well-being? Discover what to eat, to tackle the pesky pain. ‘Right diet’ is an ambiguous term, used to mean healthy food like vegetables and fruits, low fat foods etc. as opposed to unhealthy food such as fried, fatty and starchy foods. Several individuals opt for vegan diet consisting mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts, for its health benefits. Read on to know more about the specific nutritional requisites for your joints.
- Calcium and protein to strengthen your bones and muscles respectively. Moong dal, ragi, calcium fortified soy milk and orange juice, soybeans and soy nuts, broccoli and almonds are some rich resources of calcium. Be careful about certain popular calcium foods such as spinach, beet greens and chards, which contain oxalic acid that prevents the absorption of calcium. Protein rich foods include nuts, legumes and whole grains such as quinoa, barley and brown rice.
- Vitamin D enables your body to absorb calcium. There is a small group of foods that contain vitamin D. Moreover the body naturally synthesizes vitamin D on exposure to sunlight. Mushrooms, soy milk, vitamin D fortified orange juice are some sources. Unless there is the right amount of vitamin D in the body, any calcium intake will be ineffective.
- Fibrous foods and vitamin C help in producing collagen, which acts as building material to strengthen our muscles. Vitamin C has a wide applicability from building bones and muscles and improving brain function to healing injuries. A different variety of fruits and vegetables such as guava, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries bring a combination of fibers and vitamin C to your diet.
- Antioxidants act as anti-inflammatory agents by countering the damaging effects of free radicals. We may receive free radicals within the body from external sources such as environmental pollutants in the air we breathe and the water we drink. These free radicals work at a cellular level and damage the structure of the cells in the body, worsening the joint inflammation further. Counter these rogue elements with the right line up of antioxidants, which can be derived from minerals, vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene. In general, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and legumes contain a varied mix of antioxidants. Strawberries, sweet cherry, plum, cooked artichoke, pumpkins apricots, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts are some specific antioxidant rich foods.
- Spices such as garlic, turmeric and ginger are great anti-inflammatory sources. They have a long tradition of medicinal use in Asian cultures for their wide application in the field and are also popular for their use in the Indian cuisine. They can be effective in treating a host of arthritis types as well as general muscular pain. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant. You may include these spices in small proportions, regularly in your diet.
- Drinking enough water is important for the synovial fluids in your joints. If you are dehydrated your joints will be deprived of essential fluids. Synovial fluid gives your joints the required lubrication and cushioning required for smooth and efficient movement.
Perhaps your vegan diet already includes the essential anti-inflammatory nutrients, and if you’re not vegan, consider changing to one.
Balance your diet
Joint pain has very specific needs since the physiology of human joints is complex yet quite precise. To know more about human joints and what causes joint pain you can refer to our earlier blog post A pain in the joint.
Once you are better aware of joint-healthy food and the advantages of a vegan diet, you may also want to pay attention to other aspects your health. Consuming only specific food types might spoil your physiological balance. For example, your diet needs will be much different if you are also dealing with obesity as opposed to if you are a lean and muscular person. Accompany your nutritious vegan diet with regular and proportionate workouts. Leave your joints unused and all the nutrition in the world can barely save you from joint pain. The right combination of a nutritious diet, proportionate workout and supplements is the key to hale and hearty joints. You can read our last blog Nature cares for ailing joints to know more about joint pain supplements.