Imagine being able to eat your way to better joint health. It’s not impossible. We’ve listed three foods with nutrients that can help ease your joint pain, decrease inflammation, and make it easier for you to move around.
What 3 Foods Can Help With Joint Health?
1. Lemon Garlic Chicken
Citrus fruits, garlic, and chicken are all sources of collagen, which helps support joint health. If you combine them all, you’re getting collagen from three different sources. It might sound a little weird, but you can even eat the cartilage surrounding a chicken breast for even more collagen.
2. Walnut-Crusted Salmon with Edamame
Salmon, walnuts, and edamame (soybeans) are excellent sources of Omega-3. Their combination of Omega-3 oils makes a tasty recipe for joint health.
3. Cherry Lentil Salad
Cherries, lentils, and lettuce all contain flavonoids. Add some green onions, and you have even more flavonoids working in your favor to help reduce joint inflammation.
Which Nutrients Support Joint Health?
Introducing the correct nutrients into your diet can be important for joint health. You can choose to get these nutrients through the foods that you eat or from supplements.
Studies have shown that collagen can decrease joint pain during exercise, help rebuild lost cartilage, and strengthen ligaments and tendons surrounding our joints.
Collagen is present in these foods:
- Citrus fruits
- Fish and shellfish
- White tea
- Egg whites
- Red and yellow vegetables
- Coffee creamers (as a special additive)
Incorporating collagen supplements into your diet is more beneficial than consuming animal products. However, many collagen supplements come from animal cartilage. The human body can more easily digest and absorb hydrolyzed collagen, which you can find in many collagen powders.
You can substitute collagen powder, tablets, or liquid for as much as 36% of the proteins you normally eat each day.
Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help with joint inflammation. Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids can provide effective joint pain relief, especially for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
You can find Omega-3 in the following foods:
- Fish and seafood (especially fatty fish like mackerel and salmon)
- Nuts and seeds
- Plant oils
- Foods fortified with Omega-3.
Taking daily Omega-3 fish oil or cod liver oil supplements can help fight stiffness, swelling, and joint pain.
Flavonoids help to turn off the body’s inflammatory response, which is good news for swollen joints. The effects of flavonoids on various chronic inflammation conditions have been the subject of many studies.
Anti-inflammatory foods with flavonoids include:
- Red cabbage
- Hot peppers
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine.
While whole food is the best source for flavonoids, evidence points to apigenin as being the best way to ingest flavonoids outside of food. There are also a variety of flavonoid pill supplements available on the market.
Final Thoughts on Joint Pain and Nutrition
You can significantly reduce the amount of joint pain you experience by eating foods with higher levels of collagen, omega-3, and flavonoids. However, supplements are an easy way to reduce joint pain and inflammation without changing your diet. The choice is yours.