(BeWellBuzz) Yes, without joints, movement would not be possible. In a human body, there are 206 bones, linked by joints which support the skeleton and allow movement in the body. Healthy joints can not only keep us mobile but also prevent from frequent body pains.
Depending on their range of movement, joints are classified into three types:
- Fibrous (immoveable) – The dome of your skull is made of bony plates, which are immovable and protect the brain.
- Cartilaginous (partially moveable) – Your spine has a number of vertebrae that are linked by cartilage. This allows movement and gives flexibility to the spine.
- Synovial (freely moveable) – These are the most mobile type of joints found at the hip, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists and ankles. The synovial fluid in these joints acts as a lubricant and help move easily.
However, joints are under constant stress, and as we age, they gradually sustain damage from wear and tear. Therefore, in order to maintain healthy joints, it is important that you eat the right foods that can make your joints flexible.
Healthy Diet for Healthy Joints
Healthy joints require an all-round healthy diet. In order to maintain joint health, you need a diet that contains sufficient carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods and are limited in foods high in fat and sugars. You should ensure that you are drinking enough fluids – try to get 3 liters a day as dehydration can cause sore joints.
Nutrition can be obtained from the 5 main food groups namely:
1. Protein Rich Foods: Protein is present in eggs, meat, dairy, beans and fish. Human body needs protein to grow and repair its tissues, and to produce:
- Digestive enzymes
2. Fruits and Vegetables: A healthy diet gets minerals, antioxidants and vitamins from fruits and vegetables so they must be consumed on a daily basis.
3. Fat and Sugar: Foods containing high fat contents and sugar must be taken in small quantities.
4. Dairy Products: Dairy products are the best and most essential for our bodies; especially, for our bones health. It is advised to consume dairy products regularly as these provide protein, minerals and calcium, very beneficial for joint health.
5. Starchy Carbohydrates: The carbohydrates are the body’s fuel and should be more than 30% part of our daily food intake.
And of course, water. Your body includes muscles, tissues and bones that need to be kept hydrated all the time, so you must drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
In sum, human body needs a healthy diet which will be able to support the healthy joints. One must consume foods depending on their daily calorie requirements. A healthy diet must be:
- Include foods from all food groups
- Should be taken in appropriate proportions
Nutrients Important for Flexible Joints
Each of these food groups offers certain nutrients that are particularly important for our bodies and joints. Some of the most nutrients for flexible joints are:
- Omega-3 fatty acid: Specifically the longer chain omega-3s EPA and DHA found in oily fish and marine phytoplankton are anti-inflammatory and help to keep joints healthy and pain-free.
- Vitamin D: It regulates calcium levels in the body and is essential for healthy bones and joints. In fact, a deficiency in this vitamin causes sore and painful joints, as reported in the October 2010 issue of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin upon exposure to sunlight and also found in oily fish, egg yolks, and many fruits.
- Vitamin C: This is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is the substance that makes cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Vitamin C deficiency is the main cause of weak and aching joints. Camu camu berry is one of the best sources of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin B-12: This vitamin, found in many animal products, is necessary for healthy nerves and joints. If you believe you are not getting enough of these nutrients, you should consider a supplement.
Nowadays, a number of joint supplements are readily available that can help to keep joints healthy, prevent further damage, and provide symptomatic relief. The most popular ones are glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid.
Having Joint Problems? Get Advice On Foods That May Hurt You!
Many people complain that their joint pains get even worse after the consumption of cow milk, eggs, meat and coffee. If you suspect that a particular food is causing you joint pain, you should try to avoid that food completely for at least a week. In case your symptoms don’t improve, seek medical help.
Your doctor or dietitian will be able to give you personalized dietary advice, which usually involves avoidance of foods such as organ meats, red meat, and seafood. Intake of soft drinks should also be limited.
DO NOT FORGET: Joint Exercises
When suffering from joint pains, a few basic joint flexing and stretching techniques can help you minimize the pain during physical activities. However, joint exercises should be done only after proper consultation from your medical advisor.