Healthy Blog

Easy Healthy Eating Tips: Healthy Eating and Supplements for Good Joint Health

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A lot of people only associate healthy eating with weight loss. Well, there is more to healthy eating than just weight loss or weight management. Good nutrition is crucial to our general well-being and can help maintain or restore the perfect functioning of our body organs and systems, which includes joints. Our joints are constantly under strain supporting our body weight, and therefore occasionally suffer from varying degrees of wear and tear, which may include inflammation and damage. The cartilage between the joint bones act as shock absorbers and protects the joints. Healthy eating and supplements can help maintain joint health. So, which foods and supplements are crucial for good joint health?

Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D. It helps keep joints supple and flexible and is even believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but unlike cod liver oil it does not contain vitamin A which is derived from the liver. Eating at least two portions, a week, of fish with at least one portion being oily fish, will help you get sufficient quantities of dietary fish oils. Cod liver oil and fish oil supplements are also available if you cannot get enough from your diet alone.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is crucial for cartilage strength and elasticity and considered as the building block in cartilage. It occurs naturally in our bodies, but the levels diminish with time, which possibly explains the squeaky joints as we grow older. Glucosamine supplements of varying strengths are available from pharmacies and health shops, sometimes in combination with chondroitin. 

Chondroitin

Chondroitin, just like glucosamine occurs naturally in our bodies and stimulates production of cartilage and lubricates joints. This lubricating effect helps reduce joint wear and tear as well as other joint damage and inflammation. Together with glucosamine, it is useful in arthritis management.

Other Supplements

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and rosehip extracts have also been shown to help maintain joint health by keeping joints mobile and supple. When it comes to nutrition pertaining to joint health it is about both foods that promote good joint health as well as those to avoid to prevent joint problems. In gout, for instance, a joint problem characterized by a build-up of uric acid in the blood certain foods have important consequences. Uric acid forms when the body breaks down chemicals in the cells known as purines, and therefore foods high in purines can predispose one to gout. Foods that are naturally high in purines, and hence to be wary of include beef, pork, bacon, lamb, seafood, liver and kidneys. 

In conclusion, did you know that obesity and being overweight can contribute to the development of arthritis and other joint problems? Do you know what I’m going to say next? Well, healthy eating can help you to lose weight, which in turn will contribute to your joint health by limiting the weight that your joints have to bear and contend with. Here’s to healthy eating!