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The Best Diet for a Lifetime of Healthy Joints

The Best Diet for a Lifetime of Healthy Joints

Joints are an amazing part of your body – they allow you to run, paint a picture, ride a bicycle or do housework. And most people don’t think about them until something goes wrong and they are left with joints that are painful, swollen or stiff with the aging process or disease. However, while some diseases and condition cannot be avoided, many can be improved by the foods you eat, such as the ones below.

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    Salmon

    If you really want to beef up your protein intake – pardon the pun – salmon is a great way to go, as are other fatty fish like tuna or mackerel. These are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the joints themselves.

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    That is why these kind fish are so popular among those who want to eat as healthy as possible. Salmon can be prepared in a number of delicious ways, including being pan-fried with lemon juice and butter or sautéed with balsamic vinegar.

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      Citrus Fruits

      Are you really committed to joint health, then citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are also a great choice. They are rich in vitamin C, which not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also is used to make collagen. Collagen is a compound which the body uses to manufacture and protect the joints and thus a high vitamin-C diet can help to ease this condition.

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      Oranges are also easy to add to your diet: you can section them and put them into a parfait with yogurt, for instance, or use them to make delicious sauces for stir-fries.

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        Walnuts

        Do you want to harness the properties of omega three fatty acids without having to eat meat and fish to do it? Then consider adding walnuts to your diet. They are a great choice for vegetarians and vegans, not only for these essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the joints, but also because they are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Sprinkled into oatmeal or ground into flour and made into muffins, they are equally excellent.

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          Cucumbers

          Cucumbers might seem like a pretty simple food, but they are actually a complex mix of fiber, water, and a whole array of vitamins and minerals. The most important, for the purposes of this article, is silica, which has been shown to promote and sustain the health of joints. Cucumbers can be sliced up and put into a salad or pureed into delicious summer soups.

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            Curried Dishes

            The cuisines of Thailand and India as well as other parts of southeast Asia have, over thousands of years, come up with some amazing curried dishes featuring a variety of vegetables, meats and even tropical fruits like mango.

            Curried dishes are a great thing to add to your joint-healthy diet because they are rich in turmeric, the deep gold Indian spice is rich in a compound called curcumin, which many studies have shown has a powerful anti-inflammatory affect and can reduce the swelling, pain and stiffness of arthritic joints.

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              Chai Tea

              Chai tea is India’s national drink – and due to its delicious flavor is becoming increasingly popular here in America. And how does chai fit into your joint-healthy diet? It is rich in ginger, a plant which is botanically related to the turmeric plant and shares many of turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is rich in compounds called gingerols that multiple studies have also shown can reduce joint inflammation and increase their suppleness and mobility.

              So if you are interested in supple, strong joints even into middle age or beyond, consider adding foods like the ones mentioned above into your diet on a regular basis. Whether it is due to anti-inflammatory compounds like curcumin or vitamins and minerals like silicon or vitamin C, they all will promote healthy joints no matter the stage in your life.

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              Brian Wu

              Health Writer, Author

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              Last Updated on July 10, 2020

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

              We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

              So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

              Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

              What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

              Boundaries are limits

              —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

              Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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              Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

              Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

              Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

              How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

              Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

              1. Self-Awareness Comes First

              Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

              You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

              To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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              You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

              • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
              • When do you feel disrespected?
              • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
              • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
              • When do you want to be alone?
              • How much space do you need?

              You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

              2. Clear Communication Is Essential

              Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

              Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

              3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

              Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

              That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

              Sample language:

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              • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
              • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
              • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
              • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
              • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
              • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
              • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

              Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

              4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

              Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

              Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

              Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

              We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

              It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

              It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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              Final Thoughts

              Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

              Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

              Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

              The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

              Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

              Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

              They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

              Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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