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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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              12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

              12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

              1. Nuts

              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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              2. Blueberries

              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

              3. Tomatoes

              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

              4. Broccoli

              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

              6. Soy

              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

              7. Dark chocolate

              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

              15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

              10. Gingko biloba

              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

              11. Green and black tea

              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

              Find out more about green tea here:

              11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

              12. Sage and Rosemary

              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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