Can Changing Your Diet Help Cure Joint Pain?

What foods are considered to aggravate joint pain?

  • Fried and processed foods have been seen to contribute to inflammation
  • Sugar has also been seen to cause inflammation in our bodies
  • Food and nutrition can be a key factor in aggravating your pain

If you struggle with joint pain, you know how frustrating it can be.

And at times, it can feel as if no matter how many anti-inflammatory medications you take, the pain just keeps coming back and your efforts to recover are fruitless.

It can be frustrating dealing with chronic pain, but there are some nutritional changes you could make to alleviate this pain and help you get on the track of feeling better, returning to your daily activities, and not relying so much on pain medications.

Of course, making nutritional changes is not a cure-all for inflammatory joint pain. But research has shown that some foods may contribute to inflammatory pain, whereas other foods seem to alleviate and protect against the pain.

FOODS TO AVOID

Fried and processed foods have been seen to contribute to inflammation, and in turn, inflammatory pain in our joints. These foods contain certain chemicals and oils that are very inflammatory.

Certain fats can become damaging at certain heats, and the overuse of some of these fats (such as when we are eating out at restaurants or fast food places), can cause even more damage to these fats and cause damage to our health. It is best to avoid these foods altogether, but more so when our goal is to alleviate our joint pain.

Sugar has also been seen to cause inflammation in our bodies. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (ie. soda, juice, lemonade, etc) promoted inflammation in subjects, as well as other harmful health side effects. Our culture promotes the intake of these beverages, and they are grossly unhealthy for our health and our overall wellbeing.

If there is one habit you can change today it’s this: if you currently consume sugar-sweetened beverages, start cutting back on them and work your way towards completely eliminating them from your diet. And if you deal with inflammatory joint pain, all the more reason to cut them out!

But, enough about what we should avoid. Let’s focus on all the foods we get to eat that will help reduce our pain and inflammation!

FOODS TO CONSUME

Unhealthy fats can increase inflammation, but there are healthy fats that can fight inflammation and reduce our joint pain! These fats are found in foods such as salmon and walnuts.

Start incorporating salmon into your weekly meal plan, and add walnuts to your salad, oatmeal, or on their own as a snack! These healthy fats will help fight the inflammatory responses in your body which are causing your joint pain to begin with.

Do we really need to focus on the benefits of vegetables? Vegetables are chock-full of antioxidants which help fight inflammation and reduce our pain as well. Fill up on raw veggies, cooked veggies, and side salads. Go to your local farmers’ market and see which vegetables are in season.

Experiment with different cooking techniques and seasonings. There is so much you can do with these power foods, so give them a try and watch your inflammation go down.

Reaching a healthy weight can also help alleviate joint pain and pressure. Just losing 10% of your body weight has been shown to alleviate pain and inflammation significantly. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to find a plan that focuses on eating wholesome, real foods, and not limiting calories.

Start exercising a few days a week and implementing more of these healthy foods into your day. As the scale goes down, it will lessen the pressure your joints experience and in turn, will lessen your pain.

Joint pain can be frustrating and can get in the way of our normal, daily activities. Food and nutrition can be a key factor in aggravating your pain, or lessening our pain, depending on which foods and beverages your diet consists of. Avoid sugars and unhealthy oils and start incorporating healthy fats, vegetables, and a healthy diet and exercise routine into your day.

Hopefully, your pain will decrease and your quality of life will be better than ever!

 

 

About the author

Tveen Verano [MPH, RD] is a registered dietitian nutritionist from Southern California. She is currently working as a renal dietitian and has a private practice as a registered dietitian and online wellness coach. Her passion for nutrition and real food drives her to keep up with current research and provide relevant and applicable information to the public to help stop the trend of obesity and provide vitality and health to everyone.

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