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Monday 6 October 2014

Vegetables and Foods To Aid Our Joints and Better Health

As Hippocrates said "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." It's a good thought and so true:

Every day our joints get a serious workout and they can easily become stressed, resulting in pain and inflammation. I think by eating the right foods, we can help ourselves to keep our joints in the best of shape, ensuring we do our best to retain pain-free mobility .... not always easy the older we get.

From what I've read, and personal experience, I think these next few foods can assist us in keeping joints as healthy as possible. 

Red peppers
Contain Vitamin C which is an absolute essential for healthy joints, as it aids the production of collagen, part of the cartilage, tendons and ligaments that help to prevent joint wear and tear. Red peppers are particularly high in this vitamin.

You've no doubt read about oily fish having many wonderful health-giving properties. It's the Omega 3 fatty acids they contain...... this can help reduce swelling and discomfort in the joints.

Eat a few walnuts a day (if you have no nut allergies), because they contain very healthy nutrients. When it comes to joints it is the alpha-linolenic acid which is great ( a type of omega-3 fatty acid) and can help to fight inflammation. Walnuts also contain fibre, calcium and vitamin E so a good mix of nutrients.

Leafy greens
Leafy greens, which are a low carbers and diabetics best friend. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale for instance are full with good nutrients, most notably vitamin C, which helps combat the damage to the joints associated with ageing, plus calcium, magnesium and vitamin K for strong bones.

Olive oil
Well the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet regularly make the news, and olive oil can play a particularly important role when it comes to the joints. I think Olive oil is a must have for everyone, but particularly the low carber or diabetics food cupboard. It contains a compound called olecanthal, which prevents the production of pro-inflammatory enzymes, meaning it works in much the same way as anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. Food better than drugs, surely? So if you already suffer with stiff or uncomfortable joints, olive oil may just help to ease the pain.

I'm not a medical person so can only share what I've found from reading various articles and my own personal experience. Indeed, I think there are many more great foods that can help us to better health. We are fortunate to have such a great food choice in this country (the UK), it's a shame that sometimes you still hear people say UGH 'I'm not eating that'.

Enjoy your food ......choose wisely and let it improve your health.

All the best Jan

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