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The Role of Nutrition in Joint Health

Joint pain is a pervasive problem — at any given time, a third of American adults have joint pain. It’s such a prevalent health issue that nearly everywhere you look you can find miracle cures that often cost a bundle. But what if you could protect your joints and reduce your risk of joint pain by eating the right foods?

Our orthopedics team at Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, has extensive knowledge about joint health and arthritis. They want you to know just how critical your diet is, not only in promoting healthy joints but also with weight control and inflammation management. 

Best foods for overall joint health

In general, you should eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Highly processed foods have too much salt, fat, sugar, and other unnecessary chemicals and should be avoided. 

However, suppose you want to choose foods that are specifically good for joint health. In that case, you should make sure to eat foods that contain plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K for bone health and vitamin C, collagen, and amino acids for robust cartilage. 

You can find these nutrients in leafy green vegetables, eggs, shellfish, organ meats like liver and kidney, nuts, and seeds. Citrus fruits and berries are an excellent source of vitamin C. 

You could also try bone broth. It’s rich in calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Cooking bones into broth creates a gelatin-like substance that mimics the collagen your body needs for healthy joints. 

Best foods to reduce inflammation

Inflammation is a common joint pain factor. Whether you have arthritis or a joint injury, inflammation triggers pain and stiffness that can limit your mobility and reduce your quality of life. Many delicious foods have anti-inflammatory properties, including:

These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as beta carotene and flavonoids, known to reduce inflammation.

A note on joint health supplements

You should talk to us before starting any supplement for joint health. Supplements are often expensive and aren’t nearly as effective as you’d like them to be. We can review your diet and use lab work to identify any deficiencies contributing to your pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. Even if your sister or best friend swears by a scoop of collagen powder in their coffee every day, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you.

How your weight affects your joints

When you walk across level ground, each step puts one and half times your body weight onto your knees. That ratio only increases if you walk up an incline or jog or run. It also stresses your ankles and hips, which can contribute to back pain and other issues. 

In addition to supporting joint health, following a nutritious diet and avoiding unhealthy processed foods can help you lose weight or prevent weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the stress on your joints, also lowering your risk of injury and regular wear-and-tear. 

Get treatment for joint pain

If you live with painful, stiff, or aching joints, you don’t have to put up with it. Our team offers expert, personalized treatment programs to restore your joint health and relieve your pain. We provide anti-inflammatory medicine, joint injections, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, and arthroscopic surgery

Call our office or make an appointment online today to finally say goodbye to joint pain.

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