For many people, age-related degeneration turns into osteoarthritis which is the most common cause of joint pain that is experienced in people after middle age. As we grow older, usually at age 40, the ligament tends to stiffen, the muscles needed to support and stabilise the joint weakens, and the protective cartilage between the joints and bones breaks down and causes joints pain in joints areas like the hips, hand, and knee. This is because as we grow older, muscles lose size and strength, bones lose tissue, minerals, and mass, and the lubricating fluid inside the joints reduces and the cartilage becomes thinner.
Image source: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials
According to the Open Orthopedics Journal, studies have linked vitamin C, D, and K, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, boron, and other vitamins and minerals to improve bone and joint strength by reducing inflammation and improving the immune system and bone health. Our bodies do not naturally produce these nutrients, thus, nutrition is a major source of obtaining these nutrients. For these reasons, these foods are recommended to be eaten regularly, especially by people in their 40s to promote strong and healthy bones and reduce joints pain.
1. Whole grain
Image source: Everyday Health
For people who struggle with daily pain in their joints, whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice are highly recommended, especially for people in their 40s. This is because they contain potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus that boost calcium absorption and reduce inflammation by lowering the levels of certain proteins (like CRP that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis). This, in turn, increases bones strength and prevent their weakening and degeneration.
Image source: Healthline
Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have powerful and natural sulphur-containing antioxidants known as sulforaphane. Studies show that this compound blocks the inflammatory process and slow cartilage damage in osteoarthritis. It also contains calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K that helps in bone strengthening and joint lubrication. Other dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, and kale contain vitamin D, antioxidants, and stress-fighting phytochemicals that can boost the immune system and fight infection.
3. Fatty fish
Image source: OnHealth
Regular consumption of fatty fish like salmon, sardine, and trout have been proven to reduce inflammatory proteins in the body. This is because of their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties such as omega-3 fatty acids that help in strengthening bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, brain cognition, and heart disease.
Image source: Daddy's Nom
Beans are a great source of protein, fibre, folic acid, iron, zinc, and potassium that are important in boosting the immune system, balance coordination, and preventing osteoporosis. Beans are consumed more in place of filers foods that worsen joints pain.
Other foods such as nuts, cherries, garlic, onions, and green tea also contain nutrients that can support and promote joint health in old people.
Sadly, joint pain is an inevitable part of ageing that can be difficult to live with but fortunately, it can be reduced if we start making healthy changes early, especially in our nutrition. Aside from eating foods that can reduce joints pain as we age, we should also minimize or avoid some foods that can support joint weakness and worsen joint pain. These foods are:
1. White rice
Image source: Cookpad.com
2. Red meats
Image source: My Diaspora Kitchen
3. Soda drinks
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4. Highly processed foods
Image source: The Sentinel Assam
Image source: Cone Health
6. High salt foods
Image source: Eat This, Not That
7. Fried foodsImage source: Times Food
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