We all know that bones provide the structural framework of our bodies and play an important role in helping us move. But what we tend to overlook sometimes are the important roles played by the joints. The human body is held together by different types of joints. A joint is where two bones meet, held together with ligaments.
Joints are the body’s hinges. They provide a wide range of motion throughout the body, allowing us to swing, bend, rotate, and more. Each joint is made up of cartilage, ligaments and a lubricating fluid called synovial fluid which all work together to cushion the area between bones and support comfortable movement.
Whether you’re 23 or 73, you’ll deal with some joint aches and pains at some point. Just as you take steps to strengthen your bones, you also need to take care to keep your joints healthy, as that’s where you will first feel the aches and pains.
Researchers have found that foods with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can be effective additions to pain management plans. Incorporate these three simple foods in your daily meals to ensure that your joints stay healthy and strong.
Oranges contain a bioflavonoid compound called Nobiletin, which has shown to be effective in pain reduction in people with joint pains. Additionally, one orange has 60 mg of calcium! So, snack on this sweet and tangy fruit through the day. Oranges are also one of the most important sources of Vitamin C, which helps protect the immune system and destroy free radicals that cause cell damage.
This ancient Indian root is rich in an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin which has shown to reduce the inflammatory response in the cartilage cells in the joint. Fortunately for us Indians, turmeric is a staple in our daily cooking. One study found that a curcumin extract worked as well as ibuprofen at easing knee aches and pains.
Walnuts are high in several nutrients that counter inflammation, including omega-3 fatty acids, which lubricates your joints and keeps them healthy. Keep in mind that while walnuts and other nuts are good for you, they’re also very high in calories; so limit yourself to a handful a day.
If you are allergic to nuts, you can also try Flaxseeds and incorporate canola oil in your cooking, both of which deliver the omega-3s found in walnuts.
If you eat one orange, 3-5 walnut kernels and one teaspoon of turmeric in any food preparation every day (or once in two days), you are on your way to taking good care of your joints!