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Foods for Healthy Joints Recommended by Runner’s World

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You don’t have to be an athlete or even a weekend runner to experience joint problems from the incredible forces knees and other joints take from an active lifestyle. According to Runner’s World writer Liz Applegate, Ph.D.—a well-known expert on joint health—a poor diet, aging and genetics can cause joint problems as well.

According to Dr. Applegate, your joints consist of a synovial fluid-filled capsule that both cushions and nourishes the protective cartilage lining between bones. However, when cartilage is not healthy it can break down, cause the synovial fluid to clog, and result in inflammation and pain as bones make contact and wear against each other.

The good news is that you can take some preventive care of your joints by eating certain foods and supplements that medical researchers have found that appear to help not only prevent injury, but treat existing joint problems as well.

The following is a summary of foods for healthy joints along with some suggested supplements you can start taking today for good joint health.

Joint Food #1: EVOO

According to a study of rats with joint injuries that were subsequently fed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for 8 weeks, researchers found higher levels of an important joint lubricant called “lubricin” in those rats in comparison to injured rats lacking EVOO in their diet.

Runners’ World recommends making it a habit on integrating extra-virgin olive oil to salad dressings, pasta and vegetable sautés.

Joint Food #2: Kefir

Kefir is a cultured milk endorsed by health enthusiasts for its content of healthy bacteria that especially includes one strain called “L. casei.” Scientists found that a daily dose of this bacterium for two months resulted in lower levels of signs of inflammation and less stiffness in participants who drank kefir in comparison to study participants who did not.

Kefir can be taken poured over your cereal and oatmeal, or added to smoothies for a joint health drink.

Joint Food #3: Oranges

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Oranges are rich in a bioflavonoid called “nobiletin” that researchers believe in one study was the key ingredient responsible for alleviating knee pain and reducing inflammation in patients taking an orange-peel extract for 8 weeks.

You can get your daily nobiletin by either eating peeled oranges with the white fuzzy layer intact; or, eat the entire orange―peel and fruit―using a blender and making an orange smoothie.

Joint Food #4: Salmon

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is an old favorite for joint health because of its reputed ability to decrease joint inflammation in those suffering with arthritis. Runner’s World tells readers that daily fish oil supplements can typically lead to a decrease in the need for ibuprofen and other pain relievers for joint pain that is acting up.

Joint Food #4: Tumeric

Not only can the aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids reduce joint pain, but research has also shown that patients with osteoarthritic knee pain placed on a turmeric extract for 6 weeks experienced lower knee pain equivalent to taking 800 milligrams of ibuprofen a day.

Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which decreases the levels of inflammation compounds in cartilage cells.

Turmeric can be integrated into your diet by sprinkling it over rice, beans, stir-fries and salads.

Recommended Joint Supplements

Glucosamine-Chondroitin Sulfate appears to have some benefit towards improving joint pain in some users, but not others. The consensus among researchers is that this supplement while potentially helpful, is not the knee-pain cure-all some claim.

UC-II is an undenatured collagen supplement believed to work by blocking the formation of compounds that cause cartilage degradation. In one study, participants with post-exercise knee pain were given a daily dose of 40 milligrams for 4 months. The results indicated that these participants could exercise for longer periods without pain in comparison to a control group that did not take the supplement.

For an additional informative article about joint pain, discover now whether it’s true that you can predict the weather based on the aches and pains in your joints.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: Runner’s World September 2014 issue