Use'em or lose'em! The best way to keep your joints and bones healthy is to work them daily. Do some light exercise, walking or resistance training to strengthen not only your muscles, but your joints, as well. In addition, these foods help keep joints lubricated while preventing inflammation.
1. Wild salmon
Salmon is a great source of one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory compounds: omega-3 fatty acids. Choose wild salmon; farmed varieties have fewer to no omega-3s. Wild salmon also contains fewer contaminants and toxins. It is also a source of Vitamin D, necessary for healthy joints and bones.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, which protects the outer membrane of joint cells. This makes it a first-line defender against free radical damage. (Sunflower seeds are also high in Vitamin E.)
Papaya is high in Vitamin C, which was shown in studies to reduce the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Papayas have almost twice as much C, plus a hefty dose of beta carotene, another good antioxidant for joint health.
Collagen breakdown is often a critical step in osteoarthritis development. Apples can help keep arthritis at bay. It’s rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that’s important in building collagen and slowing its deterioration. Do not peel the apple! Quercetin is concentrated in the skin.
5. Black Beans
Amino acids found in protein are the building blocks of cells, including cartilage. All beans contain protein; however, black beans also have other joint-boosting compounds, including antioxidants and manganese.
Most of us think of milk and other dairy products as the best way to get more calcium into out diets, but kale is loaded with the mineral, too! It actually contains more absorbable calcium than milk. Kale is also a superstar for bone health due to its joint-protecting vitamins A, C and K; and packed with two minerals that joints need to stay robust: copper, which helps build collagen and ligaments, the tissue strands that connect bones to one another AND manganese, which activates enzymes needed for tissue growth and repair.
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical, is the superstar in broccoli. However, this superfood contains other vitamins that keep joints well nourished, including vitamins A and C, a little E and K – not to mention lots of calcium and some protein.
Along with helping soothe the stomach, ginger has been used in Asia for centuries to reduce joint pain and swelling. Thanks in large part to compounds called gingerols, the spice has much the same effect as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.