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Doctors Reveal Top 10 Foods That Boost Your Joint Health

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With age comes wisdom, but unfortunately, it can also come with joint issues. However, enhancing your mobility and maintaining your independence isn’t only about regular physiotherapy or medications. The foods you consume can play a substantial role in maintaining the health of your joints and enabling you to lead an active, fulfilling life. Medical professionals worldwide emphasize the crucial interaction between diet and joint health, especially for those experiencing arthritis or other conditions affecting joint mobility.

1. Fatty Fish

“Arthritis is—for the most part—a disease of inflammation” states the Arthritis Foundation, emphasizing that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are potent inflammation-fighting warriors. Physicians Raj Dasgupta, MD and Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, advocate for consuming fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, explaining, “These fatty acids can help reduce joint pain and stiffness.”

2. Nuts and Seeds

For those who prefer to sidestep fish, Dasgupta reveals that nuts and seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. He specifically calls out walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds as foods rich in healthy fats that help reduce inflammation, additionally offering a good dose of anti-inflammatory vitamin E.

3. Olive Oil

Olive oil makes the cut in the arsenal against joint pain. The secret lies in its substance known as oleocanthal, which exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it is loaded with monounsaturated fats to combat joint inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation posits that “All [polyphenols in olive oil] are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-allergy and anti-cancer effects.”

4. Turmeric

Next up is turmeric, a spice renowned for its pain-relieving properties. According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, turmeric’s analgesic effect is on par with a five-day treatment with ibuprofen. “Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in joints,” explains Mohr.

5. Ginger

Ginger also deserves a place of prominence in your diet. Dasgupta says, “Ginger packs a punch with gingerol, a compound that’s great for fighting inflammation and loaded with antioxidants.” However, for those seriously looking to improve joint health, the Arthritis Foundation recommends a daily 250 mg ginger supplement for maximum benefit.

6. Garlic

Garlic is celebrated not only for its flavor but also for its health benefits. Teeming with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it’s a fantastic choice for joint health and robust immune function, emphasizes Mohr.

7. Green Tea

Sip on some green tea to benefit your joints. Abounding with antioxidants and polyphenols, this beverage fights inflammation effectively. A 2020 study published in the journal Antioxidants verifies its potential to protect against cartilage loss and retard the progress of osteoarthritis.

8. Bone Broth

Bone broth, rich in collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin—components crucial for joint health—is another excellent addition to your diet. Dasgupta recommends it as a vital source of natural compounds that cushion our joints.

9. Berries

The humble berry, whether it be a strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry, can do wonders for joint health. Mohr shares that these little fruits are packed with nutrients that impede chronic inflammation and foster healthy collagen, essential for maintaining healthy cartilage.

10. Whole Grains and Citrus Fruits

Finally, don’t ignore whole grains and citrus fruits. Mohr notes, “Whole grains may help lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, which is a marker of inflammation.” These grains, coupled with citrus fruits high in vitamin C—key for collagen synthesis—provide a powerful combination for preserving joint and cartilage health.

This list offers a comprehensive guide to preserving joint health through dietary choices, reflecting the expert opinions of medical professionals, scientific research, and leading health foundations. Remember, eating smart today can make a tremendous difference in how you move tomorrow. So, next time you’re grocery shopping, don’t forget to load up on these joint-friendly foods.

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Understanding Abdominal Pain: Causes, Relief, and When to Seek Help

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Experiencing abdominal pain can be due to a myriad of reasons, ranging from something as mundane as gas to more significant health conditions like appendicitis or Crohn’s disease. Recognizing the intensity of the pain and location within the abdomen can significantly aid in diagnosis.

The abdomen, situated between the chest and pelvis, is often where this discomfort occurs. Manifestations of such discomfort range from crampy, achy, and dull feelings to intermittent or sharp pains. It’s a remarkably common issue within the United States, with up to 1 in 4 people affected by this gastrointestinal symptom.

While the discomfort is typically transient, resolving with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, it can also be chronic or indicative of a potentially drastic, life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical care.

“Determining the correct treatment for abdominal pain will ultimately depend on the root cause. This can involve a combination of natural remedies, medications, and, in more serious cases, surgical intervention,” says an expert on the topic. For instance, the fleeting pain caused by bloating might not necessitate medical treatment.

There are instances where over-the-counter (OTC) medications can alleviate abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, bloating, and nausea. However, appendicitis that results in severe pain might need a more robust treatment plan involving antibiotics and potentially an appendectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the appendix.

A healthcare professional is instrumental in creating the most effective treatment plan. While there are plenty of home remedies available to help soothe abdominal pain, it’s critical to consult a medical professional before trying anything new, as what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Always remember health is an individual journey, and taking into account personal medical history is crucial for effective treatment.

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Unlocking the Parkinson’s Puzzle: Vital Vitamin Links Revealed

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Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder whose precise origins continue to elude the scientific community, may have a new suspect in its etiology: vitamin deficiencies. While physicians and scientists have long hypothesized that an interplay between genetic and environmental factors contributes to the disease’s onset, new findings suggest a possible role for the absence of certain vitamins.

A recent study undertaken in May 2024, published in the Parkinson’s Disease journal, endeavored to uncover “gut microbial features” prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The research involved a meta-analysis of fecal matter from a group of 94 diagnosed Parkinson’s patients, juxtaposed with 73 healthy individuals hailing from Japan. The data from this study was compared with earlier studies carried out in the U.S., Germany, China, and Taiwan.

The study’s findings were illuminating. It appears that those suffering from Parkinson’s disease were lacking in bacterial genes, which may cause a deficiency in two B vitamins, namely riboflavin (B2) and biotin (B7). The researchers stated: “Pathway analysis showed that genes in the biosyntheses of riboflavin and biotin were markedly decreased in Parkinson’s disease after adjusting for confounding factors.”

Riboflavin, known as B2 vitamin, is a component of the B-complex vitamins and is commonly found in a variety of food items including meats, fortified grains, and nuts, as confirmed by the Cleveland Clinic. “Riboflavin is an essential micronutrient that helps cells develop and work well,” says registered dietitian Kayla Kopp, RD. “Healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome make small amounts of riboflavin. But your body needs more to function. That’s why it’s important to get enough of this B vitamin in your diet every day.”

Significantly, the study also highlighted how riboflavin has been shown to improve conditions such as “oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and glutamate excitotoxicity,” all of which are associated with Parkinson’s disease onset.

Biotin, or B7, is another B-complex vitamin that supports vital bodily functions. It is found in foods like meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables. The study notes that biotin produces anti-inflammatory substances and has the ability to decrease inflammation, providing relief from symptomatic allergies, immunological symptoms, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Given the implications of these vitamin deficiencies on health, the researchers suggest that introducing vitamin B supplements might be beneficial to Parkinson’s patients. In their words, “Supplementation of riboflavin and/or biotin is likely to be beneficial in a subset of Parkinson’s disease patients, in which gut dysbiosis plays pivotal roles.”

Nonetheless, it is critical to exercise caution before hastily adopting the study’s conclusions. “I think these data are much too premature to warrant therapeutic interventions,” warns Tim Sampson, PhD, assistant professor in the department of Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine. He emphasizes that these findings just widen the understanding of how the gut microbiome might be contributing to Parkinson’s disease.

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Endocrinologist Reveals Top Gut Health No-Nos to Live By

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Our gut health is more important than many of us realize. With more than 100 trillion microbes, including bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses, the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in how our bodies function and respond to stress, certain foods, and even some medications. Registered dietitian Kristian Kirkpatrick, RD, calls it the ‘second brain,’ thanks to its vast influence on our overall health.

1. Limit Red Meat Intake

Endocrinologist and researcher, Max Nieuwdorp, PhD, highlights the vital role gut microbes play in the production and release of various hormones, affecting our daily processes like mood and metabolism. One of the items Nieuwdorp suggests we limit for optimal gut health is red meat. He told Business Insider, “I try to not eat meat every day.”

While red meat can alter the composition of the gut microbiome, producing “dangerous” metabolites during the digestion process, Scripps Health also warns that a diet centered around red meat may increase risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer due to its high cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium content.

2. Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods

Nieuwdorp also advocates for reducing the intake of ultra-processed foods, including sweetened breakfast cereals, processed meat, soda, and some frozen ready-to-eat meals. Instead, he recommends prioritizing fresh, additive-free foods.

Gastroenterologist Preeya Goyal, MD, explained in an interview with PIH Health that “ultra-processed foods contain large quantities of saturated fat and trans-fat, added sugar, salt, and food additives that seriously affect the gut and physical health.” Additionally, the consumption of ultra-processed foods can disrupt brain functions.

3. Use Antibiotics Only When Necessary

Lastly, Nieuwdorp suggests using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. “They drive dysbiosis in the gut,” he said.

Cleveland Clinic explains that dysbiosis means a lack of diversity in the gut’s microorganisms, which can make us vulnerable to infections. An imbalanced gut microbiome can also negatively affect our hormones and other essential microbiome services.

Harnessing the power of hormones for optimal health means nourishing our ‘second brain’ — the gut microbiome. By reducing red meat intake, avoiding ultra-processed foods, and using antibiotics only when necessary, we can better care for our gut health, positively impacting our overall wellbeing. Just like every part of our body, our gut requires thoughtfulness and care. With these tips from Dr. Nieuwdorp, we can take actionable steps to improve our gut health and consequently, our general health.

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