A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones come into contact with each other. Most are mobile and are made up of:
- Cartilage—helps to reduce the friction in the joint’s movement.
- Synovial membrane—seals the joint and releases synovial fluid for lubrication.
- Ligaments—this connective tissue connects bones to bones and prevents excessive joint laxity
- Tendons—another form of connective tissue that connects muscle to bones and allows muscles to move bones
Healthy joints are vital for adults of all ages, whether you play sports professionally or you enjoy playing baseball with your grandchildren on the weekends. We all know that regular exercise and a balanced diet both play an important role in maintaining joint health, but what you may not know is that you can help maintain joint flexibility by eating certain foods and avoiding others.
The Worst Foods for Joint Pain and What You Should Eat Instead
Avoid these inflammation-causing foods as much as possible to maximize joint strength and minimize joint discomfort.
Refined Carbohydrates and Sugars
These substances can put a burden on your glycemic index, dampen the effectiveness of your white blood cells and suppress your immune system.1 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. The release of inflammatory cytokines results in overall increases of inflammation. Consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars can also lead to weight gain which then causes excessive wear and tear on joints
Replacement: Replace refined carbs with whole grain breads and cereals. This will lower your risk of inflammation. Refined sugars such as sucrose, corn syrup, dextrose and artificial sweeteners can be replaced with natural sugars such as stevia, pure maple syrup, raw honey, and molasses.
Dietary oils and fats can be categorized into many categories but two of the main oils that people consume are omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in common vegetable oils such as canola, palm, soybean, and sunflower oils. Omega-3 is prevalent in fish and certain nuts like flax. Historically the diets of humans consisted of 1 part omega-6 fats to 1 part omega-3 fats. The modern diet is as high as 10:1 or even up to 30:1.
The problem with consuming excessive amounts of omega 6 fats is that they are metabolized by the body into pro-inflammatory markers that increase inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolized into markers that either promote less inflammation or have the opposite effect.
Replacement: Baked, grilled or steamed fish. Mackerel, tuna, salmon and herring are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help combat inflammation.2 Fish oils can also lower your triglyceride levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. If you don’t eat fish but still want the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, soybeans can help you out. Soy products like tofu and edamame are also high in fiber and protein and low in fat. Unfortunately, soy products are known to have estrogen-like effects.
One great solution is to take a fish oil supplement. DrFormulas Fish Oil is an ultra-pure, molecularly distilled and concentrated form of fish oil. This fish oil consists of 70% Omega-3 Fatty Acids while normal fish oils have only ~25%. This means fewer pills to take and more Omega-3 Fatty acids for your money.
Soda Pop and Fruit Juices:
Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages have a high content of sugar and sodium, both of which can lead to inflammation. Even diet sodas with artificial sweeteners can adversely affect your health by upsetting the balance of beneficial microflora in your intestines, leading to digestive problems.4
Replacement: Green tea is packed with polyphenols, which can help reduce joint inflammation and prohibit cartilage destruction. Green tea is great for people suffering from osteoarthritis.5 It can also help flush toxins from the body.
These are commonly found in many processed foods, some cereals, soups and bread. They are listed with names like sucralose, aspartame, or acesulfame. Preservatives like sodium benzoate and food dyes have been connected to a number of health problems from disrupted hormone functions as well as inflammation.6
Replacement: Switch processed foods for fresh fruit and vegetables: For example, cherries, which contain anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain. Anthocyanins are also found in raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. These berries are also high in vitamin C and folic acid. This helps reduce levels of uric acid, which can lead to joint-damaging gout. When it comes to green veggies, broccoli is a good all-rounder because it is rich in vitamins C and K and calcium. But it’s also great for bone strength because it contains sulforaphane, a nutrient recently shown to slow down the damaging effects of osteoarthritis by protecting cartilage.
Trans Fat Foods:
This is less of a concern now since the FDA has banned trans fats. Before the ban you could have found trans fats in margarine, cookies, muffins, non-dairy coffee creamers and frozen pizzas
If you want to be certain you’re getting all the beneficial joint nutrients in your diet there’s a simple way to do it: with DrFormulas Joint Support supplement. Unlike most brands of joint supplement, which focus on glucosamine and chondroitin, DrFormulas Joint Support offers a superior joint supplement with a proprietary combination of over 25 ingredients. The answer to what makes it different lies in the blend of ingredients, which are formulated specifically to provide total support for all your joints.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin: As well as glucosamine which helps reduce natural wear and tear on your joints, and chondroitin, which helps support cartilage.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): Cartilage contains amino acids and proteins rich in sulfur. MSM is a good source of sulfur which helps to support cartilage health and joint mobility.
- Fish cartilage: You are what you eat! Fish cartilage is included in the DrFormulas Joint Support to be a rich and healthy source of the proteins that make up cartilage.
- Boswellia serrata: The Boswellia serrata plant, or frankincense, has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for joint health. It has potent anti-inflammatory characteristics.8
- Phytosterols: Phytosterols are plant compounds that look like sterols or steroids. These compounds also help support a healthy inflammation response.
- Boron: This mineral helps your body break down and metabolize the other vital nutrients you need for healthy bones and joints, such as calcium and vitamin D.
- Manganese: This important mineral helps to prevent osteoporosis and prevent inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. It can also ease joint pains and prevent anemia.
See the full list of ingredients in DrFormulas’ revolutionary Joint Support formula here!