In order to protect and preserve our joints, we need to focus on improving our antioxidant status and supporting healthy levels of inflammation. Like most things that go wrong with the body, excessive oxidative stress and persistent unhealthy levels of inflammation are intricately linked to deteriorating joint health.
The great thing is that research is showing now, more than ever, that food can be an incredibly useful and effective tool to nourish joints. According to joint health expert Dr. Jason Theodosakis (Dr. Theo), “We now know that certain foods can actually help ease and promote joint comfort.”
According to Dr. Theo, foods that contain vitamin A (e.g., beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, and/or selenium (collectively known as the “ACES”) are powerful weapons for combating free radicals and easing achy joints.
There are several antioxidant phytonutrients (e.g., flavonoids, anthocyanins, carotenoids, plant sterols, glucosinolates) found in an array plant-based foods that can have a tremendously beneficial effect on joint health by supporting the body’s antioxidant defense systems, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting a healthy inflammatory response. In addition, a number of other micronutrients (e.g., vitamin D, vitamin K, several B vitamins) may play a critical role in optimizing joint health and function.
What’s more, certain fats (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids) are protective by nature, promote a healthy inflammatory response, and ease joint discomfort. With all that in mind, here are some of the top foods to help support your body’s ability to combat everyday muscle and joint aches and soreness:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine
- Coldwater fatty fish
- Brazil nuts
- Fermented veggies
- Dark green leafy veggies
- Orange-colored fruits and veggies
- Citrus fruits
- Whey protein
Arguably one of the most effective foods to boost joint health is bone broth, which contains collagen protein and other joint-rebuilding materials (e.g., glycosaminoglycans). Simply put, like heals like, and bone broth (and collagen protein supplements) can be quite helpful in boosting joint health.