As we grow older, we may experience changes in our physical health. Some older adults may develop pain in their joints, causing discomfort and affecting their ability to carry out certain activities. This condition is known as arthritis.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints in the body, leading to pain and stiffness. This disease affects one’s ability to move and stay active and is common in the feet, hands, hips, knees, and lower back.
Although this condition is prevalent among older adults, it can be properly prevented and managed. With the right measures, your parents and grandparents can strengthen their bones and prevent joint inflammation so that they can maintain an active lifestyle.
Eating healthy meals is a proven way to improve joint health. There are foods that help strengthen connective tissues, prevent inflammation, and build stronger bone density.
Aside from food, there are other ways to prevent arthritis in older adults. Check https://seasonsretirement.com/how-to-prevent-arthritis/ to find out more about preventing arthritis.
This article focuses on how foods can improve joint health. Here are six meals that are great for preventing and managing arthritis in older persons.
1. Green tea
Green tea has served medicinal purposes for many centuries. It is a popular beverage with positive health benefits on the joints. Green tea has high antioxidant properties and nutrients and can reduce the rate of joint inflammation in older persons. Also, it can help soothe joint pain by reducing body cholesterol and fat.
Relevant studies have revealed that green tea contains an epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) antioxidant. EGCG is abundant in green tea and belongs to the catechins group. This compound inhibits the formation of certain inflammatory molecules in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Also, EGCG is known to prevent cartilage breakage, thus, helping to preserve the joints further.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish contains omega-3, one of the foods for joint health among older persons. Some examples include Salmon, Sardine, Tuna, Mackerel and Trout. Research has shown that these fatty fishes have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Experts recommend eating three to four ounces of these foods at least twice weekly.
In a study involving 33 participants, the group fed fatty fish, lean meat or lean fish four times weekly. At the end of eight weeks, they showed a significant decrease in compounds relating to inflammation.
Similarly, an experiment showed that omega-3 fatty acid foods reduce joint pain, stiffness, and inflammatory markers that cause osteoarthritis. In addition, the omega-3 found in fatty fish improves blood flow in older adults during physical activities.
Furthermore, fish is a good vitamin D source and can help prevent rheumatoid arthritis among older adults.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil, which is one of the foods for joint pain, isn’t like vegetable oil, groundnut oil, or sunflower oil which can induce inflammation. Instead, this food has special anti-inflammatory effects that favour older persons with joint pain. It’s an excellent source of unsaturated fat rich in omega-3s and can serve as a good substitute for cooking and making salad dressings.
Furthermore, combining olive oil with vitamin D protects against bone loss. Research shows that a compound in olive oil (oleocanthal) has anti-inflammatory properties that are good for heart health.
It is advised to go for the extra virgin variety that hasn’t been processed, as it is very effective as one of the foods for joint pain.
4. Whole grains
Some studies reveal that the proteins in refined grains like white rice and white flour can cause an inflammatory reaction. However, whole grains such as oats and barley can help counter this reaction. This is because they produce fatty acids that work against inflammation.
Whole grains reduce C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels in the blood, which causes inflammation linked with arthritis and diabetes. They contain a sufficient amount of phytic acid, selenium, vitamin E, and antioxidants – all of which are proven to help reduce inflammation. In addition, whole grains deliver a quality dose of fibre, and contribute to fatty acid production, thus, serving as a healthy food for joints.
To enjoy the benefits of whole grains as one of the foods to help arthritis prevention and management, experts advise taking about three to six ounces of whole grains per day. Older adults should opt for whole grains over their refined counterparts.
5. Cherries and Apples
Cherries are essential foods for joint pain that help to reduce the recurrence of gout attacks. These fruits get their red colour from anthocyanins – a natural plant chemical.
Research proves that the anthocyanins in cherries contain properties that help relieve joint pain. This chemical can be seen in other berries like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Cherries prevent swellings around the joints and muscles. They contain high vitamin C content, which aids collagen formation in the body. Collagen is vital in the body because it builds up the joints by improving cartilage strength and enhancing the tendons.
Also, apples are rich in fibre, contain an array of antioxidants, and can aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Additionally, they can help reduce individual appetite for unhealthy junk.
Furthermore, other pomegranates like berries have a high amount of tannin that can help fight against joint inflammation. Older persons can add these fruits to their yogurt or salad to tackle arthritis effectively.
6. Leafy green vegetables
Integrating leafy green vegetables into meals for older adults will provide them with calcium for stronger bones.
Also, these foods provide beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are essential in building body immunity. They can block enzymes that cause joint swelling. Some examples of leafy green vegetables include spinach, broccoli, kale, and mustard greens.
These foods have high vitamin content, which assists in producing and maintaining collagen levels in the body. For example, broccoli contains vitamins C and K, which has sulforaphane to prevent and slow down the buildup of osteoarthritis.
Also, kale is a good calcium source for maintaining strong bones.
This article gives a lowdown on the kinds of foods that can help improve joint health and prevent inflammation around the knees, hips, feet, and lower back.
While taking these nutritious foods, older adults are encouraged to participate in simple exercises that can prevent and manage arthritis.
Originally posted 2022-07-07 00:21:51.