Living a healthy lifestyle is all the rage these days, and why wouldn’t it be? Everybody’s looking to keep a slim and trim shape, in the face of all the stressful and unhealthy parts of the modern lifestyle. People have tried to include more active choices into their daily schedules, and have indeed made room for gym time and other ways to keep themselves moving to try and work off the effects of both day-to-day stress and less-healthy eating. Indeed, simply choosing to become more physically active has already resulted in quite a few benefits for quite a few people.
However, this is not the only way to live a healthier lifestyle, and it’s certainly a better idea to supplement this with the other ways. For one thing, matching up a healthier food intake with the more active lifestyle will support the physical fitness with various ways of keeping the body parts themselves well-fueled and healthy. Certain types of food are better for the body than others when it comes to promoting healthy joints, and can indeed balance out the physical activity with various all-natural ways of maintaining good body chemistry. Our joints, for instance, can benefit from the inclusion of certain types of food in our diets. Here are some foods that promote healthy joints:
- Green tea – long a popular drink for its many healthful properties, green tea is also good for the joints. The catechins it contains are great for preventing the breakdown of cartilage and collagen. This effect is overall very helpful for keeping the efficient functioning of the joints for as long as possible, especially since cartilage is the cushioning that keeps the joints moving smoothly and stably without friction.
- Pomegranate seeds – the flavonols in these seeds are also helpful in protecting cartilage against damage. Many injuries affecting joints are caused by thinning or damaging of the cartilage in the joints, which is one of the main sources of pain and inflammation.
- Chia seeds – believe it or not, these seeds are among the richest sources of omega-3 fats – the richest among seeds, actually – and offer plenty of bone-strengthening calcium and magnesium.
- Oily fish like salmon, trout and sardines – speaking of omega-3 fats, these types of fish have a lot of this to offer. The omega-3 fats dampen the impact of inflammation and help ease stiffness in joints as well; the higher the level of omega-3 in the body, the lower the likelihood of systemic inflammation. Try not to go too heavy on the fish either, though – having, say, salmon for several days in a row will make you feel a little off.
- Apples, apricots, and cherries – apples have plenty of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which in the long run can help prevent swelling in joints from getting particularly bad. Apricots and cherries help keep inflammation at bay as well thanks to their anthocyanidin compounds, and their magnesium content helps ease pain.
- Yogurt – one of the many health benefits touted for yogurt involves providing beneficial bacteria that can ease the pain in swollen joints. Make sure to pick yogurt that isn’t high in sugar, though, as sugar can contribute to inflammation and thus nullify the otherwise potentially-helpful use of yogurt. Greek yogurt tends to come highly recommended.
- Ginger – one of many herbs that help ease swelling and pain, ginger contains plenty of compounds in its skin and near the surface that can help lessen inflammation.
- Turmeric – as with ginger, turmeric has natural inflammation-fighting qualities that allow it to help the body reduce the impact of swelling in joints.
- Amaranth – like quinoa, amaranth is a seed that looks like a grain. As you’ve seen above, some seeds can pack a punch in helping keep joints healthy and helping fight inflammation. As such, having this as a substitute for grains like white rice can help curb the likelihood of inflammation. Amaranth in particular contains the peptide lunasin, an anti-inflammatory substance.
One recipe you can try out is The Gracious Pantry’s recipe for gingerbread oatmeal. This arthritis-friendly recipe offers a good touch of ginger and is fairly light.
Ingredients (4 servings):
- water, 4 cups
- steel-cut oats, 1 cup
- ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tbsps.
- ground coriander, ¼ tsp
- ground cloves, 1 tsp
- ground ginger, ¼ tsp
- ground allspice, ¼ tsp
- ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp
- ground cardamom, ¼ tsp
- maple syrup, to taste
Cook the oats according to the package directions, adding the spices when the oats are in the water. Add maple syrup to taste after cooking finishes.
Another recipe comes from Cookin Canuck, and it’s a good main course that features baked tilapia, a fish that is a good source of inflammation-fighting selenium.
- crushed pecans
- brown sugar
- cayenne pepper
- olive oil
- whisked egg white
Stir the dry ingredients together in a baking dish to form a rub, and toss the mix with the olive oil. Bake the mix in a pre-heated (at 350 degrees F ) oven for 7 to 8 minutes, then increase the heat to 450 degrees F.
Coat a large glass baking dish with cooking spray, then dip the tilapia in the whisked egg white and then into the now-golden brown pecan mix to lightly coat each side. Place the tilapia in the coated baking dish and press the remaining pecan mix into the tops of the tilapia. Bake until the tilapia is cooked through, which should be about 10 minutes.
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