If you’re like many of us in today’s fast-paced world, you put a lot of time and effort into staying healthy. Like many you may also experience joint pain. But the quest for health isn’t just about looking good, because while many people have that as a priority, our increased awareness of how our activities affect our bodies has given us a lot to be concerned about.
And concerned we are, because we’ve come to place a high premium on staying healthy. People work out more, to the point where the old image of “working out” instilling mental imagery of just pumping iron at the gym has now been replaced with different kinds of “workouts”. People run, jog and walk for endurance and cardio, or they do a variety of exercises like Crossfit, pilates or yoga. However, these activities can grind to a frustrating halt because of one thing: joint pain.
Even the more sedentary among us can be susceptible to joint pain, one must admit – age or lifestyle can be factors that lead to such ailments. This is particularly common in the knee joint, which can be surprising to people who aren’t aware of how much work our knees do on a daily basis.
Where does joint pain come from and What are the risk factors?
- Excess weight. Being too heavy for your average frame may be putting a lot of stress on your joints, especially your knees. Knees are part of a complex system designed to take the brunt of your weight. Staying above your proper weight can also increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Biomechanical problems. Some people are born with uneven bone structure in the leg area, or even things like flat feet. What’s fascinating is that this sometimes goes unnoticed for years – get checked just in case.
- Lack of flexibility. If you don’t stretch your legs (and thus your knees) every now and then, or don’t do a lot of walking on a regular basis, they might react painfully to sudden intense activity.
- Some physical activity. Some sports or workouts put greater stress on your knees than others might. Some even put undue stress on the joints, meaning they don’t have to be so high-impact or high-risk but are.
- Previous injury. If you’ve injured your knees before, the injury might come back due to any variety of factors. At any rate you may be at somewhat increased risk.
Celery Smoothies to the Rescue
Celery has long been known to have particular health benefits. Part of the Apiaceae family, celery has been a longtime favorite for low-calorie snacking thanks to its crunchy stalks and overall healthy composition. It is good for your digestive tract (it’s a good source of dietary fiber) as well as your cardiovascular system, and its seeds are commonly used in medicine for pain relief. Celery seed extracts have been found to have some effects on lowering blood pressure as well. Celery is rich in vitamins A and K, and can contribute a bit of calcium as well. Furthermore, celery is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can make it a good candidate for easing severe joint pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or general joint pain.
How to Take Celery for your Severe Joint Pain
How does one consume a big amount of celery without needing to turn it into an all-the-time snack? While it’s certainly possible to add celery to your diet as a matter of course, you’ll want to consume as much as you can in as little time as you can. Time to turn to another modern staple: the health smoothie.
Now, no one’s suggesting you make a smoothie entirely out of celery, sever joint pain or not, it’s very distinct in terms of flavor, and too much of it will be overpowering. It’s enough to use one or two stalks for a large smoothie batch; two medium stalks offer 12% the RDA of vitamin A and 20% the RDA of vitamin K, and each medium stalk offering about 2% the RDA of calcium. You can pair celery with a few other mild greens like spinach or lettuce, or even some heavier-flavored greens like kale or dandelion of you’re looking to experiment. Don’t forget to include a sweet fruit as the main flavor base; red grapes or pineapples will be a good place to start.
Buy celery that looks crisp and snaps easily. This will likely be the freshest celery available. The leaves are a good indicator too – look for bright green or pale green leaves. Celery is inexpensive and not seasonal, which helps. It’s helpful to remember to use a high-speed blender to make sure the celery fibers and strands get blitzed up enough and don’t remain intact. If they do, it kind of defeats the purpose of a smoothie.
Here are a few good joint pain recipes for smoothies with celery in them. Just dump everything in a high-speed blender and blitz.
Red grapes, 1 cup
Banana, 1 (peeled)
Baby bok choy, 1 head
Celery, 2 medium stalks (chopped)
Water, 2 ounces
Pineapple, 1/2 cup (cubed)
Banana, 1 (peeled)
Baby spinach, 2 cups (alternatively, 1 cup parsely)
Celery, 1 medium stalk (chopped)
Orange, 1 (peeled)
Ginger, 1 slice with peel
Celery, ½ stick with leaves (chopped)
Ice, 1 cup
(optional: add the juice of 1 lemon or lime)
Making for a good balance of flavor allows you to make the most of the celery without being overwhelmed with its distinct vegetable flavor. After all, the fruits themselves are healthy too, and help keep things balanced. Best of all, it’s a surefire way to get the nutrients that will help you confront joint pain. Its best, of course, to get your joint pain looked at when you can, and to try and lock down the other risk factors – it wouldn’t be ideal to rely entirely on smoothies to be a fix-all cure. However, these green smoothies can be very helpful in toning down the pain and accompanying whatever physical means you have to get the joints back in shape.
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