Enjoying Your Food for Joint Pain – Joint pain is nothing new to many people, even those who don’t fall within the age bracket commonly associated with feeling advanced signs of pain due to age. Basic issues like cartilage degradation in the joints, resulting in the reduction of cushioning that would otherwise prevent bone on bone friction, can lead to considerable pain and reduced movement no matter one’s age. There are also overuse injuries that can affect one whether they play a lot of sports or not (so much for the myth that only tennis players get tennis). Joint pain can be mitigated with rest, ice, compression and elevation in order to keep the swelling down – but something as simple as eating right can improve your condition even further.
Consider, for instance, turmeric. Now you might have heard of this, and it would be no accident as turmeric is currently enjoying a renaissance in terms of popularity – and with good reason. This yellow curry spice is also known as the Queen of Spices, because beyond its sharp aroma and distinctive flavor it brings to the table a potent antioxidant curcuminoid known as curcumin, which gives turmeric powerful medicinal qualities:
- Curcumin acts as an antioxidant, helping the body in two ways: fighting off free radicals and triggering the production of enzymes that can also act as antioxidants.
- Curcumin makes turmeric a natural anti-inflammatory, which directly counteracts one of the main reasons behind joint pain. Turmeric dosages have been found to be more effective than even certain NSAIDs for reducing and preventing pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients – and all without the side effects.
- It’s not just joint pain, either – diseases like metabolic syndrome and even Alzheimer’s have inflammation as a core symptom or leading factor, resulting in the need to fight inflammation.
How is Turmeric Different from Other Natural Remedies
The main tricky bit with curcumin and turmeric is that it must be taken in significant amounts for its effects to properly register. As such, aside from taking highly bioavailable turmeric supplements, one can include turmeric in their diet in a number of ways. One of the most common ones is through making tea out of it, as a fairly strong dosage of turmeric can make for some potent tea. There are, of course, other options – one is the direct approach, where taking a teaspoon of turmeric with milk can help cholesterol.
Here are some other recipes you can try that incorporate turmeric for flavor and health:
HONEY TURMERIC CHICKEN
Turmeric goes really well with chicken, as this protein takes flavors well and turmeric has a lot of fragrance and sharp flavor to offer.
- chicken thighs (12oz chicken), 4 – deboned but skin left
- garlic cloves, 2 – minced
- honey, 1 ½ tablespoons
- oyster sauce or soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
- turmeric powder, scant ¾ tablespoon
- cayenne pepper, 1 pinch
- salt, 1 pinch
- oil, 1 tablespoon
- You may use drumsticks, wings or chicken breasts for this recipe. Add the dry and wet ingredients to the chicken and mix well to coat the meat.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat. Add the oil and let it heat up enough, then move the chicken to the skillet. Cook both sides until golden brown. They should be crisp on the bottom, with the skin side glazed
- Alternatives: you can cook the bird in an oven or grill instead of a skillet.
TURMERIC COCONUT BASMATI RICE
This is a side dish that’s easy to make. The ingredients make the rice nice and fragrant, and onions, garlic and turmeric make for a pleasant mix of fragrant and salty that will let the rice go well with a number of dishes.
- olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoon
- onion, ½ – diced
- garlic cloves, 3 – minced
- grated ginger, 1 tablespoon
- salt, ½ teaspoon
- basmati rice, 1 cup – rinsed and drained
- ground turmeric, 1 ½ teaspoons
- light coconut milk, 7 oz
- water, 1 ¼ cup
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium size sauce pan. Add the diced onion, salt, grated ginger and minced garlic. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring continuously, until the onions are soft but before they brown.
- Add the rice and turmeric. Stir to evenly combine the ingredients, allowing the oil and ingredients to coat the rice well. Allow the rice to cook but keep stirring frequently. Add the coconut milk and water; combine by stirring then bring up the heat so the mix comes to a boil.
- Once it hits boiling point, reduce the heat and cover the saucepan. Allow 15-18 minutes for the rice to cook and absorb the liquid. For serving, use a fork to fluff the rice and stir in some chopped basil.
While we all know that exercise has traditionally been one of the most strongly recommended measures for staying healthy and with good reason, these days that alone might not be enough to get us where we need to go. After all, the world we’re in these days is considerably more demanding, draining, and even toxic to an extent. Sure, pounding the pavement with a good jog is always a good idea as it has cardiovascular benefits that anyone who can walk and run can receive, but if we were to focus on that alone, we might be missing out on a lot of potential health benefits that could otherwise strengthen our bodies even further.
Of course, this is not to diminish the importance of exercise. It’s simply a recognition of the fact that strengthening the body from within through fortifying it with the right nutrients and elements can take our level of health way higher than we might otherwise be used to. These days we know a lot more about the body’s inner workings, and as such we feel more confident about deciding for ourselves what to eat. Different foods have varied impacts on the body’s functioning, and some can even go a long way toward preventing such common maladies as inflammation and joint pain