5 foods that could help keep joints healthy during colder months
Joint pain can occur at any time of the year, but some people find it can particularly flare up when the weather is cold.
Some studies have suggested that this because when temperatures dip, our body prioritises supplying vital organs like the heart, which restricts how much blood it sends to our hands and feet.
As a result, researchers have theorised that the tissues around the joints become less pliable, so joints can feel tighter and more uncomfortable than usual.
Joint pain can occur for a range of reasons, of course, including osteoarthritis, which affects millions of Brits to some extent or other.
While there’s no magic recipe to take arthritis away, there is evidence that diet – and certain foods in particular – could play a role in helping fight inflammation and joint pain (alongside tailored professional advice from your doctor and medication if required).
Wondering which foods might help keep winter joint pain at bay? Here are five foods that have been linked with joint health…
1. Fatty fish
Fatty and oily fish – like salmon, trout and mackerel – are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can help fight inflammation associated with arthritis pain. It’s thought that marine fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can reduce the production of immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both important components in the body’s inflammatory response. Experts generally recommend at least three to four ounces of fish, twice a week, to reap the joint-friendly benefits.
As well as being a delicious base for soups, sauces or a tasty stir-fry, studies have shown that people who regularly eat foods from the allium family enjoy fewer signs of osteoarthritis, the most common chronic joint condition in the UK.
Garlic, like onions and leeks, contains diallyl disulfide – an anti-inflammatory compound that can limit the effects of cytokines. Top tip: Plump for fresh garlic, as the preservatives in bottled garlic may effect some of its benefits.
As well as being used to soothe an upset stomach, a daily slice of fresh ginger may also help ease the symptoms of arthritis. One 2001 study assessed how 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee responded to taking a capsule of ginger extract, twice a day. After six weeks, 63% reported improvements in their discomfort levels.
This aromatic spice can be used to add zest to cooking, enjoyed fresh or brewed in tea. If you’re not fond of the taste, you can find it in supplement form too.
Walnuts are one of the most versatile nuts going – you can sprinkle them on salads, toss them into a noodle dish, or simply enjoy them as a mid-morning snack. These hardy nuts are great for joints as they’re high in alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid which plays a role in keeping inflammation under control.
Who can resist a bowl of berries with a dollop of yogurt in the morning? As well as being naturally low in calories, this simple breakfast dish may also have some powerful benefits for joints – as well as your health in general. Berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which researchers have found can protect your body against inflammation and free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage cells and organs – and may be associated with lower levels of inflammation.
Take advantage of seasons fresh berries (although you can also buy them frozen), and if you have a garden, why not giving growing your own a go?
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- Jamie Oliver’s veggie pad thai - August 22, 2019
- The Great British Bake Off: Meet this year’s amateur bakers - August 20, 2019
- Harvesting herbs: How to make 5 easily homegrown herbs last beyond summer - August 19, 2019
- Quiz: How many of these iconic city nicknames do you know? - August 16, 2019
- 4 types of headaches and what they’re trying to tell you - August 14, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!