Topic 8: Conquering joint pain the natural way
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Joint pain is a major problem for many Australians, with more than three million reportedly suffering arthritis-related joint pain, and women more likely than men to be affected.
While you should always have your joint pain checked out by a doctor before making big changes to your diet or exercise, there are some simple steps you can safely try today that could help ease the discomfort.
Get the good fats
Upping the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your diet can help your joints, because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
You can get more of these fatty acids by taking supplements, but it’s always a bit more enjoyable to obtain them through yummy food. Delicious meals enriched with fish, pumpkin seeds, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts will give you a boost of omega-3 and omega-6.
Flaxseed – another great source of these good fatty acids – can be sprinkled over your breakfast cereal or salads to give those meals extra crunch.
Spice up your life and reduce pain
Filling your diet full of certain spices will not only make your food taste great but also fill your body with amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have compounds that block the inflammatory cytokines that cause joint pain. As well as including them when you cook, these fab spices can also be added to drinks for an fuss-free way to get them into your diet.
Dried or candied ginger is a great snack as well as a tasty addition to stir fries and dressings.
Get the good oil on your joints
Using oil for cooking and salad dressings is good for your joints as well as for additional flavour.
Extra virgin olive oil – cold-pressed is best so it keeps its natural properties – contains biologically active compounds that combat joint pain. Other oils, including grapeseed, avocado, and canola, help with joint pain and have the added advantage of improving heart health.
Get some friendly support
Another great way to deal with joint pain is to find others who’re in the same boat as you. Being part of a support group means you can share your experiences with people who understand what you are going through, as well as giving you a chance to swap potential remedies.