What causes my joints to ache?
When we step into the cold weather, it causes our muscles to lose heat and contract, making us feel as if we have tight joints. When this happens, our muscles lose the range of motion.
It’s important to maintain good joint health through our diet as well as engaging in regular strength training to build the muscle tissue around our joints. By doing this, we reduce the stress and pressure on them, especially in exercise, keeping them healthy and supported.
What foods can support joint health?
Most joint pain is caused by inflammation, whether we've overexerted ourselves in the gym or due to physical conditions such as arthritis. There are a few foods which contain natural anti-inflammatories that keep joints healthy and supple. These include:
1. Basil – contains eugenol which is an anti-inflammatory and is important for health problems such as inflammation in the gut or arthritis
2. Apples – they’re rich in antioxidants and quercetin which is important for developing new cartilage for healthy joints
3. Squash – it has high antioxidant content and m ay have anti-inflammatory effects helping you to reduce the risks of inflammation related disorders.
4. Garlic, onions, leeks – all contain anti-inflammatory compounds which may help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage
5. Curcuma – this is the active ingredient in turmeric which reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints
In 2012, a small pilot study was surveyed where a curcumin product called BCM-95 reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active Rheumatoid Arthritis. It did this better than diclofenac, a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Certain foods are known to trigger inflammation such as red meat, cookies, and pastries as these contain saturated fats like butter or dairy products. Trans fats such as margarine are good to steer clear of as well as high sodium foods. Refined carbohydrates can be a culprit to your joints such as white bread and pasta as they contain hidden sugars which may increase your body fat ratio thus more stress on your joints.