You probably don’t even think about your body’s hundreds of joints. That is, unless they’re not doing their jobs quite so well, and then you not only think about them, but you also want to make them feel better.
Joints need to be working correctly, too, because they have a lot of work to do. Your joints function like hinges at the point where two bones come together, and the truth is that you wouldn’t be able to bend, twist or even turn around easily without your joints. And when they’re healthy, you hardly think about them. It’s when they’re unhealthy that you have sometimes constant reminders that they’re there.
Healthy joints should move without pain, but sometimes, due to things such as chronic stress, injury, aging, being overweight, poor diet, lack of exercise and more, joints can become taxed. That’s why it’s so important to take care of them—and here are a few tips for joint health.
Let’s start with an easy step—drink enough water daily. It sounds so simple, but you might be surprised that you could be coming up short on good ol’ H2O. In fact, it’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated—and it’s adversely affecting health, including joint health. Why? Being dehydrated can make your joints ache. Water keeps your joints lubricated, helps you maintain sufficient blood volume so nutrients can get into your joints and permits waste to move out of the joints. Just think of your joints as sponges. They need to soak up the water to be flexible. Otherwise, they’re dry and rigid like dry sponges are.
Likewise, the foods you eat have everything to do with how well your joints are doing. Keeping healthy inflammation levels is key, and some foods to consume plenty of are foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids, since they support healthy inflammation levels as well as diminish joint discomfort and more. You can enjoy wild salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds and other nuts as well as green leafy veggies.
Antioxidants and certain vitamins can also support healthy joints. Antioxidants help to create healthy inflammation levels and to fight off free radicals that can attack joint tissue. Vitamin C can help fight joint discomfort and is necessary for the production of collagen, which is found in joints.
Likewise, low levels of vitamin D are linked to joint pain, while studies say that getting enough vitamin D can help slow the development of osteoarthritis. Niacinamide, a B vitamin, can help improve joint flexibility and reduce unhealthy inflammation levels.
And let’s not forget about ginger, turmeric and garlic. All help to reduce unhealthy levels of inflammation. Likewise, ginger and turmeric can also help fight pain and stiffness of joints. Capsaicin from hot chili peppers is also believed to help with joint pain relief.
We can’t leave out supplements for joint health, either. For example, systemic enzymes, including pancreatin, bromelain, papain and others can support healthy inflammation levels, increase flexibility and mobility as well as joint and tendon health.
So, if you are among the millions who wrestle with joint problems, then, fortunately, there are some easy, natural ways to improve the health of your joints—without all the unwanted side effects that can come along with conventional treatments.