Take the right steps ahead with these foods for knee pain

Aug 28, 2019

What is knee pain?

Spurred on by injury or ailment, knee pain can range from mildly discomforting to downright unbearable. The most common cause of knee pain is arthritis which is indicated by pain, swelling and/or stiffness in the joints.

Arthritis can be classified into two main types: Osteoarthritis (caused by joint overuse) and rheumatoid arthritis (caused by an immune system error). Albeit different in causes, both the types take a similarly heavy toll on the human body like pain and swelling in the joints.

Not all hope is lost as certain foods help alleviate the pain and swelling also to repair damaged bones and muscles. Ingest these alongside whatever treatment plan your doctor has prepared for you. As the saying goes:

Medical care and proper diet is an ailment’s worst enemy.

How To get Rid of Knee Pain Naturally with Food?

1. Fatty fish
This type of fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, an essential fatty acid that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Our bodies can only enjoy its benefits if we ingest foods that contain them such as salmon, mackerel, sardine, and trout.
Omega-3 acids are known to reduce levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, proteins that cause inflammation within our bodies. Hence fatty fishes are potent anti-inflammatory foods which, in turn, decrease knee pain, stiffness and may also reduce the frequency of pain relief pills that you take.
As an added bonus, they are also dense in Vitamin D, effectively reducing the chances of deficiency in that respect. Arthritis has been repeatedly linked to vitamin D deficiency, and ingesting foods that fight against both ailments will likely kill two birds with one stone. To fully reap the benefits of fatty fish, add them to your diet and try consuming them at least four times a week.

2. Garlic
Garlic can do more than just spice and scent up dishes. Medically known for its cancer-fighting properties, garlic is used as a medicine that lowers the risks of heart disease and dementia. It contains diallyl disulfide that acts as a shield against enzymes that cause damage to the cartilage. Garlic aids the immune system ( foods for immune system) while preventing joint inflammation and bone degradation, both of which are primary causes of knee pain.

3. Ginger and turmeric
Most commonly used in teas, soups, and sweets, ginger and turmeric block substances that cause inflammation. Turmeric, in particular, contains the antioxidant curcumin that works best against chronic inflammation and cleanses the body of toxins.

4. Broccoli and spinach
Sulforaphane, a substance found in broccoli, blocks and slows down the development of arthritic cells. Spinach, on the other hand, contains the antioxidant kaempferol which treats arthritic cartilage cells. Together, both leafy greens are rich in vitamin A, C, D, and K, all of which work as antioxidants that prevent against cell damage.
Ingesting these two will not only get rid of joint swelling but will also treat the damaged muscles and bones that cause knee pain. Vitamin D promotes easier calcium absorption and a more active immune system, the key components for maintaining healthy bones.

5. Avocado, berries, and grapes
Sweet and easy-to-eat fruits. Berries are dense in the compounds quercetin and rutin, grapes in the antioxidants resveratrol and proanthocyanidin and avocados in vitamin E. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals of each fruit prevent the thickening and inflammation of joints. Anti-inflammatory effects aside, they also block the formation of arthritic cells, decreasing the risk of permanent joint damages to your knees.

6. Olive oil
A chef’s favorite companion; the oleocanthal compounds found in olive oil prevent joint inflammation and arthritis development by repairing and slowing down cartilage degradation while numbing pain-inducing cells in the knee. It functions similarly to the drug ibuprofen.

7. Tart cherry juice
A sweet and healthy beverage perfect for cooling down on a hot day! This drink contains the substance anthocyanin known for repairing damaged bones and reducing joint inflammation. Make sure to avoid variants filled with artificial sugar, as those can negate the positive effects of the beverage.

8. Whole grains and nuts
Whole grain foods improve blood cholesterol levels and make you feel fuller, allowing you to eat fewer meals and portions within a day. Nuts contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and alpha-linolenic acid that boost your body’s immune system.
Together, these two promote healthy bone growth and development, which is crucial in preventing and treating knee pain.

9. Watermelon
Watermelon is not only a beach-favorite fruit but it can also do wonders for your knee joints! Containing the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, ingesting watermelon reduces the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, its water-rich setup makes it ideal for maintaining a safe hydration level, reducing the risks of dehydration and heat strokes.

10. Milk and dairy products
Low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt – all rich in vitamin D and calcium! These two nutrients are crucial in strengthening and developing bones, proving especially helpful in treating damaged muscles and cartilages.
Vitamin D deficiency is a leading cause of osteoarthritis and stocking up on vitamin D with these tasty treats is sure to lower the risk of worsening knee pain.

3 Foods You Should Not Eat

1. Sugary food
Sugar, especially artificial sweetners, triggers inflammatory cells in your body. This worsens the swelling and only further aggravates the cells that cause knee pain.

2. Processed food
Albeit convenient and easy to prepare, these foods tend to be filled with salt that irritates damaged joints, causing a more intense type of swelling and pain.

3. Alcohol
While it doesn’t directly aggravate knee pain, alcohol interferes with the effects of the medicine you take. Painkillers and otherwise helpful pills may prove ineffective when ingested alongside alcohol.

The takeaway

Whether the pain or swelling in your knee is caused by a disease or an injury, choosing the right diet is a crucial step to recovery for knee pain. You have the knowledge you need and it is now up to you to apply it. It will take time…

But take the right steps and walking will soon be a walk in the park once more.

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