Eating for Healthy Joints

Eating for Healthy Joints

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

You may have heard about eating for a healthy heart, but have you ever heard about eating for healthy joints? Believe it or not, eating for joint health is important too!

There are a variety of nutritional elements that are crucial for keeping your joints healthy particularly calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. 

Let’s take a closer look at these nutritional elements: 

Calcium is a mineral that is obtained from the food you consume that is then deposited in your teeth and bones. According to the British Nutrition Foundation the best source of calcium in the UK are milk and dairy products. Additional sources include green veggies, as well as canned sardines and whitebait. 

Vitamin D is directly linked to calcium because it helps with the absorption of calcium from food. While some vitamin D is obtained from the food you eat, you get most of it through exposure to sunlight. Food sources of vitamin D include liver oils (i.e. Mackerel, fresh tuna, sardines), egg yolks, liver and butter. If you’re over the age of 65, pregnant or nursing, the Department of Health recommends a daily vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms). 

At least three vitamin K-dependent proteins are present in healthy bones. Low levels of vitamin K are found in individuals that have osteoporosis, and low vitamin K intake, as well as impaired vitamin K status, is associated with lower bone mass and an increased risk of fracture in older individuals. It is therefore essential to consume foods rich in vitamin K, including green leafy veggies, meat and dairy products. 

Another nutritional element that may provide a benefit for healthy joints is omega-3 fatty acids. The Report of a British Nutrition Foundation Task Force found that fish oils providing 2.7- 4g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis including tender and swollen joints. Sources include fatty fish (i.e. Salmon cod, trout, and sardines), flaxseeds, cod liver oil, egg yolks, and walnuts. 

While calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K are known to be associated with bone health, and omega-3 fatty acids becoming more popular, according to a study published in The Open Orthopaedics’ Journal, there are several other vitamins and minerals that are linked to improved bone and joint strength, including magnesium, silicon, vitamin C and boron. 

Sources of magnesium include cashews, peanuts, bran flakes, brown rice, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lentils. Sources of silicon include whole grain cereals, granola, prunes and apricots, brown rice and green beans. Sources of boron include raisins, prunes, apricots, avocado, almonds and peanuts. When you think of vitamin C, the first thing that probably comes to mind is orange juice, and that is a source, but other options include grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe and tomato juice. 

Some simple changes to your diet can go a long way to improving your joint health. Consuming foods that are rich in minerals, vitamins and fatty acids will set you on the right path towards healthy joints. 

Dr. Steve Hodal is committed to providing high-quality, individualized chiropractic care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. He is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatments that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, allowing them to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Contact us to know more about this disorder or Book Online.