We all know that exercise helps us enjoy a healthy lifestyle. But what role does nutrition play in joint health? A diet rich in fresh vegetables and lean sources of protein is always a healthy choice. While you’re assessing your nutritional needs, keep these five foods on your grocery list. These foods help protect your joints due to their healthy nutritional profile.

1. Fuel Your Joints With Fish Oils

According to the Arthritis Foundation, fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA), which block inflammatory compounds. Aim to eat two 3-ounce servings of fish a week for good health. However, keep in mind that it’s difficult to get a therapeutic dose of fish oil from food sources alone. To treat arthritis-related conditions, the Arthritis Foundation recommends using fish oil capsules with at least 30 percent EPA/ DHA, the active ingredients.

2. Say Yes to Nuts

Aside from being tasty and versatile, nuts and seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risks that are high in people with certain types of arthritis. In addition, some nuts are rich with magnesium, l-arginine and vitamin E, which may help keep inflammation under control. Studies suggest that people who eat a diet high in these nutrients tend to have reduced levels of inflammatory molecules that circulate in the bloodstream.

Walnuts are rich in ALA and have a high omega-3 content. Researchers have also found walnuts to lower C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. Nuts can be great as a snack, added to oatmeal for extra texture, or as a topping on leafy green summer salads. Remember that nuts are a good snack when eaten in small, measured portions. That’s because nuts are high in calories and fat, so be mindful of how many you eat.

3. Boost Your Meals With Broccoli

What’s rich in vitamins K and C, and contains a compound called sulforaphane? Broccoli, the super veggie! Did you know that studies suggest broccoli might help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA)? The other good news is that broccoli is loaded with calcium, which is an added bonus because of its bone health benefits. Enjoy broccoli in salads, side dishes, or as a crunchy snack paired with a healthy and savory dip.

4. Load Your Cart With Citrus

Fresh citrus fruits are plentiful in the summer, and foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and limes are rich in vitamin C. According to the Arthritis Foundation, research shows that getting enough vitamin C may boost your body’s production of collagen, a building block of healthy bones. Valencia oranges are in season from April to summer — but don’t forget about other citrus-rich foods such as Mandarin oranges, clementines, tangelos, and tangerines. Try to eat the recommended amount of 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day for women, or 90 milligrams a day for men. Eat citrus fruit in other meals besides breakfast: Make a citrus smoothie for a snack or as part of a healthy lunch.

5. Choose Cherries

While you’re buying fruit and vegetables, throw some fresh cherries in your shopping cart. Cherries contain compounds called anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that help minimize inflammation. If you have joint problems such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), eating foods that reduce inflammation may help improve your symptoms. Cherries taste great on their own, added to a fruit salad, or dried as part of a trail mix.

Contact the Flexogenix Team

If you are dealing with arthritis or other joint-related problems, know that we are here to help you find relief from pain and other symptoms. You can get help for your joint pain without risky and expensive surgery. Call the experts at Flexogenix and make an appointment. The Flexogenix team has the expertise and resources to help you take charge of your joint health. We look forward to meeting you and addressing your joint concerns.