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Foods & Nutrients That Fuel Joint Health

Dr. Theodosakis, M.D.

The warmer weather is officially here, which means it`s time to get outdoors and enjoy one of your favorite activities, whether that`s taking an outdoor yoga class, jogging through your local park, walking your dogs, or engaging in morning swimming or water aerobics sessions.

During these active months, the last thing any of us want to worry about is discomfort from natural wear and tear on joints, which most adults experience. Luckily, renowned joint health expert Dr. Theodosakis, M.D., known to his patients as “Dr. Theo,” states that there is a special connection between food and joint health. “We now know that certain foods can actually help ease and promote joint comfort.”

Dr. Theo sat down with the Wellness Advisor to share these joint healthy diet essentials from his latest book, The Arthritis Cure:


Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a major help in fighting free radicals, which may be damaging to joints and can contribute to joint discomfort. Antioxidants include vitamin A (or beta carotene and other carotenoids), vitamin Cvitamin E and selenium. An easy way to remember these is the acronym ACES. Foods that contain any of the four ACES are powerful weapons for combating free radicals. Choice foods for each include:

• Vitamin C – Fruits such as grapefruit, papaya, oranges, mangoes, raspberries, pineapples and tomatoes, as well as vegetables such as asparagus, red peppers, and broccoli
• Vitamin E – Avocados, whole-grain breads and cereals, sunflower seeds and peanut butter
• Selenium – Salmon , Brazil nuts, oatmeal and brown rice


Fatty Acids

Certain fatty acids are protective by nature and can reduce swelling and discomfort in joints. The most common types of fatty acids are omega-3s. Excellent dietary sources include coldwater fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and herring, as well as green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.


Supplements

For an extra boost in joint health, a glucosamine-based dietary supplement can help. Glucosamine is nature’s basic building block for maintaining joint cartilage and can help counteract some of the effects wear and tear has on the joints, rejuvenating comfort and mobility. In addition, glucosamine is a good choice because it’s supported by scientific studies and can bring relief safely and naturally. Look for trusted brands that offer at least 1,500 mg of glucosamine. To get the best results, studies have shown that consistency is important.

With this healthy, joint-friendly lifestyle, you can continue doing the activities you love.