Eat yourself well
In the UK, 65% of adults are classed as being overweight or obese. With any extra weight in the body our joints feel the stress. Our feet, ankles, spine and our knees. Our knees will feel 2 x any added/lost weight e.g if you lose 5kg the knee’s will feel it as the equivalent of 10kg, less pressure means less wear and tear! Extra stress on our joints often causes chronic pain and can lead to other complications such as osteoarthritis.
Why nutrition? Because healthy eating will improve your overall health and it’s a perfect partner to our hands on treatment.
Being overweight may increase inflammation and therefore increase pain in the body. One study found that reducing inflammation in the body helps the body heal, improving the body’s immune system. Just a 10% reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation.
With the stats showing that nearly two thirds of UK adults now weigh more than is healthy, its no wonder I am seeing more and more patients in practice who require regular treatment for ongoing hip, ankle, and spine pain. The good and important news is that by swapping bad eating habits for those that are better for us means you can enjoy a dramatic improvement in your health. No matter your dietary requirements, or preferences there will be something for you, here are my top 6!
1. Eat more oily fish
Ideally two portions of fish a week this includes things such as, tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon. Rich in omega-3, these fish have been shown to help dampen general inflammation and may help to reduce joint pain.
2. Incorporate more Mediterranean foods
Eating a range of colorful fruit and vegetables, ideally 5 a day, will increase the amount of antioxidants which may help to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of joint stiffness and swelling.
3. Change the type of fat
Fat isn’t the dietary bad guy anymore. In fact some fats are essential in the body. Ditch the saturated fats, omega 6 fats and start using olive oil, walnut and avocado oil instead.
4. Eat iron rich foods
Iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, the stuff that carries oxygen around our body. It’s also used during immune function and energy production as well as beneficial to cognitive health. Foods that contain a high level of iron include, lean red meats, poultry, seafoods and legumes such as lentils and chickpeas alongside spinach, which also contains vitamin C, which helps the absorption of iron. Don’t forget dark chocolate, a great treat, contains iron alongside antioxidants which are brilliant for heart health.
5. Eat calcium rich foods
Good sources of calcium are, milk, yoghurt, cheese, green vegetables, almonds, and even some fish such as pilchards or sardines. Calcium is used all around the body and as we all know helps with healthy bone building and the maintenance of strong bones and joints.
6. Consider a supplement
There is a lot of evidence which shows vitamin D helps prevent arthritis progressing quickly so I recommend taking a vitamin D supplement, ideally from October to April. Another supplement to consider is magnesium, its an essential mineral that is incredibly important in a variety of functions for the body. Magnesium citrate for example supports relaxation, muscle function and heart health.
Growing your own food has many health benefits; it helps you eat more fresh produce, you decide what fertilizer and pesticides are used on it, plus veg that ripens in the garden has more nutrients than store bought ones which are picked early and sit in storage. Some of the healthiest things to grow are dark, leafy greens such as kale, rocket and spinach. Full of iron, folic acid and a huge variety of vitamins. Iron is vital in the body for making the red blood cells which carry oxygen to our organs helping our brain and immune system function normally. Start improving your health by trying out three foods you can grow, no matter if you’re green fingered or not!
Fresh herbs, these only require a small amount of space, add brilliant flavour to your dishes and look great on a windowsill. I’m growing, basil, mint, rosemary and thyme to name just a few. Grow your favourites it’s the best way to control what you eat.
Easy salad items such as tomatoes or lettuce can be grown in small spaces and thrive in containers and are a good starting point! Strawberries, a nice fun one to grow especially if you have children, providing great tasting berries throughout summer and again great for small spaces! Lastly give sprouting seeds a go, these are low cost and quick, things such as radishes taste so good!
Talk to us about the nutritional changes you want to make in your diet, to compliment your chiropractic or sports therapy treatment program. Alongside nutritional advice, we also have a wide range of supplements available.