Dr. Burke's Top 10 Festive Fall Foods for Joint Health

What you eat has a significant impact on your joint health and overall well-being. You can indeed ease joint pain through food. This time of year provides many opportunities to choose foods that fight inflammation, strengthen bones and connective tissue, and more. So, if you like to indulge a little and have a few extra calories, fall is the season to do so.

Why Fall is the Best Time for Joint-Friendly Foods

Fall offers an abundance of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods that are in season. Foods with these properties are just the things you want to consume to ease knee pain and other joint pain. Most of these foods are available all year round but they are the star in many fall recipes, making them much easier to find in the grocery store.

Our Official Top Ten List

1. Pumpkin

Not just for sitting on the front porch, pumpkin flesh is loaded with beta-carotene, which has anti-inflammatory properties. The seeds are a great source of magnesium, another mineral known to reduce inflammation and aid relaxation and sleep.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds contain anti-inflammatory substances such as omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals.

3. Pomegranates and Pineapple

Pomegranates are antioxidant powerhouses. They also contain polyphenols which reduce inflammation. Pineapple contains bromelain, a powerful anti-inflammatory substance which fights arthritis pain and aids sleep.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another food loaded with beta-carotene, helping to combat inflammation. Regular consumption of them may help ease symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

5. Beans

When you think of temperatures cooling down, often people crave warm, comfort food such as chili. Enter beans! They are a chili staple and a wonderful source of anti-inflammatory substances like fiber and antioxidants.

Black beans, navy beans, and pinto beans are all great choices. They are all wonderful sources of fiber and protein. But lima beans are particularly beneficial as they contain a metabolite of dopamine called 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Coldwater Fish

Salmon is often touted as being a superfood because of its omega-3 fatty acids. It’s true, but expand your seafood options to include tuna, halibut, and trout in your diet, all of which have these same anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Cruciferous Vegetables

These consist of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. They block enzymes that cause swelling of your joints. These vegetables are also loaded with vitamins and minerals.

8. Olive Oil

You may have never heard that using peanut oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and seed oils can increase inflammation levels, promoting joint pain. However, olive oil is an excellent choice, packed with inflammation-fighting Omega-3s.

9. Aromatic Root Vegetables

Aromatic root vegetables are onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, celery, scallions, and horseradish. There are more, this list goes on and they are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Use them in abundance to add loads of flavor to your dishes and ease joint pain at the same time.

10. Avocados

Avocados have high amounts of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and healthy fats. And they may help with weight loss, which is always a concern with orthopedic issues, particularly knee pain. Recent research found that avocados “induce antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory effects by improving enzymatic activity and modulating obesity‐related impairments in the anti‐inflammatory system in different tissues, without side effects.” And that they are” … effective in reversing the harmful effects of obesity on blood lipids.” 1

For More Serious Orthopedic Concerns, Contact an Orthopedic Expert

Certainly not all orthopedic issues can be fixed with food intake choices. There are times when a serious condition warrants a visit to an orthopedist. For these issues, don’t hesitate to contact the best orthopedic doctors in Texas at Dr. Burke Orthopedics by calling (713) 436-3488.

Sources cited:

  1. Tramontin, NS, Luciano, TF, Marques, SO, de Souza, CT, Muller, AP. Ginger and avocado as nutraceuticals for obesity and its comorbidities. Phytotherapy Research. 2020; 34: 1282–1290. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6619

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