General Tips for your Joints

Written by: Joanne Beccarelli

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning and start moving, you may notice some aches and pains in your joints, or maybe you’re just feeling a bit stiff. We’ve all been there, myself included.

Whether you are 25, 40 or 55, those achy feelings are likely NOT a part of your vision of optimal health and vitality. And you become determined to discover what you can do about it, besides just masking the pain with drugs.

Why is this happening?

One word: INFLAMMATION.

1

Achy, stiff joints can be the result of a number of issues. Some are expected, like the good muscle aches you feel after a workout. Even the pain you feel with an injury is normal. This type of inflammation is a sign of increased blood flow, swelling and reduced mobility, which all lead to a good recovery.

However, chronic, unexplained joint pain is usually a sign of inflammation build-up in your body – chronic. It is often a reaction to something you are doing to yourself (whether knowingly or not) and can be CHANGED if you act before permanent damage unfolds.

2

Foods That Create Inflammation In Your Body

Learning that certain foods could be causing your joint pain might be a surprise, but is welcome information that can make a difference.These 5 foods, more than any others, are known to create inflammation and pain. Eliminate these and start feeling better now.

1. Sugar

Sugar is no better than a drug and is addicting and harmful. It is a known factor in obesity, diabetes and cancer, but its relation to aches and pains is often overlooked.

According to the National Institute of Health, processed sugars trigger excessively high levels of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) when the body tries to process them. When high levels of AGEs exist, oxidative stress and inflammation is created in the body.

The Healthier Way:
Commit to reducing the amount of added sugars in your diet, including sodas, candy, sweets, fruit juices, dressings and processed foods. Begin to read labels – especially for any foods labeled ‘low-fat’ – and keep on the lookout for sugar in the ingredient list.Satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious whole fruits instead. For more help about kicking your sugar habit, read Dr. Hyman’s “Top 10 Big Ideas: How to Detox from Sugar.”

2. Vegetable Oils And Trans Fats

It is widely known that trans fats can lead to heart disease, but did you know that vegetable oils are considered unhealthy too? That is because they are overly processed, create inflammation and are very high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Consuming vegetable oils also creates an unhealthy balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fats, which should be consumed in 1:1 levels, not the 10:1 ratios in most western diets.

The Healthier Way:
Say goodbye to corn, canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean and cottonseed oils. Ideally, it is best to get the fat you need from foodssuch as flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, avocados and a small amount of nuts.Also, try pan sauteeing, using a ceramic nonstick pan and vegetable broth whenever a little moisture is needed. The overall goal quoted by Drs. Ornish, Esselstyn, Fuhrman is “no added oils!”However, some debates within other health circles focus on the occasional use of organic coconut oil for cooking or olive oil in salads and cold foods. The difference with these organic oils, however, is that they are natural and unaltered and therefore, generally much safer for your diet.

3. All Dairy Products

The act of moving away from dairy products is becoming more common. While most people at first think the issue is lactoseintolerance – which is the inability to digest milk sugars – the morecompelling problems arise from the disruption of the body’s pH balance and creation of inflammation brought on by milk proteins, according to Dr. Amy Myers, author of The Autoimmune Solution.

The Healthier Way:There are numerous plant-based, non-dairy alternatives to cow, sheep and goat milks (yes, all of them!).

Instead, try any one of the nut and seed milk varieties such as hemp, almond, or even coconut milk. Just be sure to read labels to avoid carrageenan, an additive that is often used and is harmful to your health.

4. Refined Carbohydrates And Gluten

Refined carbohydrates and flours are processed in the body just like sugar. That is why ‘carbs’ are often touted as bad for you. But this is a half-truth – it is simple carbohydrates that are bad.

Complex carbohydrates (see examples below) that the body must process are usually fine. The additional exception is for people that have a sensitivity to the gluten in wheat products.

Like sugar, simple carbohydrates and sometimes gluten, trigger high levels of AGEs and therefore, inflammation.

The Healthier Way:

First, begin by understanding that all carbs are not bad for you. Eat complex carbohydrates from vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds (such as quinoa) and whole grains.In general, stay clear of ‘white foods’ including flour, sugar, potatoes and rice.

5. Nightshade Vegetables

You keep hearing the recommendation to eat more vegetables (which is great!), but one group of vegetables, called nightshades, can cause pain for people with a heightened level of sensitivity tosolanine and calcitriol, two compounds that are in them.

Read this article, “Are Nightshade Vegetables Worsening Your Pain?” to learn more. The most common nightshade vegetables are tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and potatoes.

The Healthier Way:First, identify whether nightshades are a problem for you by eliminating them for 3 weeks before trying them one at a time again. If all else is constant and your pain returns, assume nightshades are a problem for you.

Sometimes, cooking these vegetables is enough to alleviate the problem, but if you have heightened sensitivity, then it will probably be best for you to simply avoid nightshades altogether.

By eliminating these 5 foods, you can reduce inflammation and pain in your joints and possibly all throughout the rest of your body.

You will soon see that a few changes to the way you eat can be well worth it to not only ease the pain and possibly eliminate the need for pain killing drugs, but also give you a healthful boost to keep you on the path towards your vision of health and vitality.

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