Although certain supplements help maintain bone and joint health, a balanced diet focused on key nutrients is the first step in promoting healthy bones and joints. Getting the recommended amount of calcium, vitamin D, collagen, vitamin C, omega-3s, magnesium and vitamin K on a daily basis can protect your joints in the long run.
Incorporate these 10 foods into your diet for long-term bone and joint health:
This vibrant yellow spice contains Curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been studied for its joint health potential and research suggests it may relieve the symptoms associated with arthritis. You can add turmeric to everything from scrambled eggs to roasted veggies!
Because bone broth is made by boiling bones, it’s rich in collagen and protein. Many people use it as a base for soups or sauces, and some even choose to drink it like hot tea.
These purple gems contain potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin K. Research shows that eating five to six prunes daily may help prevent bone loss. Try eating them as a snack or using them to sweeten baked goods.
A half-cup serving of tofu has a little less than half of your daily calcium needs. And as a bonus, some research suggests eating soy may reduce joint pain. Tofu is easy to cook and flavor! Try a tofu rice bowl, tofu stir fry, or add tofu to your dish the next time you order out. Tofu Pad Thai, anyone?
Blueberries are packed with two beneficial nutrients—polyphenols and vitamin C. First, research suggests the polyphenols in blueberries may reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis. Also, a serving (a handful or a cup) of blueberries provides 16% of your daily vitamin C, which is needed for collagen production.
Vitamin C is usually synonymous with citrus, but one bell pepper contains more than a day’s worth of vitamin C! In addition to stimulating collagen, vitamin C is also an inflammation-fighting antioxidant. Those two things combined make these veggies great for joints.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with both magnesium and potassium, both important for bone health. Magnesium activates vitamin D, so low levels can affect bone health. Potassium helps neutralize acids in the body that cause calcium to escape from bones.
Bok choy are a great way to get more calcium! Plus, leafy greens like bok choy are excellent sources of vitamin K, which aids bone growth. Bok choy is delicious cooked in soups or stir fry, steamed over grains, fresh in salads, and more.
While not always the most popular food, sardines are loaded with inflammation-fighting omega-3s, bone-building calcium, and vitamin D. Try them on a seedy bread, like the Scandinavians do, or add them to a Caesar salad. If you really hate sardines, salmon is a good alternative.
Mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin D, and one study found that eating white button mushrooms may be as helpful as taking a vitamin D supplement.
Curious about other health, exercise, or pain management tips? Contact the top orthopedic doctors at ProOrtho today. Request an appointment here.