Nutrition Affects Joint Health

A healthy diet with foods rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and dark green leafy vegetables will help reduce joint inflammation and improve your joint health.

Which nutrient is the most important for joint health, and why?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils are definitely the most important. They’re referred to as probably unsaturated fatty acids, and they are proven to reduce inflammatory proteins in the body, but they also improve brain function and decrease the risk of heart disease and even diabetes.

What are other foods or nutrients that can improve your overall joint health?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Some of the other foods to improve joint health are nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, olive oil, lentils and beans, garlic, whole grains, bone broth, and my wife’s favorite, dark chocolate.

What foods cause inflammation in the joints and should be avoided?

Dr. Scott Gardner: I would say the top five foods that cause joint inflammation and should be avoided are, at the top of the list, sugar, second omega-6 fatty acids which are things like safflower oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil, soy oil, and vegetable oil, but also gluten, excessive alcohol, and saturated fats.

If someone is suffering from arthritis, can their diet improve their symptoms?

Dr. Scott Gardner: There’s no diet or supplement that will cure arthritis, but eating a balanced diet, adding in omega-3 fatty acids, and adding in regular exercise can greatly help someone with arthritis.

Do you recommend taking a dietary supplement to help with joint health?

Dr. Scott Gardner: There are a few supplements that can be helpful. Again, omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil, turmeric or curcumin, and definitely vitamin D3.

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