Dietary Tips for Inflamed Joints: Foods and Spices for Aching Knees

Dietary Tips for Inflamed Joints

If you regularly suffer with aching knees, the chances are that your primary problem is the presence of inflammation around your joints. Inflammation is the natural way that the body responds to infection, injury, or discomfort - frequently causing swelling, heat, and redness.

If you have inflammation in your knee, then the chances are that you're either suffering from an underlying problem like knee osteoarthritis, non-septic knee bursitis, or a minor injury responsible for swelling. For people with sensitive joints, the minor injuries that lead to inflammation can be as simple as a falling over, or putting too much pressure on the knee through regular use or athletics.

Although acute inflammation is generally a protective and localized response that is used by the body to protect the injured area from further injury - it can be very difficult to live with - particularly if you find that your motor skills are limited. Though the RICE method, along with some knee joint compression can help, you'll also need to think carefully about the other steps that you can take to limit inflammation in your joints in the future.

Following, we'll cover a few of the best dietary tips for inflamed joints around - as nutrition, foods and spices can all do their part in banishing the problem of aching knees. Just remember, if you're suffering from chronic inflammation, it's important to see a doctor, as this can indicate signs of an autoimmune reaction, allergy, or infection.

What's the Link Between Diet and Inflammation?

Before we start offering our dietary tips for inflamed joints, it might be best to learn more about why nutrition actually has an impact on inflammation. Over the years, scientists have poured time and research into learning how different lifestyle changes can help us to fight back against the most common causes of regular discomfort and illness. During that research, we have learned that certain foods can be classified as "anti-inflammatory" - meaning that they work to reduce chronic inflammation and the pain that can be associated with this condition.

One particularly important ingredient in a typical anti-inflammatory diet is Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in certain nuts, fish, and even chocolate have been acknowledged for their anti-inflammatory properties over the years - and although research into the full effects of anti-inflammatory foods remains mixed, many people consider it to be promising.

1. Turn Up the Heat with Turmeric

Omega 3 fatty acids aren't the only dietary source of inflammation-battling foods. When it comes to dietary tips for inflamed joints, many people recommend combining your knee joint compression therapy with regular doses of spice.

One particularly beneficial substance is turmeric - a bright yellow spice that's often found in common Indian dishes. You can find turmeric in just about any grocery store or health store - but most people don't realize that this substance has been used for centuries in more than just adding flavor to your favorite meals. In fact, turmeric has been used to treat everything from infections, to colds, and liver disease!

Studies have even shown that a primary compound in turmeric, known as curcumin - is perfect for reducing inflammation across the entire body.

2. Warm Your Joints with Ginger

Another common ingredient included in lists of dietary tips for inflamed joints - is ginger. The anti-inflammatory capabilities of ginger have been praised for literally hundreds of years, with various scientific studies confirming the numerous benefits that come from regular doses of ginger root in tea, and other foods.

Ginger is a spice that is used most commonly in Asian dishes, and it can be bought either as a full root, or in a powdered form - which can make it easier to add to recipes. Throughout the years, ginger has been used as a natural remedy for everything from stomach upsets, to infections and headaches.

3. Crush on Some Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a well-loved spice that's usually used to flavor coffees and baked treats. However, most people don't realize that this delicious substance is more than just an extra source of flavor in our cakes. Studies have proven that this popular spice has various anti-inflammatory properties which could be perfect for easing the swelling associated with aching knees.

If you suffer from regular inflammation in your joints, then sprinkling some cinnamon over your morning porridge, or adding it to your afternoon tea could help you to fight back against common symptoms and discomfort.

4. Grind Up Some Garlic

The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic have long been proven to ease the symptoms of arthritis - and a little can go a long way in most dishes. Some people have even considered grinding garlic up into their morning glass of water so that they can get a direct hit of this powerful substance straight into their system.

Using a little fresh garlic in a savory dish works just as well as eating it raw, and you can always roast the head of the garlic for a sweeter flavor. Remember, garlic can also be used to fight back against cold and flu too!

5. Spice it Up with Cayenne

Hot chili peppers like cayenne have frequently been praised for their health benefits. While all chili peppers contain some number of natural compounds known as capsaicinoids - the substances that gives the fruits their anti-inflammatory properties, cayenne is particularly rich in this ingredient.

Over the years, cayenne has been used as a digestive aid, and has also been show to ease the various pains that are associated with arthritis and aching needs. Adding a dash of cayenne into your next dish, while you're wearing your knee joint compression could lead to instant relief.

6. Simplify with Black Pepper

Finally, if you consider cayenne to be a little too hot to handle - you can always stick to something a little more basic - black pepper. This substance has been frequently praised for its great flavor and its anti-inflammatory properties.

Black pepper is an anti-bacterial substance, an antioxidant, and it has a range of great inflammation-fighting benefits that can make it easier to cope with common problems like aching knees. All you need is a quick dash on your next meal and you should start feeling the benefits.

Gentle and Therapeutic Exercises for Swollen Joints

Swollen Joint Exercises

Now that we have gone through the right diet for your swollen joints, we need to discuss the right exercises for some joint relief as diet and exercise go hand in hand to lead a healthy lifestyle. The following exercises for swollen joints are designed to reduce the discomfort of inflammation and lower your risks of suffering from further injury in the future.

Low-Impact Cardio

Swelling around the knees can help to decrease mobility, stability, and functionality in the joint during physical activity, therefore, cardio exercises for swollen joints that take place in a controlled environment, and offer low-impact movement are best for improving circulation and reducing pain. Swimming is a great option for low-impact cardio, as it puts no additional strain on the joints. What's more, cycling on a recumbent stationary bike can also be ideal, so long as you start off with a low to moderate resistance level and pedaling tempo.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises for swollen joints can help to reduce the stiffness around the knee following the injury, while improving your range of motion. For example, you might perform a hamstring stretch lying on the floor with your affected leg lifted away from the floor. Keep your hands, or a towel behind your knee to hold the leg up until you feel a mild stretch towards the back of the leg. A quadriceps stretch can also be a good option, and this involves holding onto a countertop or chair, and bending your affected knee so that you can hold your foot with the hand on the same side of the body.

Strengthening the Joint

Finally, once the pain begins to subside, you might be able to try some strengthening exercises for swollen joints, as a way of improving knee stability and function in the future. Be sure that you progress very slowly with strengthening exercises so as to avoid additional pain and swelling. Sometimes, aquatic exercises that are performed in a pool can provide a safe and secure environment to build muscles without joint stress. What's more, seated exercises such as knee curls and knee extensions can also provide good starting points. In chair exercises, you may be able to gradually add resistance with bands or ankle weights.

Remember to be Cautious

When looking for exercises for swollen joints, make sure that you're careful about starting any new workouts or fitness programs that might exacerbate the injury. Consulting a physician or physical therapist before you start your new routine should be a good way to determine whether the regimen might cause you any additional problems. What's more, these experts also have some experience in providing additional assistance with your treatment program.

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