Why Joint Pain Aggravates in the Winter and How Diet Can Help?
Do you experience aggravation in your joint pain in the cold season? Are you finding simple movements, such as bending the knee and sitting, quite painful in the winter? Are you looking for natural solutions to ease your pain in the joints? If you nodded along with concern and hope for relief, opting for the right diet can help soothe your joint pain in the cold months. Aggravation of joint pain in the winter is quite common. Aching joints in this period of the year can make your simplest routine movements painful. And, if you are wondering why the joint ache aggravates in the winter and how you can alleviate it naturally and gently with dietary modifications, think no further. Just keeping reading this blog to find answers to your queries.
Why Joint Pain Worsens in the Winter?
As the temperature drops in the winter, joint pain becomes a regular discomfort, particularly for individuals already suffering from joint aches, the elderly, and people having sedentary lifestyles. Joint pains, such as aching knee, shoulder joints, and fingers, among others, are a problem when they hinder your usual movements and affect your daily quality of life. There are various reasons for aggravation of the joint pain in the winter.
One of the prominent reasons for increased joint pain in the cold months is reduced exposure to the sun. Insufficient exposure to fresh sunlight prevents vitamin D synthesis in your body. Vitamin D is crucial to maintain your bones, muscles, and joints in good health. If you have low levels of vitamin D in the winter, you can be at a high risk of experiencing pain and discomfort in the joints.
Another major reason for aggravation in joint pain in the winter is the drop in temperature which causes a drop in barometric pressure that finally leads to the enlargement of the cartilage and increased sensitivity and pain in the joints. The enlarged joint cartilages put greater pressure on the neurons that regulate the pain centres of your body and you experience pain and stiffness. As your ligaments and muscles become tight, you may even experience joint mobility issues due to inactivity. Also, this hinders the good circulation of nourishing fluids, such as blood. Together, these factors contribute to an increased risk of you suffering from joint stiffness, pain, restricted mobility, and pain, particularly in the morning. Joint pain worsens in the winter, particularly in individuals who already suffer from arthritis and other joint inflammatory conditions. It is also more common in elderly people, but it’s even observed in some middle-aged individuals these days.
How Diet Can Help Reduce Joint Pain in the Winter?
No one likes to suffer from joint pains the entire season. Fortunately, adopting some dietary and lifestyle modifications can help mitigate your pain and improve your quality of life in the winter. Opting for an anti-inflammatory diet plan can work wonders in soothing your joint pain. Such a diet plan comprises nutritious foods offering anti-inflammatory benefits, good fats, and other healthy foods and excludes sugary and processed foods. Here’s a list of foods that can help alleviate joint pain in the winter by reducing inflammation naturally and effectively. You can also add these foods in your osteoarthritis diet plan. (Title: Osteoarthritis Diet Plan)
11 Best Foods to Reduce Joint Pain in the Winter
Garlic is a common kitchen ingredient which we can use in a variety of daily food preparations in the winter to mitigate the pain. Garlic, onion, and other root vegetables contain diallyl disulfide, a major bioactive substance offering anti-inflammatory benefits that aid in soothing your joint pain. It also reduces the impact of cytokines and you experience relief from the pain. Additionally, garlic imparts great flavour to various culinary delights that you would love to relish. So, add garlic to your regular soups, curries, and other delicacies.
Adding fatty fish to your diet can help ease your joint pain. Fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that provides you with inflammatory benefits. Also, these fishes contain marine fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). They help reduce the production of immune cells and subsequent cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation. Thus, adding fatty fish to your diet for joint pain helps minimize inflammation and soothes your pain. So, you may add a minimum of 100 grams of these fatty fish to your diet twice a week.
Olive oil is a healthy oil that comprises oleocanthal, which helps you have relief from inflammation. Eating a diet for joint pain that is rich in olive oil minimizes your risk of suffering from degenerative joint disorders or diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil mitigate joint pain and discomfort. So, in the winter, make sure that you add olive oil to your regular diet and experience relief from aching joints naturally. You may also add a few tablespoons of olive oil to salad dressings.
Nuts and Seeds
Several types of seeds and nuts are beneficial for alleviating joint pain. They are excellent sources of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which combat inflammation. Moreover, nuts are great sources of plant-based protein and fibre. So, make sure that you add some almonds, pine nuts, chia seeds, pistachios, flax seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds to your daily diet for joint pain and experience relief from joint inflammation and connective tissue issues. Choose to have raw, unsalted, and gently toasted nuts.
Green tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants along with minerals, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Drinking green tea helps soothe internal inflammation and minimizes cartilage deterioration; all of these aid in mitigating joint pain. Also, green tea comprises epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant which helps prevent the development of chemicals that cause joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers (RA). So, make it a habit to have a cup of green tea daily in the winter.
Dairy products provide us with some best nutrients that are quintessential for bone and joint health. Yoghurt and milk are rich sources of vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin A. Vitamin D is known for its crucial role in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D and calcium together promote bone health and strength, which are beneficial in preventing joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. So, add low-fat dairy products, such as skimmed milk, yoghurt, and cheese, to your daily diet.
Loaded with minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and iron, green vegetables are great plant-based food sources for bone and joint health. Broccoli comprises sulforaphane, which aids in preventing or delaying the progression of osteoarthritis. Spinach contains vitamin K and kaempferol, an antioxidant, that promotes bone health and inhibits bone loss. Kaempferol in spinach also helps minimize inflammation resulting due to rheumatoid arthritis. So, prepare curries, vegetables, and salad using spinach and relish them to enjoy good joint health and relief from joint pain in the winter.
Dietary fibres in whole grains provide you with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits which are effective in alleviating joint pain in the winter. Also, the consumption of whole grains helps reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood. CRP is an indicator of inflammation related to diabetes, cardiac disease, and arthritis. So, instead of refined grains, enrich your diet with whole grains in the cold months.
Berries and Fruits
Packed with antioxidants, various fresh fruits are effective in relieving your joint pain in the winter. Berries, such as cranberries, strawberries, and blueberries, among others, apricots, and apples are fruits that are abundant in antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and suppress the inflammation and pain in the joints. So, relish all these fresh fruits to enjoy a pain-free winter.
Freshly grated ginger is a common kitchen ingredient that we use in a variety of culinary delights. Ginger is known for its medicinal effects, one of which is providing great relief from joint inflammation and pain. So, add fresh or dried ginger to your regular food preparations in the winter.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian who is finding it quite challenging to add omega-3 fatty acids to your regular diet to combat inflammation, choose to include soybeans in your food preparations. Soybeans are an excellent plant-based food source of omega-3 fatty acids that combat inflammation in your body, minimize your joint pain, and help prevent cartilage and joint damage. Also, soybeans are high in proteins and fibre and low in fat. So, they are beneficial for your overall health.
Besides these dietary modifications, you should also adopt healthy lifestyle practices. Here’s a list of helpful tips that you should follow to mitigate joint pain in the winter.
Stay active. Do sufficient exercise
Manage your weight. Avoid weight gain in the winter
Try hot and cold therapy whenever needed
Add turmeric to your cooking preparations
Go for a soothing massage, as massage can mitigate joint pain
Dress up well, by using sweaters, socks, and other outfits, for beating the cold weather
Stay warm indoors
Drink adequate water and stay hydrated
So, if you are longing to obtain relief from aggravated joint pain in the winter with natural solutions, follow these dietary and lifestyle modifications. Consulting certified nutritionists, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you have a customised diet plan for joint pain comprising the right foods that would mitigate the inflammation in your body and prevent joint and cartilage damage. Also, our diet plan not only relieves your joint pain but also helps eliminates nutritional deficiencies, manages your weight, boosts your immunity, and lowers the potential health risks. So, waste no time, get in touch with us at Health Total and pave your ways to lead a pain-free winter and enjoy improved joint health with our personalized diet plan.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips on obtaining relief from joint pain with diet or for managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-843-0206 and book an appointment!
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