Eating healthy can promote healing and well-being throughout the body, including in your joints and cartilage. Choosing the right foods can help to ease and even prevent joint pain and inflammation. The best foods can strengthen your joints and minimize the discomfort.

A healthy diet complements a chiropractic clinic visit, aiding your recovery process. Here are eleven nutritionally valuable foods to include in your diet for healthy joints and cartilage.

Food #1: Whole Grains

Whole grains contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants and minerals such as selenium that help to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. Oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa are excellent whole-grain options for your meal rotation.

Food #2: Dairy

It is well known that calcium is an essential nutrient that keeps our bones healthy and strong. But it also helps to keep our joints strong as well. Some studies have shown that consuming low-fat yogurt, cheese, and skim milk can be particularly beneficial. However, in certain people, dairy products produce inflammation that affects the joints. If you find it causes you issues, it is best to avoid dairy.

Food #3: Bone Broth

Bone broth is a very nutritious food. Made by roasting and then boiling bones, many people use it as a base for soups or drink it like tea. Not only is bone broth a rich source of collagen and protein, but it also contains many other joint-healthy nutrients. Glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus can all be found in this joint and cartilage superfood.

Food #4: Blueberries

Blueberries are full of polyphenols, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production in the body. Collagen is beneficial to include in your diet because it helps to increase tendon, ligament, and cartilage strength, which helps protect your joints and cartilage. Studies indicate that the polyphenols in blueberries may reduce joint pain from inflammation. You can’t go wrong by including a serving a day of these sweet berries in your diet.

Food #5: Cherries

Cherries get their colour from compounds called anthocyanins. Several studies have shown that these natural chemicals found both in the fresh fruit and the juice may help to lower inflammation in the body. Cherries also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which allows the body to produce collagen.

Food #6: Green Tea

Green tea contains compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols. These chemicals reduce inflammation and slow the cartilage destruction associated with arthritis. People with joint pain can benefit from one specific antioxidant in green tea known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. This antioxidant prevents the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body that can cause joint pain and damage.

Food #7: Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. They are known to fight inflammation and reduce pain in your connective tissue and joints, so include a serving of seeds or nuts in your diet daily. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are all great options.

Food #8: Avocados

Avocados are packed with nutrients. They are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and the carotenoid lutein, an anti-inflammatory compound. They are full of vitamin E, which can boost the condition and strength of your connective tissue. The combination of nutrients found in avocados could even lessen some of the joint damage seen during the beginning stages of osteoarthritis.

Food #9: Oily Fish

Fish, especially oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and anchovies, is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient helps maintain bones and joints by alleviating pain, stiffness and swelling. They aid in increasing blood flow during exercise, which can help to prevent injury. Beyond just reducing inflammation, Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. If you aren’t a fan of fish, adding a supplement to your diet is a great way to ensure you are reaping the benefits of Omega-3.

Food #10: Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard, broccoli, and collard greens are rich in many nutrients linked to joint health, including beta-carotene and vitamin C. They can also be an excellent source of calcium. As mentioned previously, vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, which helps grow and maintain cartilage tissue in the joints.

Food #11: Bell and Chilli Peppers

Peppers of all colours are another excellent source of Vitamin C. Along with the nutritional benefits of Vitamin C and collagen production that you can find in all peppers, there are additional benefits in specific types of peppers. For example, bell peppers have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation around joints. Chilli peppers are known to combat the effects of aging, which can help maintain healthy bones and cartilage.

Adopting dietary habits to support strong and healthy joints and cartilage is one of the best strategies for healthy living. Your nutritional choices can have a significant impact on the health and longevity of your joints. Regularly choose foods that build bone density, strengthen connective tissue and reduce inflammation. This can help you prevent injuries, preserve your joints and cartilage, and give you your best shot at a long, active life.