As we age it is normal to lose some range of motion due to less flexible muscles and joints. However, there are ways to help prevent or slow down this process and get more energy, stamina and flexibility. We can start by eating foods with the right vitamins and minerals to give our bodies the nutrients they need.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will always help keep you healthier, but concentrating on foods with certain nutrients that specifically help joints and muscles will keep you moving well into old age.
More research is needed to study the relationship between vitamin B and arthritis, but some studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin B reduces muscle and joint pain and increases joint flexibility. Vitamins B3, B5 and B6 can help reduce tissue swelling and increase blood flow, which can relieve affected joints. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the amino acid called homocysteine is usually elevated. Vitamin B12 may help reduce those levels.
Vitamin B is water soluble, so it doesn’t stay in our bodies long. That is why it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin B on a regular basis. It can be found in nuts, meat, seafood, wheat germ, eggs and leafy greens.
Not only is vitamin C known for aiding our immune systems, but it can also help keep the cartilage in our joints stronger, improving range of motion and flexibility, and lowering the chance of developing arthritis. Foods that are especially high in vitamin C are bell peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower and kale.
According to research done on 30,000 women as part of the Iowa Women’s Health Study, scientists found that women whose diets were highest in vitamin D had the lowest likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis. According to WebMD, for people with joint pain in general, lower levels of vitamin D are associated with more joint pain.
About one in three people have a vitamin D deficiency and it’s especially common in the winter when we aren’t outside getting vitamin D from the sun. We get between 90-95% of our vitamin D from sun exposure, so it’s especially important to make an effort to get more vitamin D during the winter months.
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant and research has shown that it plays a role in easing inflammation and improving arthritis symptoms. According to research published by the National Institute of Health, vitamin E supplements may help reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis because of its antioxidant properties. Other studies have shown that it was beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by reducing pain.
Getting more vitamin E means eating more foods like nuts, spinach, avocados, and palm or olive oils. It can also be taken in supplement form.
Living pain free takes more than just eating right and supplementing with vitamins. But it is something you can do on a daily basis to try to prevent or improve joint and muscle pain, and even reduce your chance of getting arthritis. Incorporating exercise also keeps your joints and muscles healthy and moving properly. So, take these small steps to invest in your health and mobility you won’t be sorry!