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Healthy joints are sum of all healthy habits. Your eating pattern is one which reflects most in the joint’s health index. Though a balanced diet is one most emphasised and preferred option, when growing older or in your thirties. Right choice of food can give you benefit of avoiding dealing with joint related issues later in life. Degradation of joint and muscle health with age is a age related phenomenon but this process can be largely delayed and even avoided in almost all cases where proper care and conscious effort is made to ensure retaining healthy joints right from the early age. Maintaining mobility and adequate working condition of joints and muscles all through life is one big step towards enjoying best quality of life all through it. The efforts are to start with provision of right nutrition to your body which will be directed towards health of your bones, muscles and joints.
With reference from studies done in context of food and bone health from all over the world, we share some types of foods and food categories which could help you pamper your bones in the way that is most adequate and essential for their positive health.
Calcium rich food is must for all ages.
Calcium intake and that too in proper amounts is the most emphasised suggestion by orthopaedicians from around the world. At younger ages this calcium intake helps built up healthy bone mass and density, while in older age it helps to avoid decrease in bone density due to its lack in diet. This can be understood as follows. Calcium is required for not one but many processes and purposes in the body plus our bones are also made of calcium. So, when we consume it in growing age our growing body uses it to make stronger and healthier bone. If our body lacks in its calcium pool and diet is not providing for it, our body functions to start extracting it from our bones to fulfil other important activities like for heart rhythm, nervous system messaging network, muscle contraction and various others.
Thus, supplementing our body with calcium at all ages is important to have its pools full at all times is essential. Now our food can be the best source of calcium (dairy, tofu, egg whites, fish etc.) and it is also preferred over use of supplements because from food we also get other minerals and vitamins which aid calcium in its role inside the body. Calcium supplements are good thing but in prescribed dosage only.
Vitamin D and K play and essential role for your joints.
Vitamin D and K have vital roles in body like activation of some bone specific proteins, hormones and other biologically active compounds inside the body which help avoid onset of osteoporosis or weakening of bones. Thus, when calcium is considered as food for stronger bones, it cannot do the complete role alone. Assisting roles are played by vitamins like K and D and other plant nutrients. Dark green vegetables are rich source of vitamin K (broccoli, kale, celery, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, beans etc.) while no vitamin D rich food can directly add this vitamin to your diet or body. Exposure to sunlight is what makes our body synthesise this essential nutrient inside the body itself with help of several precursors and chemical reaction. Again supplements can be used when condition asks for it but physician’s prescription and suggestions are strictly to be considered.
Vitamin C is to avoid aching and inflamed joints. Vitamin C and also omega-3 fatty acid have been researched to help avoid inflammation in joints. All citrus fruits and coloured vegetables like red bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, and tomatoes are all rich source of vitamin C which can be considered as part of your daily diet for non-achy bones and joints. Flaxseeds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and other nuts are rich in omega 3 Fatty acids which aid role of vitamin C in the body and curb onset of inflammation and also add to lubrication of joints by making movement of ligaments and tendons easy and smooth.
Not to forget here is anthocyanin of cherries (all types) and coloured fruits like pomegranates with specific action against inflammatory response initiated in joints. Thus, all coloured fruits and vegetables are good for your joints and consider increasing their intake if you are focussed at avoiding pains and soreness of joints.
Given the above discussion, healthy diet and knowing what you are consuming and what you should be consuming is one great conscious step one can make towards health of his/her bones and joints.
For more information on joint health, click here.
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