As the weather gets colder a lot our patients struggle with increased levels of joint pain and stiffness. Here are our 3 top tips to help you through this winter:
1. Keep moving!
Gentle stretching and movement exercises mobilise inflammation in your body and as a result reduce pain and joint stiffness.
2. Add or increase these anti-inflammatory foods to your diet:
i. Omega 3 - Omega 3 blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase which is responsible for producing prostaglandins and cause inflammation in your body. Sources include anchovies, salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, mackerel, herring, whitebait, free range eggs, flaxseed oil, olive oil, avocados, chia seeds and walnuts.
ii. Cherries & Blueberries - Both are rich in anthocyanins, a substance that fights inflammation and help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
iii. Red grapes - Resveratrol in the skin of red grapes has been shown to reduce inflammation in your body. You can eat the grapes or have a glass of red wine!
iv. Pineapple, papaya & kiwi - These all contain an enzyme called bromelain which reduces the inflammatory response in the body.
v. Green leafy vegetables - These are high in magnesium which helps reduce certain types of chronic inflammation. Broccoli and green leafy veg such as kale, chard and spinach are great sources.
vi. Turmeric - Turmeric contains curcuminiods which have been shown to disrupt the chemical pathways in the body that cause inflammation.
vii. Ginger - Ginger contains gingerol, shogaol and paradol which all inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body.
viii. Black pepper - Studies have shown that the chemical compounds in black pepper, particularly piperine, are effective in the early acute inflammatory processes in your body.
ix. Chilli - Chillies contain a compound called capsaicin which reduces inflammation and pain in your body.
3. Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in your diet such as sugar, dairy, wheat, and the nightshade food group (aubergine, red peppers, white potato and tomatoes) which can all be pro-inflammatory.
So, wrap up warm this winter, keep moving and try to eat a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables and a bit of spice!