The Five Best Foods for Joint Pain

Proteolytic enzymes for knee pain

These readily-available foods are the natural secret to combatting debilitating joint conditions like knee pain and hip pain.

Pain is one of the most difficult side effects of arthritis – it can stop you from living to your full potential and it can be frustratingly difficult to treat.

Whether your joint pain is connected to rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, studies show a link between the severe discomfort associated with the condition and chronic inflammation. While acute inflammation is a naturally occurring immune response that helps protect the body from infection, injury, and disease, chronic and ongoing inflammation causes more harm than good.

Medicines can help with pain and chronic inflammation, but many medical practitioners are increasingly recommending lifestyle changes like eating differently as an effective method to reduce joint pain without unhelpful side effects.

These are five foods proven to fight inflammation and reduce joint pain.

#1 – Papaya and Pineapple

Fresh papaya and pineapple contain high levels of proteolytic enzymes. A 2008 study on proteolytic enzymes showed they could be more effective in reducing inflammation than aspirin. Another study on bromelain – a specific proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple – proved that it reduced pain in people with osteoarthritis.

While pineapple and papaya are particularly abundant sources of proteolytic enzymes, other foods like kiwifruit, ginger, sauerkraut, and kimchi also contain high levels of this joint pain fighter.

#2 – Fish and nuts

Salmon, tuna, sardines, and nuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies measuring the effects of Omega-3 have shown it to be effective in lowering inflammation and reducing joint pain, including stiffness, swelling, and tenderness. Salmon, tuna, and sardines aren’t the only fish high in Omega-3 – mackerel and herring are also good sources, but for those who don’t like fish or nuts, supplements are available instead.

#3 – Olive oil

Olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthanl, which is naturally occurring but has many of the same health benefits as anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen. A paper summarising the benefits of oleocanthal reported that it is effective in tackling degenerative joint diseases like arthritis. Some experts hypothesise that the anti-inflammatory properties of oleocanthal is one reason the Mediterranean Diet – which includes lots of olive oil – is so effective.  

#4 – Leafy Greens

Green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage are packed full of an antioxidant called sulforaphane. In 2018, a study considering sulforaphane’s effect on rheumatoid arthritis found it was an effective alternative treatment and research in 2017 showed sulforaphane could improve mobility for people with osteoarthritis. To add more sulforaphane to your everyday diet, try eating more of the vegetables mentioned above as well as adding produce like kale and cauliflower to meals.

#5 – Berries

Like leafy greens, fruits including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can help fight knee pain, hip pain, and other joint pain. These berries also contain anthocyanins – another compound that has been shown to reduce inflammation – meaning they pack a double punch when it comes to providing nutritional support for arthritis.

It’s Time to Do The Bucket List

bucket list examples

Stop waiting until tomorrow. Start ticking off your bucket list items today and discover how achievements and goals-oriented thinking can make your life more exciting and also longer, happier, and healthier.

No matter what life stage you’re at, a bucket list can feel abstract.

It’s easy to think of the compilation of your most exciting goals as something for the distant future, rather than something to work toward in the present. But tackling your life bucket list now can result in a surprising array of health benefits that, in turn, could gift you extra years in which to do even more extraordinary things.

Here’s Fit4100’s top three reasons to stop procrastinating and start crossing things off your ‘My Bucket List’ spreadsheet today.

#1 – The spin-off benefits of bucket list motivation

Whether your bucket list is highly physical and filled with plans to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and jump from a plane, or errs more toward intellectual achievements like launching a business and reaching Grandmaster status in chess, you need to be on top of your game to fulfil your goals.

Making a commitment to ticking off your bucket list items in a set time frame will provide you with the boost you need to make a variety of better health choices.

Suddenly, you’ll have a concrete and specific reason to do your daily mindfulness practice, eat better, or stay more active.

With a bucket list goal on the horizon, being motivated to make positive change becomes easy instead of arduous.

#2 – Bucket list health and longevity benefits

Research shows that being active and engaged has wide-reaching health benefits. Common bucket list examples, like travel and fitness goals, are also opportunities for the kind of engagement that leads to better health and longevity.

In 2019, a study published in PNAS specifically linked the psychological attribute of optimism to living a longer life, with the authors stating that optimism is related to an “11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of… living to the age of 85 or beyond”.

Optimism is related to an “11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of… living to the age of 85 or beyond”.

Achieving long-term goals like those found on your bucket list is an ideal way to foster these longevity-inducing positive feelings.

Research also shows people learning new skills, staying active, and socially engaged have better health outcomes.

In 2017, a study of older adults learning to use tablet devices found that the  development of new skills – like those you might learn in service of a bucket list goal – has “the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing”.

 #3 – Create the bucket list virtuous cycle

It might be that you and a friend or partner work through a couple bucket list together, or that your individual life bucket list has been something you’ve developed since you were a child.

No matter the contents or set-up of your bucket list, achieving some of its goals will help you learn more about yourself and what you really want from life.

Armed with this personal information about yourself, you can set new, even more relevant goals and begin to create a virtuous bucket list cycle.

Eventually, every achievement will lead you to discovering a new and exciting goal – supplying you with an endless stream of optimism, motivation, and engagement that will keep you happy and healthy in mind, body and soul.  

How to Stay Young

Stay Young and Love Life

Forget the mythical fountain of youth. Science has brought us three reliable answers to the often-asked question: ‘How do you stay young?’.

The importance of staying young

The motivation to slow the process of aging – to keep healthy, active, and happy even as decades pass – is different for everyone.

One person may want to stay youthful so they can travel to unexplored places in their retirement, while another might want to stay younger longer so they can continue to live independently in a wild and beautiful, yet remote, home.

Underlying all the myriad personal reasons for staying young there is usually a single driving factor – quality of life. Most of us want to continue feeling, looking, and acting young so we can experience life at its best.

Remaining youthful is everybody’s passport to a life that fulfils its boldest potential.

As well as warding off diseases of aging that can make the world feel like its shrinking, keeping your body young means there is more time to reach out and embrace opportunity.

More years and better health can create the space for new dreams and goals – from playing with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to winning a Nobel Prize at 85-years-old, or even water-skiing on your 100th birthday.

How to stay young naturally

Contemporary health and medical researchers are constantly identifying new methods that might help you to stay young-looking or help keep your body and brain active longer.

From among the multitudes of advice and information, there are three natural and achievable changes that are reliably cited as among the most effective ways to remain younger longer.

           #1 – Nutrition.

Eating better – whether that be through the Mediterranean Diet, intermittent fasting, or by restricting calories – has a profound anti-aging effect. Changing the food you eat can protect you from life-shortening conditions like diabetes and heart disease, while also improving energy levels and mental health.   

           #2 – Exercise.

Getting active has been shown to have more positive health benefits than any other single intervention. Exercise can help keep your body young by reducing the effects of conditions like arthritis, guarding against fractures, improving chronic pain, and maximising quality of life by tackling depression and anxiety.   

           #3 – Mindfulness.

When practiced routinely, mindfulness has a proven effect on a range of health conditions that can significantly reduce lifespan – including mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke – and it can help solve complex and multi-layered lifestyle problems like insomnia.

Practical advice to keep your body young (and your mind too!)

Fit4100’s articles bring you up-to-date breakthroughs, tips, and information on how to stay youthful. 

Explore the archive to find ideas that work for you, or try one of these easy suggestions to get started:

  • Add a new daily exercise to your routine. This could be a simple 30 minutes of walking, or something a little more adventurous like Pilates.
     
  • Experiment with introducing the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet to your day by extending your regular food-free window by two hours. This might mean that if you usually eat between the hours of 7am and 9pm, you don’t begin eating until 9am instead.