If you frequently experience tired and painful joints, you’re not alone. Joint pain is a common problem that impacts an estimated 30 percent of American adults. It’s characterized by joint stiffness and swelling, and may range from mildly irritating to completely debilitating.
Joint pain can hinder you from doing every day activities. But before you turn to medications or joint supplements, here’s something you should do: evaluate your lifestyle. It can have a significant effect on your joint health.
For example, did you know that your risk of joint pain increases when you’re overweight? Excess body fat caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits puts unwarranted strain on your bones and joints, making them prone to pain and injury.
Try These Simple Diet Changes to Help You Manage Your Weight
In order to avoid joint pain, you need to manage your weight. The first thing you need to do is to change your diet. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Eliminate fructose from your diet. Excessive fructose consumption hinders proper insulin production and causes poor leptin signaling, which are factors that lead to chronic inflammation, a condition with severe health consequences. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the worst offender, as it is metabolized differently from other natural sugars which burdens to your liver and becomes stored as fat.
Reduce your consumption of sugar and grains, especially processed and junk foods. Eating a lot of fruit is also ill-advised, as they may have excessive levels of fructose. You should only consume 25 grams of fructose per day.
Do not be fooled by “diet products”. Most “diet products” have artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which can have dangerous effects on your health.
- Plan your meals. Pay good attention to planning what to eat, as it will help you avoid cravings and “emotional eating.” Make time for grocery shopping, and make sure your shopping list primarily contains wholesome organic foods. Processed foods may seem cheap and convenient, but the burden they put on your health is not worth the “savings.”
- Avoid all sodas and fruit juices. Here’s an interesting fact: a single can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar – 100 percent of the conventional recommended daily intake for fructose.
Processed fruit juices contain almost the same amount of sugar, and many are a chemical concoction of fragrances, additives, and preservatives. Don’t believe claims that these juices are “healthy”: they are one of the worst substances you can put in your body.
- Eat homemade meals made from scratch. The problem with many people is that they often forsake the nutritional benefits of a wholesome, homemade meal in exchange for the supposed convenience of fast foods and restaurant meals. Restaurant food may taste better than home-cooked meals, but it can be loaded with potentially harmful amounts of sugar, hydrogenated fats, MSG, and other artificial enhancers.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Your body converts alcohol into simple sugar, which is stored by your liver as fat. Alcohol is also a neurotoxin with severe drawbacks. Even the benefits of a glass of red wine, one of the safest options when it comes to alcohol consumption, are quickly overshadowed by the negative effects.
- Eat plenty of organic vegetables. Consuming fresh, raw, minimally processed, high-quality vegetables, ideally locally-grown and organic, can have a great impact on your health. Juicing your veggies can boost your vegetable intake and help restore or improve your health. It not only makes the nutrients in vegetables more bioavailable, but also allows you to add a variety of veggies in your meals.
These simple strategies can help you manage your weight, helping to reduce joint pain and improve your health. Make sure you follow other natural lifestyle strategies as well, such as exercising, getting enough rest, and managing your stress.
About the Author
Elaine is researching natural tips for bone and joint health. She believes that implementing healthy lifestyle strategies like eating a balanced diet and exercising is better than being dependent on pain medications and joint supplements. Online resources such as the Mercola natural health newsletter provide her reliable, up-to-date information.