If you experience achy, stiff joints, your diet may play a role in the pain that you feel. Some common foods that may be in your diet right now are known to cause inflammation, making joint pain and stiffness worse. But there are other foods that can actually combat inflammation. It’s not just a food trend: plant-based foods for better joints can help to relieve pain and even improve your joint function.

Ready to get started? Let’s look at which foods to shop for and which foods to avoid. By restructuring your diet and adding more whole food, nutrient dense options, you can enjoy multiple health benefits.

How foods affect joint health

What you eat can have a direct correlation on your joint health. If you have conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, then you experience more pain when your joints are inflamed. Some foods are known to increase inflammation because of the amounts or types of fats that they contain.

plant-based foods for better joints

Major inflammation triggers include:

In addition to removing inflammation-causing foods from your diet, it may be a good idea to undergo allergy testing. If you test positive for food allergies, then an elimination diet can help you to identify any foods that are prompting inflammation in your body.

Plant-based foods for better joints

A plant-based diet has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body. Certain plant-based foods have lower amounts of fats. Many have optimal ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. These healthy fats are beneficial for your body and don’t contribute to inflammation.

As an added bonus, plant-based diets often promote weight loss. Because you’re not eating meat or other animal-based foods, you don’t need to worry so much about portion control. These diet changes may result in weight loss on their own. The added good news is that plant foods can lead to feeling less pain and you feeling more inspired to be active. That is likely to lead to further weight loss. For arthritis patients this is especially good news: having less weight on irritated joints helps to relieve pain and contributes to overall joint health.

Plant-based foods for better joints

Other benefits to eating a plant-based diet? People who eat a plant-based diet often have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are also at less risk of some of the most fatal diseases in the United States, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Plant-based options abound

If you want to maximize your joint health through your diet, consider these plant-based foods.

plant-based foods for better joints

Supplementing the plant-based diet

It’s easy to see the many benefits of opting for a diet rich in the top plant-based foods for better joints. You may decide to simply cut back on foods that aggravate inflammation while increasing your intake of the above plant-based foods. In some cases, though, you might decide to go vegan or vegetarian. Or even try a gluten free vegan diet. 

Vegan and vegetarian diets indeed have plenty of benefits, but one of the main myths is that they are inherently low in B12. But that doesn’t have to be the case. It can be quite easy to find B12 fortified plant-based foods or supplements. Recent evidence shows that “a daily dose of the smallest available tablet of B12 is more than sufficient.” 

Talk to your doctor about individualized B12 and other vitamin and mineral recommendations based on your diet and your health history.

Want to know more about plant-based healthy living? Watch the video below:

Tips for transitioning to plant-based foods

Incorporating the above fruits and vegetables into your diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. In fact, making a sudden transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet can be difficult, and may even set you up for failure. Try these tips: 

  • Focus on incorporating one or more of the healthy foods above into your diet each day.
  • Remove processed foods from your diet one week or one month at a time. 
  • Incorporate plant-based meats into meals. The plant-based food industry is booming, and plant-based meats have never been healthier, more accessible or more affordable. 
  • Reframe your thinking about vegetables, grains, fruits and other plant-based foods. They aren’t sides to animal products at meals; they can be the focus of meals. 

Each time you make a meal, choose to make an effort to eat mainly foods that combat inflammatory effects. With some time, you’re likely to notice reduced inflammation in the body as well as more comfortable joints.

What plant-based foods are you most excited to try?

Tell us about it in the comments. 

What topics related to plant-based diets would you like to see us explore?

Email us at info@painresource.com with your ideas.

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