Top 5 Favorite Foods For Better Joint Health | 1MD Nutrition™

Top 5 Favorite Foods For Better Joint Health

It is no secret that aging can take a toll on our joints. These 5 doctor favorite foods can help improve and maintain joint flexibility and mobility.

By Dr. Adam Kreitenberg

8 minute read

Last Updated December 6, 2021

Top 5 Favorite Foods For Better Joint Health

It is no secret that aging can take its toll on our joints, bones, and overall mobility. Our movements and reflexes slow, we may develop more joint discomfort, and we tend to naturally cut back on activity. You may not be able to stop the aging process, but you can take preventative steps to better protect and strengthen your joints. 

Preventative care involving exercise, stretching, a healthy diet, weight management, and dietary supplements can benefit your joints in several ways, such as:

♦ Reduced risk of chronic health problems
♦ Maintaining mobility
♦ Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle
♦ Reduced joint pain, joints giving out
♦ Avoiding muscles spasms and weakness
♦ Reduced disability and reliance on others

In many cases, the deterioration of joints can become debilitating. Of the millions of Americans affected by joint conditions, one in four adults report experiencing severe joint pain. Medications are available to help support joint health, but there are downsides to relying on these, such as the risk of developing tolerance and unpleasant side effects associated with chronic use. 

A more holistic and preventative approach to joint care can support joint health naturally, promoting strength, flexibility, and mobility from within. 

Top 5 Favorite Foods For Joint Health

A balanced diet full of nutrients is essential for the proper workings of every system within the body. If you are one of the millions living with joint discomfort or want to start promoting optimal joint health, there are certain foods you can add to your diet to get the essential nutrients for the improvement and maintenance of joint flexibility and mobility. 

A cherry with mixed berries on a spoon

1. Berries & Cherries

Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, along with cherries, all contain anthocyanins. These are potent antioxidants that can help protect joint tissue from occasional oxidative stress. Collagen is a common target for this oxidative stress, and as collagen in the body is broken down, the cartilage in the joints deteriorates and weakens. The anthocyanins in berries and cherries help protect the joints by neutralizing the causative oxidative molecules. 

Anthocyanins also protect against aberrant immune responses, which can target healthy joint tissue. Cherries, in particular, have been studied for their ability to protect joint health. Consumption of tart cherry juice has been associated with a significant improvement in joint discomfort and mobility. The study found tart cherry juice reduced chemical markers associated with joint swelling to help promote healthier joint function.

2. Cruciferous vegetables 

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are beneficial dietary additions for joint health. These vegetables contain a natural compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in cartilage. This antioxidant compound inhibits the activity of enzymes that are associated with common joint swelling. In addition to cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale can support joint health. These are packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and K, which help reduce the oxidative stress that can contribute to swelling and discomfort. 

3. Fatty Fish

Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that support joint health and whole-body health. Omega-3 fatty acids possess immunomodulatory properties allowing them to limit aberrant immune responses that attack healthy joint tissue. This helps support joint mobility by reducing swelling and discomfort while also protecting cartilage from occasional oxidative stress. 

4. Whole Grains

Most people do not realize that fiber is important in joint health, and eating whole grains is one good way to get the fiber your joints need. Studies have found that those with high-fiber diets have lower C-reactive protein levels, which is a marker associated with joint swelling and discomfort. High fiber diets can help support a healthy weight, which reduces physical stress on your joints. Foods rich in fiber also nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut that are known to release substances that reduce oxidative stress to joints. 

Whole grain fiber helps produce beneficial fatty acids that help support joint health as opposed to refined grains that may contribute to aberrant immune responses and joint discomfort. Whole grains like buckwheat, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread are unrefined, so their nutrients are intact. To support joint health, you want to avoid refined grains such as white rice and white bread.

Olive oil and green olives

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil, along with other oils, may not be considered food, but they also provide health benefits for your joints. A simple change in the oils you use for cooking can make a big difference to your joint health and comfort. Studies have found that the oleocanthal in olive oil can help reduce joint discomfort in the same way as common pain-relieving medications. The difference is, olive oil can do this naturally without any risk of side effects or the development of tolerance. 

Adding the above foods to your diet will support joint health, but there are also foods you should avoid. Red meat, fast food, alcohol, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and refined sugars are all associated with stimulating immune responses that contribute to joint swelling and discomfort. 

Choosing a healthy diet is one way to reduce the risk of poor joint health. In addition to these joint-healthy foods, supplemental support with clinically studied ingredients provides additional support for optimal joint flexibility and mobility. 

MoveMD®: Joint Health From Within

MoveMD®  is a fast-acting joint health solution formulated with clinically-studied ingredients to help you wake up and hit the ground running. Based on the latest in joint health science, these ingredients were selected for their targeted effectiveness in reducing joint discomfort and promoting joint health from within. 

MoveMD bottle

AprèsFlex® Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia serrata is the gum resin from an Indian tree that has been used for centuries in African and Asian cultures to treat various health conditions. By inhibiting enzymes associated with immune responses that erroneously target joints, Boswellia Serrata helps promote healthy joint function and mobility for those suffering from occasional joint distress. 

Zanthin® Natural Astaxanthin

This patented antioxidant is naturally sourced from Chilean microalgae and cleanly extracted, so you get potent antioxidant action. Zanthin® Natural Astaxanthin has been clinically shown in a pilot study to decrease oxidative stress to help promote relief of back, knee, and other typical joint health problems. 

Type X.I.V. Eggshell Membrane Collagen and Type II Chicken Collagen

The combination of types, I, V, and X collagen, contains the same joint compounds and proteins that are known to be essential for healthy joint maintenance. Adding Type II Collagen, which is found naturally in cartilage, further supports joint strength and flexibility. 

Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic acid helps maintain the healthy viscosity of the joint synovial fluid to support joint mobility and flexibility while also helping to reduce typical oxidative stress to tissues for reduced stiffness and soreness in the joints. 

Human body joints illustration

Final Thoughts

The cartilage in your joints naturally wears down with use and age, and as this happens, shock absorption, mobility, and flexibility are reduced. Many lifestyle choices such as poor diet and lack of exercise can exacerbate this deterioration. In many cases, poor joint health is debilitating, resulting in reduced quality of life. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Take back control and get moving in the direction of optimal joint health. A few small changes to your diet can have a big effect on joint health. By providing your joints with essential nutrients and the support of the scientifically-formulated MoveMD® formula, you will be promoting flexibility, mobility, and freedom from creaky joints.

Dr. Adam Kreitenberg

Dr. Adam Kreitenberg is dual board-certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center.