14 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

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Joint pain can leave you stopped in your tracks. It seems that it is becoming more and more common, especially amongst adults. Typical intermittent aches and pains can plague all of us, but when joint pain begins to become chronic, it can feel like it is becoming a way of life. And, simultaneously taking away from the ease of your life. 

Joint pain is most often felt in areas such as knees, hips, low back, shoulders, ankles, and wrists. Inflammation is the main culprit but the root cause could come from overuse, injury, muscle strain, muscle weakness, autoimmune disease, and general systemic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to ease the discomfort in the short term, but rarely addresses the root cause of that inflammation. Not to mention, in some cases, these medications can make you feel great in the short-term but actually worsen the root cause. 

There are many options to naturally decrease joint pain. If the joint pain onset is related to a deeper foundational root cause (i.e., weakened gut health, leaky gut, systemic stress, etc), then implementing some of these natural remedies could greatly decrease your joint pain and also heal your body on a deeper level. You don’t need to do all of these tips, but picking the ones that seem to work for you could greatly decrease your pain and discomfort (and bring more ease back into your life!). 

  1. Drink plenty of water (and stay hydrated). This tip is one of the most important and most foundational, yet one that gets overlooked all the time. Water lubricates and cushions the joints. Make sure that you are drinking half of your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water daily, more if you consume dehydrating beverages (i.e., coffee, teas, and juices) and/or sweating often.
  2. Remove gluten, dairy, and sugar from your diet. Your body becomes more inflamed the more you eat foods that can increase inflammation. These are the main foods that cause inflammation and body flare ups. This includes not only joint pain, but also acne, rashes, and other inflammatory-related symptoms.
  3. Eat the right kind of fats. Fats are essential for overall body and hormone functioning, but the right kinds of fats are important. Remove inflammatory Omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and other seed oils. Add in more Omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as wild-caught salmon and extra virgin olive oil. These are excellent for managing and decreasing inflammation. If you don’t do fatty fish, you could try consuming a fish oil supplement to help get these healthy benefits. 
  4. Get plenty of sun (with skin exposure) or take a Vitamin D/K2 supplement. Vitamin D is important for supporting healthy bones. It helps with calcium absorption and those with low levels of vitamin D are linked with higher levels of osteoarthritis. 
  5. Consume plenty of high-quality animal protein. Your body needs the full set of amino acids to keep your bones strong, support muscle recovery, and decrease inflammation/joint pain. Animal protein will give you the complete range of amino acids, B-vitamins, choline, magnesium, and iron that you need to support healthy tissue. The key word, however, is high- quality — grass-fed beef, pasteurize- raised poultry and eggs, and wild game such as venison. The muscle meat is not the only part that is nutritious for your joints…
  6. Consume a form of collagen. Along with the animal protein, consuming forms of collagen are super helpful in calming joint pain. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the your body and it helps to build joints and keep connective tissue strong. Consuming collagen, gelatin, or bone broth are ways of getting in natural glucosamine, which have been shown helpful in reducing joint pain. 
  7. Use high doses of curcumin. Turmeric has become popular specifically because of it’s active ingredient curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  8. Up your magnesium intake. Most people are deficient in magnesium, even if they are eating a nutrient-dense diet. Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle aches, joint pain, leg spasms, weakened bones, and unhealthy nerve function. If you are low in magnesium or suspect that you are, try taking a high-quality magnesium supplement. 
  9. Get active. Regular exercise is critical for healthy muscle and joint function. It helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and decrease your potential for injury. Exercise is also important for balancing hormones such as human growth hormone, cortisol, and other hormones that play a role in appetite and aging. Make sure that you lift heavy weights (appropriate for your body) and stretch regularly to loosen the pressure placed on your joints. 
  10. Eliminate nightshades foods. Nightshades include foods like peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries, paprika, and ashwagandha. These foods can play a role in joint pain and muscle aches — inflammation — possibly due to the alkaloid content, or toxic compounds, that those plants can give off as a self-defense. 
  11. Try a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement. This combination has been shown to be helpful in nourishing the joints for some people. It can support the health of the cartilage. There are some people who notice worsening effects, so if you try it and your symptoms get worse or you don’t notice anything, stop taking it. 
  12. Try a high-quality CBD or hemp oil daily. CBD and hemp oil have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can be the “thing” that helps lessen the effect of chronic pain and inflammation. Make sure that when choosing one of these oils, that you find a company that is high-quality, tested for metals or toxins, and is sustainably resourced. 
  13. Use essential oils. Lavender, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary are just a few of the essential oils that have been linked to decreasing joint pain. Dilute 1-2 drops in a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc) and rub over the affected area to help decrease pain and discomfort. 
  14. Try the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), if you are still have joint pain. If you are still having problems after doing the foundational steps, you may need to take a deeper dive. Eliminating foods such as coffee, eggs, grains, and nuts can help to calm your body’s inflammation and chronic pain. Doing this for a few months has given some people great relief and has helped them to discover exactly what foods are triggering their joint pain. 

**Click here for easy access to recommended supplements above.

Joint pain and body inflammation does not need to stop you from enjoy all that life has to offer. There are plenty of natural approaches you can try to help give you relief. Not only will these help to give you relief, but they also help to support the body as a whole!

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10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Slash Body Pain, Improve Digestion, and Lose Weight

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My grandma used to say “My knees are talking to me.”

I never fully understood what that meant until I got older. My workouts hurt a little bit more. High humidity days would swell my knees up like balloons. I would wake up hurting and left in a perplexing state wondering how I hurt myself sleeping.

And for so long I blamed it on the aging process, convinced that it was a natural sign of aging and something that I had to deal with. Or maybe it was genetic and I was destined to have my grandma’s talking knees.

I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way!

Inflammation 

Inflammation comes in many forms and can be super sneaky. You might feel it as muscle soreness or joint pain.

Or, maybe you are dealing with depression or emotional imbalances.

Perhaps you have digestive issues or a disease, autoimmune disorder, or cancer has creeped into your life. All of these (and more) are directly connected to an inflammation imbalance.

When Inflammation Is Good

The body’s inflammation response is an essential part of the healing process. Injuries, surgeries, and other traumas need to have inflammation acutely in order to help the body heal and bounce back quickly. This is a good thing!

In acute healing phases, inflammation is essential. It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us. Yay, inflammation!

When Inflammation Is Not So Good

When the body starts to heal and the effects of trauma are resolving, inflammation should begin to resolve too, right? Not necessarily.

When there was no trauma involved, the body should naturally feel free of pain and discomfort, right? Again, not necessarily.

Chronic inflammation is like a silent fire smoldering beneath the surface. Because you can’t see or actually feel this type of inflammation, it’s often referred to as the body’s “silent fire”—which makes perfect sense, because the word “inflammation” derives from the Latin word for “to set on fire.”

When the body’s immune system doesn’t communicate to shut off, it can be like a fire that is not extinguished easily. It is not entirely known why the body will not communicate the shut off. It just keeps producing immune cells, leaving your body in a constant state of alert. And the body remains in a constant state of stress.

When the immune cells can’t find an injury or illness to repair, they eventually attack healthy cells, damaging your tissues and organs. This is when you start to have noticeable problems! This damage has been linked to a slew of diseases and disorders, including asthma, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, allergies, some types of cancer and even Alzheimer’s.

Unfortunately, you can’t see low-grade, chronic inflammation and squash the silent fire ahead of time. This is why it is so easy to think that having sore joints and a painful body is how you are SUPPOSED to feel. It isn’t until the damage is done that you really start to step back and notice; even then you may not immediately link it to chronic inflammation.

Using Digestion To Silence The Fire

Your body is incredibly wise and does give you clues to inflammatory cues for concern.

Excess inflammation in the body can cause weight gain (especially in the belly), mental fog, and an overall ‘blah’ feeling. It can also lead to fatigue, digestive issues, depression, sleep issues, and random aches and pains. This is only to name a few!

When making changes, it is important to start at the root cause. Digestion is one of the first places to begin because the digestive tract is the most condensed area of immune cells— 80% of the immune system is located within the gut, and gut microbes can drive inflammation.

There are four main goals of an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan:

  1. Keep blood sugars balanced. Excess glucose stresses the body and causes a systemic inflammatory response.
  2. Eat the right types of fats. Fats are super important for hormonal balancing and decreasing stress placed on the body.
  3. Consume anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Some foods have natural inflammation fighting powers.
  4. Promote healthy gut flora. You got to keep the gut strong so that it can absorb all the beneficial nutrients you are feeding it.

It may sound complicated, but don’t let that frighten you. If you make a few small changes, for even a few minutes each day, you can drastically lower inflammation levels in the body.

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10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Silence The Fire

  1. Dark leafy greens: Think kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli— these powerhouse foods are not only high in antioxidants and healing flavonoids, but they also contain a compound called “quercetin,” which acts much like anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin). Toss a handful of spinach in your morning smoothie or throw together some chopped up kale, carrots, and raisins for a delicious kale salad. You can also toss a handful of spinach into your morning omelette and cook until leaves are wilted.
  2. Turmeric:  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it is a very powerful antioxidant and has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. They are so powerful that even studies have shown that curcumin is more powerful in decreasing inflammation than anti-inflammatory drugs. Add some turmeric to your morning egg scrabble, season your roasted veggies, toss some into your smoothie (be careful how much you put in because the taste can be overpowering), or drink a turmeric tea.
  3. Blueberries: An antioxidant powerhouse, blueberries are high in phytonutrients that are buzzing with anti-inflammatory protection. They protect against many diseases, such as cancer and dementia. Add them to your salad, use them for your morning smoothie, freeze them and eat them as a cold treat, or top your favorite healthy dessert with a handful of them.
  4. Wild-caught salmon: Wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that are known for their inflammation slashing. The benefits of omega-3 have been backed over and over by studies. They are shown to reducing symptoms of psychological disorders, preventing heart disease, and reducing your risk of cancer. No farmed salmon here! Two times a week, add salmon to your diet. Salmon fillets with lemon juice are a great choice! If getting in salmon is pretty challenging, opt for supplementation by a liquid or a capsule most days a week.
  5. Coconut oil: This is by far my favorite! And for good reason— Coconut oil is not only anti-inflammatory, but it also boosts metabolism, helps balance hormones, and has anti-microbial properties. It is truly a healing powerhouse. Try adding it to your morning shakes, sauté your leafy greens in it, roast your turmeric root vegetables in it, or use it as a spread on your sprouted grain bread. Remember, the skin is an absorbable organ. You can use coconut oil externally too. Use coconut oil as a moisturizer instead of the expensive, paraben-laden cosmetics from the beauty counter.
  6. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a powerhouse of nutrients. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your brain, decreasing inflammation that can cause depression and other brain health issues. Throw some in your salads or eat some sauce, just make sure that you are getting the skins of the tomatoes, where lycopene lives.
  7. Avocados: Not only are avocados a healthy fat that improves digestion and supports heart health, but they are good for inflammation too. They also contain carotenoids, which are linked to reduced cancer risk. You can throw some in your smoothie, on your salad, or top your scrambled eggs with them.
  8. Cherries: Cherries are so delicious and remind me of summertime. But, they are also rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and catechins, which fight inflammation. Although the health-promoting properties of tart cherries have been studied more than other varieties, sweet cherries also provide benefits. You can drink a tart cherry juice or buy a bunch of sweet cherries to munch on as a snack.
  9. Red Bell Peppers: I love red bell peppers for a hefty dose of anti-inflammatory power—but go red to reap the most benefits. According to Journal of Food Science, out of the three colors of bell pepper, red have the highest amount of inflammatory-biomarker-reducing vitamin C along with the bioflavonoids beta-carotene, quercetin, and luteolin. Luteolin has been found to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Quercetin acts as a mast-cell stabilizer, decreasing the number of cells reacting to an allergen. Make a stir-fry or slice them up for a delicious dip in your hummus.
  10. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil is fabulous for fighting inflammation and research believes it is because of the olecanthal, found only in olive oil. It has been found to have significant impact on inflammation and helps reduce joint cartilage damage, working similarly to ibuprofen. You can sprinkle olive oil on anything — your sandwich, in your smoothie, on your eggs, and of course on your salad.

Even though nutrition is only one piece of the lifestyle puzzle for calming inflammation and silencing the fire, it is an easy one to start with. Slowly start adding some of these foods into your daily nutrition plan to take back control of your body!

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10 Anti-Aging Foods That Make You Younger (And Healthier!)

As we get older, ways to stay young often move to the forefront of our thoughts.

When it comes to what you should eat, the best anti-aging foods are quite broad. You will probably get a ton of different answers of what constitutes the best foods for anti-aging to them.  I’m sure that you will meet someone who says a pizza with cheese and tomato sauce is the best anti-aging food on the planet- hey, it’s full of calcium and fruit/veggies, right?

Are you antsy to get some top-notch anti-aging foods? Scroll below!

antiaging_foods

Food is our lifeline and without it we would eventually die of starvation. What many people don’t realize is that the foods that they choose may be slowly starving their bodies of vital nutrients and decreasing their life expectancy. The best anti-aging foods actually slow the aging process and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These foods help to keep your hair thick and shiny and your skin smooth. They help your brain to keep functioning at a higher level as you age- I could go on and on with how important it is to fuel your body with anti-aging and supportive foods.

Health benefits are abundant and completely undeniable. So, if research continues to support certain foods for healing the body and slowing the aging process, then why are there millions of overweight, sick people suffering all sorts of diet related illnesses? If all we have to do is nourish our bodies with healing super foods, why is it so hard? That’s because many of us do not eat to live- we live to eat. 

It starts early!

We are conditioned at a very early age that food is pleasure and that often we can become comforted by eating certain foods. Unfortunately, these foods are typically not anti-aging foods that our bodies need. And, to add to this, we establish our food preferences at a very early age. By the time we reach our teens, bad food choices are usually well-established because we’ve had a lot of practice! For me, no matter how full I feel after meal, I always seem to have room for a yummy, sugary dessert. It is completely a mental battle within my head. Don’t get me wrong- it’s OK to indulge in those cravings every so often. Part of an anti-aging diet is eating foods that adds happiness and fond memories and stress relief. But, true anti-aging diets only indulge occasionally and fill the rest of the meals with healthy and supportive foods.

As we age, our metabolism slows down. It’s even more important to include a diet that has a variety of the best anti-aging foods. Yes, most of us want to be physically slim and attractive, but a body that’s functioning and supporting an active lifestyle will give you energy, vitality, and true youth.

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Best anti-aging foods

I could include many different foods, but these 10 foods are consistently ranked by nutritionists, doctors, and other health experts as the best anti-aging/super foods out there.

  1. Avocados. Avocados are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and potassium. This fruit is also rich in folate, aka vitamin B, which has been linked to the prevention of heart attacks and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Avocados also contain oleic acid which aids in lowering bad cholesterol and protects against blood clots. Guacamole anyone?
  2. Green vegetables. Broccoli and kale are pure powerhouses. They are all loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Free radicals are those nasty little things that cause you to age faster and can open your risk to disease and cancers. Vegetables are great immune boosters and a diet full of them can help prevent cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure- especially the cruciferous type. Remember, the darker the green, the better!
  3. Nuts. Eat a small amount of nuts if you want to ward off hunger. They are a fantastic source of protein, vitamin E, and calcium and help to maintain strong bones. They also help to prevent cell damage. There are many varieties of nuts and they all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for maintaining a healthy heart.
  4. Berries. All berries are rich in antioxidants such as flavonols and anthocyanins, which promote cell health and brain function. If you really want to load up on your antioxidants, they go for the darker berries. Studies have shown that blueberries may restrict the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation in the body. Truly any berry is a healthy addition because they are low glycemic. Cranberries are also well known for helping when you have a UTI.
  5. Dark Chocolate. Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, which has a high concentration of antioxidants and has been connected to helping reduce inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to UV light. Chocolate helps to improve circulation and gives you plumper, younger looking skin. Dark chocolate that is at least 70 to 85% is better but it can start to taste slightly better if you do have a sweet tooth. As you incorporate more of this dark chocolate, your palate will change.
  6. Fish. Fish is a great source of protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish helps to protect against heart disease and inflammation in the body. Cold water fish such as salmon and tuna contains higher levels of omega-3’s. They have also been linked to lowering risk factors that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
  7. Beans. Beans are an excellent source of low-fat protein, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. They are a great alternative to meat and are rich in vitamin B, iron, and potassium. If beans did not always agree with you, there are some things you can do. If using canned beans, thoroughly rinse the beans first. Introduce beans slowly into your diet – mung and Azuki beans are easier to digest. Cook beans with lots of vegetables and spices such as ginger and turmeric.
  8. Green tea. Green tea contains the most EGCG’s, one of the most powerful antioxidants. Numerous studies link drinking green tea to lowered risks of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Green tea also helps fight free radicals in our bodies and promotes anti-aging benefits. Weight loss is a well known side effect of drinking green tea. It helps to burn fat and boost metabolism.
  9. Garlic. Garlic is a member of the allium family and is well known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Garlic is linked to inhibiting the spread of cancer cells and has also been linked to lower risk of stomach, intestinal, pancreatic, and breast cancers.
  10. Red wine. Reservatrol is the anti-aging oxidant found in red wine. Research has shown that it helps to reduce the risk of cancer, lower bad cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. The alcohol content of red wine helps to keep blood clots from forming. Drinking red wine in moderation is key. It is high in sugar and too much alcohol could have a reversed effect.

This is by no means a definitive list. There are other foods that fall in the range- whole grains, olive oil, yogurt, fermented foods, tomatoes, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and mushrooms.

Adding in more anti-aging foods to your diet right NOW

  1. Dip cut vegetables into garlic hummus.
  2. Mash up avocado and spread onto a slice of sprouted grain toast. Squeeze lemon juice over top and sprinkle sea salt.
  3. Dip strawberries into melted dark chocolate.
  4. Combine berries with Greek yogurt and sprinkle ground nuts on top.
  5. Add more beans and/or vegetables to soups and stews.

Getting more anti-aging foods in on a daily basis can be pretty easy. Start with one or two foods listed above and slowly add from there. You might have to get creative at first, but over time, it will come naturally (and your body will love you for it)!


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