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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6 Nutrients Your Body Needs To Slow Your Aging

As we get older, things change. Our skin gets thinner and wrinkles start to form. We lose lean muscle (if we don’t actively work on it) and our belly fat starts to shift to our midsection. We also produce less stomach acid, making it harder for our bodies to efficiently absorb vital nutrients.

Did you know that studies have estimated that 20% of aging people have “atrophic gastritis”, a condition in which chronic inflammation has damaged the cells that produce stomach acid?

This is a real problem! If your stomach acid is low and can not absorb the nutrients you need to stay healthy, it is easy to fall into a lot of health problems. And, when this is coupled with the fact that we need less calories as we age, hormonal changes begin to run wild, and we are more likely to be prone to dehydration, absorbing the nutrients to keep you healthy is even more challenging. There are specific nutrients that you may need to be consciously aware of getting more of —

6 Nutrients You May Need As You Age

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Heart disease is a big deal and it is even bigger as you age. Changes in your diet, stress levels, and your hormones can all play a role in how well your cardiovascular system operates. And that all can catch up to you as you get older. Omega-3 fatty acids can lower heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and triglycerides. They can also increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Get your Omega-3’s by eating foods like walnuts, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil, herring, avocados, flax seeds, and chia seeds. You can also take a fish oil supplement. Incorporate a bit of these every day!

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Collagen

As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and wrinkles. Collagen is a major component of your skin and it plays a role in strengthening skin with benefits of elasticity and hydration. Adequate collagen has been linked to improving your skin health, relieving joint pain, preventing bone loss, boosting muscle mass, promoting heart health, improving gut health, balancing out moods, and supporting a healthy metabolism. Where can you find collagen? Collagen is found in the connective tissue of animals. Foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef and fish are sources of collagen. You can also find collagen in gelatin, such as bone broth, or you can add a collagen powder to your smoothie or liquid drink. This is my favorite. These foods are abundant, but their absorption is not as efficient as that of hydrolyzed collagen.

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Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important nutrients for bone health. As you age, vitamin D levels decrease, making it challenging for calcium to be efficiently absorbed. This can set you up for bone weakness and potential fractures, including osteoporosis and osteopenia. You can get vitamin D through sun exposure, but if you are quite deficient or not in the sun enough, you may not be getting enough vitamin D. You can naturally increase your vitamin D levels by eating egg yolks, a variety of fishes, mushrooms, and fortified foods. You can also take a cod liver supplement. As for calcium, you can find 15 calcium-rich foods right here to get you started!

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Protein

The loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia and it is a major source of weakness, fractures, and health issues as we get older. The average adult loses 3–8% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Aiming to consume a moderate amount of 25-30 grams of high quality protein with each meal will help you get your protein needs. It is also being shown that increasing protein and resistance exercise will help to decrease your risk of sarcopenia. Get more protein by topping organic greek yogurt with chopped almonds, snacking on organic cheese sticks, starting your morning off with a protein shake, or adding a protein rich food to your salad.

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Magnesium

Magnesium is a super important mineral in the body.  As you age, you are at risk for a deficiency because of poor intake, medication use and changes in your gut functioning (I.e., low stomach acid). According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.”  Magnesium helps with maintaining a healthy immune system and stabilizes nerve and muscle functioning. It helps to keep your bones strong and your heart beating healthfully. It also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, creating a more consistent energy level. Magnesium is also a super aid to calming the nervous system and allowing you to relax and fall asleep at night.

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Vitamin B-12

Aging increases the risk of a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Unfortunately, studies estimate that 10–30% of people over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from their diet. Again, it is all about the low stomach acid! With time, this can cause a major deficiency. Why is this important? B-12 is essential for making red blood cells and maintaining healthy brain function. Vitamin B-12 is found naturally only in animal source foods such as dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Vegan or Vegetarian? People who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet do not get adequate sources of B-12, so they can benefit from taking a vitamin B-12 supplement or consuming foods fortified with vitamin B-12.

Why wait? These may be nutrients that you need to support you as you age, but why wait to start? All of these nutrients are important at any age. Start to pay attention to how they play a role in your diet now so that you can set yourself up for a healthier, more supportive future!