Jointed Together (Part 2)
Let’s pick right back up where we left off. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common disease of the joints that is generally regarded to as an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi have all been suspected of being the source but nothing has ever been indefinitely proven to be the cause, which makes it difficult to treat. Rheumatoid arthritis creates chronic inflammation in the joints, as well as in the tissue surrounding the joints and sometimes even in organs of the body. This inflammation leads to heavy damage in the cartilage, bone, ligaments, and other parts of the body, causing deformities.
Again, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is important to joint health and a natural way to support the joints for someone who has Rheumatoid arthritis. Herbs like turmeric are also a good way to strengthen joints, as well as taking a good, living probiotic.
Bursitis is another condition that affects a lot of people, including many athletes or people who enjoy being active. Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs called bursa, found within joints, muscles, tendons, and bones becomes inflamed. It’s very common in the elbows, feet, shoulders, and hips. You could be experiencing a form of bursitis without even knowing that’s what it is because there are other names for it depending on what part of the body it happens in.
For instance, when in the shoulder, this is referred to as “frozen shoulder”. Or in the feet, we know it as “bunions”. So our bunions are actually little, inflamed sacks of fluid, which is why they can be so painful. They can be caused by a number of things, including wearing tight shoes or high heels, injuries, calcium deposits, infections, or diseases like arthritis and gout.
Protein and vitamin A are great nutrients to feed your body to support these bursa sacs. Warm compresses alternating with cold compresses is a soothing way to alleviate the pain in the affected area. By giving your body the proper nutrients, many cases of bursitis will go away on their own.
Certain foods are going to be damaging to your joints. We call these “free radicals”. Antibiotic and corn-fed beef, dairy products, fried foods, hydrogenated fats, processed sugars, soft drinks, and trans fats are all forms of free radicals. Antioxidants help the body fight the effects of free radicals. Vitamins A, C, and E, and well as the mineral selenium, are typically known as the antioxidant vitamins. So consuming a high diet of these vitamins is key in maintaining healthy joints.
The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale measures the total antioxidant capacities of food. So basically, it weighs how much antioxidants per part there are in different things. The highest known antioxidant count is actually not in a food, but rather a spice. Clove registers in at 1,078,700 on the ORAC. Compare that to the highest known antioxidant food, the Ningxia Wolfberry, which comes in at 33,000 on the same scale.
Other foods rich in antioxidants are things like carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, peaches, and dark greens. For extra vitamin A, make a point to eat some grapefruit, oranges, papaya, mangoes, raspberries, pineapples, asparagus, red peppers, and broccoli. We all know most of the fruits that are high in vitamin C but don’t sleep on the benefits on avocados and sunflower seeds! Vitamin E rich foods are a bit harder to find but whole grains or einkorn is a great place to start.
So there you go! If there’s anything you take away from this, it’s that the things we put in our body really do affect our body (go figure!). As simple as that sounds, people are quick to feed dead, useless things to their kids but for some reason if something says “natural” or “living”, they become skeptical. I’m not sure why that is and there’s a good chance I’ll never understand their opinion. I guess we hold comfort and convenience in higher regards than a potential life of health with no complaints of chronic pain or illness. Your body costs money even when you’re dead so why not make an investment on it now while you’re still alive to enjoy it? Take care of yourself.