Jul 01, 2012 05:24PM
● By Dr. Melanie MacLaren
Want to do something to keep your joints healthy? Take a walk.
Our bone ends are covered by cartilage which is a gel-like substance that acts as a shock absorber, essential for smooth movement of the joint. The majority of cartilage has no direct blood supply and therefore relies on movement to receive nutrients and oxygen. Impact that comes from movement or compression, such as walking, “squishes” the cartilage, bringing oxygen and nutrients into the area. Walking strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments that can help stabilize and move our joints. In addition, it makes bones stronger by drawing calcium into the bones. A walking or exercise program can also help keep off extra weight which can add strain to the joints.
What else can you do for your joints?
Stay hydrated with filtered water. Cartilage is 65-80 percent water. Hydrated cartilage provides more cushion and is less vulnerable to injury.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the theories as to why our joints deteriorate is from free radicals which are unstable molecules that can damage healthy tissue. Anti-oxidants help fight free radicals and fruits and vegetables are full of anti-oxidants. Ginger root is also a powerful antioxidant and in some studies has been show to help with pain. An easy way to get ginger in your daily diet is to make Ginger Tea. Peel ginger root and slice about a quarter inch piece into tea cup. Add boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. This can be cooled and poured over ice with fresh lemon for a refreshing summer drink.
Eat from various sources of Omega-3’s such as olive oil, nuts, salmon and mackerel for fighting inflammation.
Limit intake of soft drinks. The calcium phosphorus balance in the body is upset by taking in too much phosphorus in soft drinks. This negatively impacts the metabolism of calcium in the body, which contributes to the strength of our bones.