The link between Joint Pain and Nutrition
Updated: Jun 4, 2018
In the media there is an enormous amount of information (and some misinformation) about nutrition.
However it is a bit confusing because the focus of all that information usually is not nutrition but weight loss.
And with all that talking about weight loss very few sources of news and information have a deeper discussion about nutrition and the specific effects nutrition can have on the human body.
To be even more specific.
Lets have a discussion about joint pain and nutrition.
Joint pain most often occurs in the areas of the body that are under most stress/pressure (hands, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees or ankles).
Joint pain most commonly starts occurring when a person in their thirties.
Commonly people think that it is the stress on the body that causes the pain and don't think about nutrition being one of the causes.
In the media various diets are promoted.
There is the Paleo Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Keto Diet and the FODMAP diet (and many more).
Now for starters I don't believe in any diet for the long therm.
The term diet indicates that it is restrictive and focused on weight loss.
I believe we should have a discussion on the effects of nutrition on inflammation and joint pain instead.
Certain foods can cause inflammation in the human body. And by causing inflammation in the joints they can cause joint pain.
The effects of these foods on inflammation are not always straight forward.
One person can be really sensitive to a certain type of food while another person can consume that food without any problems.
A few foods that are on the suspect list for causing inflammation and thereby causing joint pain are:
- Certain dairy products (milk often more than cheese because of the higher lactose content).
- Bread because of the gluten (even for people who don't have celiac disease it can lead to
inflammation and pain).
- legumes (all types of beans and peas).
- Vegetables of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant).
And the following food can fight inflammation (and thereby ease joint pain):
- All green leafy vegetables
- Fish or fish oil.
- Vitamin D supplementation (especially in winter).
This list of nutrition that can affect inflammation and joint pain positively or negatively is not complete because the level of positive or negative effects people experience can vary a lot (depending on personal sensitivities).
This list of positive and negative influences have overlap with the various diets named earlier in this article (Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean, FODMAP).
Always consult your family doctor or a licensed Nutritionist if necessary (this article is intended for information purposes and to start the discussion) .