As if the holidays weren’t filled with enough havoc, unfortunately, many suffer through the season with painful joints and inflammation. Painful joints and inflammation often derived from arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, strains and tears, or other injuries. Remembering how to manage painful joints and inflammation during the holiday season can be difficult due to excessive traveling, shopping, and continuous feasting! Individuals tend to break out of their pain management routines, especially healthy eating habits for healthy joints, which is why Southern Coast Pain Specialists would like to offer a list of ingredients for a pain free holiday recipe.

  • Garlic and Onions
    • Garlic and onions contain high levels of a powerful sulfur compound. Garlic and onions are used to season a dish and because they are so flavorful there is less need for table salt. Many studies have shown that high levels of sodium have been linked to arthritis and joint inflammation.
  • Nuts and Berries
    • Nuts and berries contain an abundance of nutrients. Nuts are packed with nutritional value because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to lower arthritis pain and inflammation. Berries are rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Two main elements in berries are rutin and quercetin which are responsible for these agents. Try this combination as an appetizer or a snack!
  • Red Bell Peppers
    • All peppers contain vitamin C and are all considered nutritional, but the red bell pepper is extremely rich in Vitamin C, which is responsible for reducing pain! Another advantage to eating red bell peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin is a body’s natural element to decrease pain compounds in nerve cells.
  • Coconut Oil
    • Coconut oil is extremely beneficial to joints! It is a natural ingredient that can be used topically or internally. Coconut oil hydrates tissues which creates viscosity and prevents further injury to the joints. Also, this natural substance protects the human body against bacteria and reduces our chances of getting an infection.
  • Ginger
    • Ginger has many health benefits, but ginger is one of the oldest natural remedies for pain.  Before medication, this was used as an anti-inflammatory and a pain-fighting seasoning. When severe pain causes nausea, ginger is also often used to calm one’s stomach.
  • Avocados
    • Avocados are valuable because they too have many powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories which reduce pain. Avocados contain high levels of potassium which decreases the chances of cramping and pain from stiff joints and muscles. Also, avocados are savory and flavorful which can upgrade any dish!
  • Citric Fruits
    • There are several citric fruits that are beneficial in reducing painful joints and inflammation. Some are oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, pomegranates, etc. Citric fruits encompass vast amounts of Vitamin C! However, it is important to monitor the amount of fruit consumed because of sugar. Opt for citrus fruits as a part of your holiday diet!
  • Oily Fish
    • There have been numerous studies with substantial evidence that supports the benefits of oily fish. Oily fish that have been proven to decrease inflammation and arthritis pain are salmon, trout, sardines, etc. Oily fish is a great lean source of protein and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. One of the main ingredients in fighting pain!

Although it is difficult to maintain a healthy pain management routine over the holidays, it is important to try healthy food alternatives, to stay hydrated, and to remain active. Portion control plays a major role in a pain management routine so paying attention to your body is vital. Try not to go back for a second helping if your body is saying its full! Drinking plenty of water during the holiday season is crucial. By staying hydrated, the joints maintain flexibility and viscosity. Finally, remaining active is helpful in preventing stubborn holiday pain. Perhaps after you have finished your meal, try going for a walk versus taking a holiday snooze. Be sure to refer to our last holiday blog for stretches and travel advice.

There are also several foods consumed during the holiday season that should be avoided. Foods such as;

  • Dairy products
  • Red Meat
  • Soy
  • Caffeine
  • Trans-Fat

These foods increase symptoms of painful arthritic joints, painful inflammation, and can cause weight gain. Also, caffeine dehydrates the muscles and pulls important minerals from the body which is one of the main causes of joint pain and inflammation.

Try your best to maintain a healthy pain management routine! Be sure to continue taking medication as prescribed and update our office with any changes. We hope you find the tips above useful and we at Southern Coast Pain Specialists wish you the happiest of holidays!

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