What’s on Chef Marshall’s Mind: Five Foods to Help Reduce Joint Pain

People want to be active, mobile and feel their best. However, if you’re experiencing a lot of pain and stiffness, it can put a damper on your day. You may want to look at what you are eating, because the typical American diet includes a lot of foods that increase body pain, including fast food, fried foods, bakery such as cookies, cakes and donuts, and other sugary treats. These are full of unhealthy fats and oils and refined flour and sugar that contribute directly to inflammation—and body pain.

If you want to enjoy your days with minimal pain, minimize these foods that contain fast carbs as much as you can. And if you want to eat food that helps you reduce body pain, here are five foods that can help you feel your best:

Blueberries and other fruits high in antioxidants – There’s a reason nutrition experts call blueberries a “super food”. Studies show blueberries have the ability to reduce inflammation, and also to lower the risk for heart disease and cancer.

Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens – Leafy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce have high levels of Vitamin E that protect the body from cytokines (si-toe-kines)–molecules that promote inflammation.

Pumpkin seeds – Foods such as pumpkin seeds, that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce body pain. Studies show that omega-3’s increase blood flow to tissues and organs, which helps decrease swelling and soreness. Seeds are a quick option when you don’t have time for cooked salmon or other fatty fish.

Garlic – garlic contains an anti-inflammatory compound called allicin and also has other anti-microbial properties.

Oregano – aromatic herbs like oregano contain antibacterial properties to help fight inflammation.

Make these foods and others like them a regular part of your life so you can continue to enjoy summer activities with minimal discomfort.

Take these baby steps and you will love the way you feel!