Where two or more bones meet in the body, you have joints that allow those bones to move. The main role of joints is to make repeated movement between the bones efficient, smooth, and safe. In other words, joints allow you to move and remain flexible. Due to the aging process, injuries, and different conditions such as arthritis your joints can suffer substantial damage that causes pain, swelling, and inflammation. A healthy lifestyle characterized by a well-balanced diet is a great way to support joint health and prevent/manage these conditions. Ideally, your diet should include a wide range of fruits and vegetables. For optimal support, here are green and yellow vegetables that will improve joint health.
What’s the color?
Even though we don’t pay too much attention to it, color of vegetables matters a lot. Different colors indicate different nutrients and active compounds that vegetables contain. That’s why it is recommended to consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to supply the body with a wide array of nutrients it needs to function properly.
Besides vitamins, minerals, and fiber, both fruits and vegetables contain specific compounds that give them their vibrant colors. These compounds are well-known for their health benefits including joint health which is excellent for knee pain treatments, arthritis patients; you name it.
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which is a pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis. The compound itself is a great source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, and it’s also rich in minerals and antioxidants. Benefits of chlorophyll are numerous such as the increased concentration of red blood cells, cancer prevention, body detox, healthy digestion, and it can also alleviate arthritis joint pain.
Evidence shows that chlorophyll is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and can treat diseases wherein inflammation plays a big role. Arthritis is strongly associated with inflammation. What’s more, a growing body of evidence confirms that the severity of inflammation influences pain intensity.
Yellow produce gets its color due to carotenoids which are also responsible for orange and red colors of fruits and vegetables. Like other compounds, carotenoids are potent antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress and damage it would cause. Studies show that oxidative stress plays a role in arthritis too. For example, rheumatoid arthritis patients have a higher level of oxidative stress than their healthy counterparts.
Below, you can take a look at examples of green and yellow vegetables to add to your menu for joint health.
Broccoli probably wasn’t your favorite vegetable back in childhood, but it’s incredibly healthy, and you should strive to consume it more often. The vegetable is abundant in vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, iron, and manganese. Like all green vegetables, broccoli contains chlorophyll, but it also has sulforaphane. Joint health is one of many benefits you can expect with regular intake of broccoli.
A study from the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology found that broccoli has the tremendous potential to prevent and slow down osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. These positive effects of broccoli on joint health were due to sulforaphane, scientists found. Other nutrients in broccoli have a positive impact on your joints, too. For example, the American Journal of Medicine published a study which found that deficiency in vitamin K is linked with incidence of knee osteoarthritis.
Yellow peppers are, basically, bell peppers which are fruits of certain plants in the nightshade family. These vibrant peppers are abundant in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Yellow peppers get their striking color due to a compound called violaxanthin. Studies show that violaxanthin has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Yellow peppers are also rich in vitamin K whose benefits for joint health were discussed above.
Potatoes are more than just French fries when included in healthy meals they can also supply your body with an abundance of different nutrients. They also belong the nightshade family, and it is a little-known fact that yellow potatoes can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis. The Journal of Nutrition published a study which found that inflammation and DNA damage was reduced in participants who consumed yellow and purple potatoes for six weeks.
Popeye ate spinach to get stronger, but you should eat it to keep your joints healthy, particularly if you already have a condition that affects them. How can spinach help? Spinach is high in antioxidants that reduce systemic inflammation which is behind joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also important to mention that spinach is a great source of vitamin K and calcium.
Artichokes are an amazing source of fiber and antioxidants, but they’re low in fat. They are known for their ability to strengthen the immune system, regulate blood pressure, support liver health, and nourish digestive tract. What many people don’t know is that artichokes can help improve joint health. How? These vegetables contain high levels of vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K, all of which are beneficial for joint health. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen while calcium and vitamin K helps maintain bone mineral density and they strengthen connective tissues between your bones.
Celery is one of the least calorie dense foods you can find meaning it’s excellent for weight management. Keeping weight in a healthy range is vital for the prevention of many diseases and health conditions, including those that affect joints. You see, overweight and obesity put too much pressure on your joints thus accelerating damage and causing pain.
Besides weight management, celery can support joint health by lowering inflammation, too. A study from the International Journal of Crude Drug Research found that celery exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory effects which can also alleviate inflammation of arthritis.
Other vegetables to eat
Nutrition is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Your food choices can make or break prevention or management of many health problems. Your food influences the overall quality of life, and it can either help you move easily or contribute to poor joint health that limits your range of motion.
Going green and yellow is a great way to supply the body with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy compounds that keep it functional and help manage or prevent joint conditions. Besides the options mentioned above, you should also include other yellow and green vegetables on the menu. For example:
- Golden Beets
- Yellow beans
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Green beans
Instead of fast food and other unhealthy foods, you should increase consumption of fruits and vegetables of different colors. Throughout this article, we’ve discussed the role of yellow and green vegetables in joint health. The color of a vegetable is due to a specific pigment that exhibits important health effects. Green and yellow vegetables alleviate inflammation and supply the body with much-needed vitamins that support proper functioning of your joints. Modify your diet to prevent or manage problems that affect your joint health and flexibility.
Author Bio: Kathy Mitchell is a Travel & Beauty Blogger. She likes to Go Out with her Friends, Travel, Swim and Practice Yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up Reading her Favorite Novel, or Writing in her Journal. She is regular Contributor at ConsumerHealthDigest. To know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.