When Shannon Coleman was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), she was surprised by how hard the condition hit her.
“I’d had issues with my back for more than 10 years before I finally got a diagnosis in May 2014,” she says. “I thought I’d be prepared because I work in the health care field -- I’m a medical assistant at a spine clinic -- but I was struck by how debilitating it was to suddenly not be able to live my normal life as a working mom.”
Coleman, like many other people with AS, had...
“We want to go toward more natural, closer to the earth, and less-processed foods, while avoiding fried and processed foods, trans fats, and charred meat,” which increase inflammation, Clark says.
Of course, no single food is a cure-all for supporting joint health. Exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and generally taking care of yourself are all keys in keeping your joints moving freely. Here are seven foods to include in your diet.
Cherries get their crimson color from natural plant chemicals called anthocyanins. Several studies have shown that fresh cherries and tart cherry juice may curb inflammation. A few studies have also linked fresh cherries to fewer flare-ups of gout.
Other foods to try: It’s the color that counts. Other richly colored fruits (such as blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates) could also deliver similar effects.
2. Red Peppers
Red peppers are brimming with vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, which is part of your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that cushion your joints and hold them together.
Other foods to try: Citrus fruits (such as grapefruit and oranges), tomatoes, and pineapple
3. Canned Salmon
Salmon might not be the first food you think of for stronger bones, but Clark says canned salmon with bones in particular is a good one to consider.
It's got calcium and vitamin D to help keep your bones strong. Salmon is also loaded with omega-3s, which help curb inflammation.
Clark recommends making salmon patties from canned salmon.
Another bonus: “When you eat salmon, you’re not eating barbecued spareribs -- the kind of foods that create the joint problems.”
Other foods to try: Low- or no-fat plain yogurt or milk, which are both high in calcium and vitamin D. Try other naturally oily fish, such as trout or sardines, for their omega-3s.