Aging is a given. Because of this, most people can't avoid diseases related to aging like hypertension, cataract, diabetes, Alzheimer's and osteoarthritis (OA). Statistics show that OA is the most widespread joint disorder among people aged 60 years old and above in the U.S. Around 54 million adults in the U.S. suffered from arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia from 2013 to 2015. Experts also believe that around 78 million people in the U.S. aged 18 and up will have arthritis by 2040.
The disease ranks second among rheumatoid-related problems, and affects 22 to 39 percent people in India.
This is why health experts must find solutions to this degenerative disease. Because the disease leads to inflammation people still turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for initial relief. But these have side effects like a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, myocardial infarction that causes cell death, and even stroke. This led the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the American College of Rheumatology and the European League to push for non-drug solutions against the disease.
A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine wanted to find the solution to the problem by studying the effect and safety of plant-based products like Vatari guggulu, Maharasnadi kwatha, and Narayan taila in treating OA. Researchers gently massaged these herbs on the affected knee joints of 142 participants for 15 minutes a day for 12 weeks. Results showed that joint pain and stiffness decreased every time the participants underwent Ayurvedic therapy. Because of this, they were also able to move more freely.
Tea. Any variety -- be it green, black, or white -- is packed with polyphenols, compounds in plants that get rid of inflammation.
Milk. Go for the low-fat variety to avoid extra calories and saturated fat.
Juices. Orange, tomato, pineapple, carrot and tart cherry juice are rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidants that neutralize inflammation-causing free radicals.
Smoothies. These contain yogurt, which is packed with good bacteria and vitamins.
Moderate amounts of red wine. Resveratrol in red wine has anti-inflammatory effects.
Water. It flushes out toxins and fights inflammation, keeps knees fully-lubricated and helps keep gout at bay.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. These leafy greens are full of sulforaphane, which reduces cartilage damage in joints.
Fatty fish. Salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help combat inflammation.
Garlic. It has diallyl disulfide, which helps fight arthritis and limits enzymes that fight damage to cartilage.
Turmeric. This yellow spice prevented inflammatory diseases in India for centuries. A review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences says curcumin can benefit in the management of chronic inflammatory-related joint disease.
Vitamin C from strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and cantaloupe. Research from the University of South Florida showed that vitamin C reduced the incidence of knee OA.
Tart cherries. A study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage showed that cherry juice brought relieve the pain and stiffness of OA.
Stand and sit up straight and don't slouch to avoid putting too much weight on your bones. Keep fit and don't pack in weight that puts extra pressure on your joints.
Be aware of your limits. Know when you've been standing or walking too much and rest your joints if you have to. After all, aging gracefully is an art. Learn it, even master it. You'll enjoy your golden years even more. Chances are, people around you will be only too happy to share those fun years with you.