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Top tips for healthy muscles & joints
Are painful joints and muscles preventing you taking up active pursuits such as walking, running or other sports? If so, read on to find out how you can naturally support healthy muscles and joints:
- Muscle pain may result from inflammation, so eat plenty of foods that promote anti-inflammatory activity such as oily fish, walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, all of which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. A daily fish oil supplement can boost your omega 3 intake.
- Eat plenty of brightly-coloured fruit and vegetables, which are packed with anti-oxidants to help combat potentially damaging free-radical activity.
- Avoid refined foods, high-fat meats and sugary foods which are pro-inflammatory.
- Dehydration can contribute to muscle soreness, so drink plenty of healthy fluids such as vegetable juices, water and herb teas.
- Increase magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, oats, and seeds. Magnesium supports muscle relaxation and assists efficient absorption of calcium.
- Plants such as Devil’s Claw are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to maintain comfortable joints. Devil’s claw has traditionally been used for the relief of backache, rheumatic or muscular pain, and general aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
- Don’t forget to use herbs liberally in your cooking. Ginger, rosemary, basil, turmeric and garlic not only add delicious flavour to food but are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Have you considered glucosamine? Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced naturally in the body that is vital for the formation of cartilage, tendons and ligaments as well as the lubricating synovial fluid. Unfortunately, loss of this protective cushioning can be caused by excessive stress on the joints through sport or heavy lifting, as well as by the natural wear and tear of ageing.
- A topical balm combining MSM, a sulphur compound, and glucosamine may help to ease tired, stiff muscles and joints, especially after exercise.
- Following strenuous activity, nothing soothes like a warm bath! Heat increases the circulation and relaxes tired, aching limbs. Adding mineral salts to the bath provides further benefits by cleansing and detoxifying the body.