The best foods for menopause joint pain. Joint Pain Month

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Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


17 September 2018

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, it's Week 3 of Joint Month. And today, I'm going to talk about the best foods to help to support your joint health.

Now, diet is vital in the menopause. A good diet is really so important, and we know that it can help in so many areas of the menopause and certainly, for joint health, it's really a very important one. 

Foods that are good for your joints

So we know that there's a number of groups of foods that can be very beneficial for the joints, and we also know that there's a big group of foods that are going to be really bad for the joint.

So this week, I'm going to look at the good ones that you can add to your daily diet.

Oils

The first group we're going to look at are the oils. These are really important for the joints because they help to lubricate the joints.  

They help to keep the joints nice, and supple, and with easy movement. And, you know, if you think about it, when you go on any kind of journey in your car, you always make sure there's enough oil in the engine because it's the oil that keeps the engine from seizing up. And the oils that we have in our diet, the good fats, are used in a lot of instances to help to keep our joints working well.  

So we're looking at things like your oily fish, so that would be things like your salmon, sardines, tuna is classed as an oily fish but not if you get it from a tin. So if you want the benefits of oils from tuna, it really does need to be the whole fish, either fresh or frozen. And to be honest, for those of you who are not vegetarian and who like fish, sardines is probably the best fish to eat in terms of getting what we would call the omega-3 oils. 

If you are vegetarian or vegan, then you can go with flaxseed oil, and this will work nearly as well, sometimes not quite as well as fish oils, but it can still be very beneficial, and it's worth taking. Fish oils as well are great for the brain, so your Omega-3s, fish oils, and flaxseed oil is great for brain function, and they're also wonderful for keeping your skin nice, and soft, and supple, so a lovely addition to any diet that you are on.  

You can also look at olive oil. Olive oil, especially the extra virgin olive oil, is great for putting in salads. I make my own salad dressing just with olive oil and some nice balsamic vinegar, sometimes flavour it with some raspberry flavour which is my favourite. So you can use olive oil on your salads, on the dressings, you can use it on your baked potatoes.  

Eileen’s favourite home made salad dressing

Fill a small jar 1/3 way with organic extra virgin olive oil, add 1/3rd of flavoured balsamic vinegar ( I love the raspberry) and the last 1/3 with plain balsamic vinegar. Add a big pinch of Herbamare to taste and shake well.

Keeps in the fridge for about 5 days – if it lasts that long!!

I'll very often just put a little trickle over a plate of steamed vegetables, so you can add this oil into an awful lot of different daily dishes. You can look at things like nuts and seeds. They are absolutely great for the menopause for keeping your energy levels up.  

They've got so many other benefits, and I have talked about nuts on a number of occasions and to all the benefits that they can provide, so having a small handful of nuts and seeds as a snack maybe mid-morning or mid-afternoon is going to be very, very helpful for you.

Leafy, dark green vegetables

The next group is we're looking at the leafy, dark green vegetables. These are full of vitamins and minerals that are going to help to support your joints.  

And in this day and age, these prepacked salad things, I'm not usually a fan of anything prepacked, but for me and my busy life, these prepacks of salad greens of all different types are absolutely great because I just need to take a handful out and chop them up with whatever I'm eating. And I will try and have a handful of these greens with every single meal I have, even for breakfast.  

If I'm having a savoury breakfast, like an omelette, then I'll have a little side dish of the green vegetables as well with a tiny little dribble of olive oil dressing, and that's getting both the oils and all these wonderful vitamins and minerals from the green leafy veg, so really nice, easy, simple, quick addition to any meal that you are having. Even a sandwich, put a handful of the leaves in and that's giving you just that little bit extra.  

We're looking at foods that contain things called anthocyanins. These are chemical compounds that are very important for the joints and can help with stabilising the joints, too. So you're looking at the deep coloured foods, so this would be things like your spinach and your kale, the really dark vegetables like these two.

Bright-coloured vegetables and fruits

You're also looking at the bright coloured foods, so these would be things like your cherries, and your aubergines, and any other food. Peppers are great as well. So these all contain these wonderful chemicals, so again, a portion of these on a daily basis is going to give you a wonderful range of these fabulous antioxidants. 

Anti-inflammatory foods

We're looking at anti-inflammatory foods, and these can come in two different guises.

Pineapple

You've got the likes of pineapple which contains something called bromelain in it, and this is a great anti-inflammatory compound, so having a little bit of pineapple, we don't recommend a lot of fruit because it's high in sugar and that can affect your blood sugar levels, but a small portion of pineapple on a regular basis is another one of these lovely anti-inflammatory foods.  

Spices

We've got things like the spices. So things like turmeric, and ginger, they are great. And they're coming so much to the fore now. Capsicum is another one as well from peppers. So it's very well-known that these spices contain anti-inflammatory properties. So you can either have the spices regularly in your food.  

I love sprinkling just a little bit of turmeric on whatever I happen to be eating. If I'm making a casserole or a stir-fry, and it doesn't really taste of much, but it gives you a lovely bright colour. Even sprinkling into some cooked rice or cooked pasta could be another way of eating it. And having fresh ginger, remember all the water recipes that I've talked about where you can put a little piece of fresh ginger in your daily water or boil it up and have a nice fresh ginger tea is another thing that you can do here. 

Brassicas vegetables

You can also look at things like your broccoli, what they call the brassicas. These are another range of foods that have these wonderful antioxidants in them. And antioxidants are great for preventing aging and deterioration. So plenty of broccoli and those absolutely wonderful Brussels sprouts, these can all contribute to the diet as well, so this is a great way to go.  

Potato Juice

For something to drink, you can also look at potato juice. This is something, one of the juices, fermented juices that we do, and a small cup of the fermented potato juice can be really helpful for the inflammatory side of sore joints, too.

Red vegetables and fruits

You can also look at the red foods because they contain things like beta-carotene or vitamin A, so that would be things like your carrots and your sweet potatoes. 

And for those of you that have recently downloaded my new menopause book, you will find an absolutely super recipe at the back for sweet potato and carrot soup, and again, these things can be so easy to make, and they're going to add all these wonderful extra ingredients to help to support your joints.  

So hopefully, that's given you a few tips of things that you can take in your diet that you can maybe change or add to your diet. If any of you have any other foods or drinks that you have found have been wonderful for your joint pain or joint aches, please let us know. Please share the tips with us. 

It's great when that happens because you're giving information and support to all these other women out there as well.

What I will be talking about next week:

Next week, I'm going to be talking about the no-nos, so that's the bad foods that you should really try and avoid that we know can irritate and make your joint pain worse.

So have a good week. And I will see you next week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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