Some causes and effects are more subtle than others. To illustrate the causal connection between sugar and joint pain, it would be helpful if someone were to take a bite out of a triple-glazed donut and immediately collapse to the ground like an international soccer star with a ref nearby, grasping their knee and howling with pain. In reality, sugar and other processed foods have a cumulative effect which means their impact grows over time. (In this example, the soccer star’s fall would take place several hours later, when the ref was long gone and therefore unable to give the donut a well-deserved red card).
In recent years, the medical community has identified the connection between the inflammation caused by a western-style diet and chronic joint pain. There’s even something called the ‘Ultimate Anti-Arthritis Diet’, and many physicians advocate for the benefits of healthy eating when dealing with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
Yet even with improved nutrition, the after-effects of years of unhealthy eating habits can linger in ways that limit mobility and enjoyment of life. Toxins that have built up over time are stored in fat cells and can continue to cause disruption and pain. Ridding ourselves of those unwelcome guests is a good way to boost the effects of a better diet.
Inflammation and Joint Pain
Inflammation is a natural response to infection or injury. Under normal circumstances, once the issue has gone away, so does the inflammation. But while some foods help to fight inflammation, others make it worse, not just in our joints but everywhere in our bodies. Within inflamed joints, blood vessels dilate to allow more blood flow, and white blood cells rush to the area. Once that happens, problems can ensue such as joint swelling, increased joint fluid, cartilage and bone damage, and muscle loss. Nerves within the joint become irritated, causing pain.
Foods on the No-Fly List
Many foods increase overall inflammation in the body, but some are worse than others. Top villains include:
Processed sugar has several negative effects, starting with the release of pro-inflammatory proteins known as cytokines. It also creates too many harmful compounds called AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) that form when protein or fat combines with sugar in the bloodstream. The American diet incorporates sugar into everything from salad dressing and barbecue sauce to cheese and bread. Learning how to interpret food labels is a good place to start to reduce your sugar intake.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Taken in moderation, these fats are beneficial. When we overdo it, however, they can convert linolenic acid into arachidonic acid, another fatty acid that can promote inflammation. It can be found in many cooking oils (vegetable, corn, peanut and canola) as well as some chicken, pork and beef and many snack foods. The key, according to medical researchers, is to boost our intake of omega-3 fatty acids, not to stop our intake of omega-6 altogether.
Aside from increasing inflammation, consuming considerable saturated fats will also increase your risk for heart disease. Cheese and pizza are the top two sources in the U.S. Lovers of coconut oil can rejoice, however, as studies suggest it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Foods that Reduce Inflammation
On the plus side, many foods are powerful tools for reducing inflammation, including:
Avocados, berries, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables, cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, extra virgin olive oil, fish, grapes, green tea, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, turmeric.
Removing Toxins That Contribute to Inflammation
Changing your diet will benefit your joints, not only by reducing inflammation but also by causing you to lose weight. But even when we make lifestyle shifts, the aftereffects of our previous habits can linger in the form of toxins that continue to irritate our cells. Particularly if we’ve been eating processed food for years, we’ve been ingesting pesticides, BPA through food packaging, artificial additives and preservatives that become lodged in our fat cells and can be
challenging to eliminate. Even when we lose weight, the toxins simply look for another sort of tissue to inhabit because they’re too small to be passed through normal means like urination or sweat.
One solution is soluble zeolite, a mineral that has proven successful in binding toxins. Vitality Detox Drops are a form of soluble zeolite with fragments as small as chromosomes, which means they can permeate cellular membranes. Another unique feature is a magnetic charge which acts as a magnet for toxins, binding them together until they become large enough to be eliminated. Vitality Detox Drops’ cage-like structure is the final component that captures toxins for the binding process, neutralizing them while they remain in your body and allowing them to be passed through urine or feces.
If you are planning on changing your diet to reduce joint pain or have already made a shift, consider giving your cells an extra, anti-inflammatory boost with this safe and gentle detoxification process.
“Can Diet Heal Chronic Pain?” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, July 2018
“Avoid These 5 Inflammatory Foods to Ease Joint Pain” Cary Orthopaedics, August
“The Difference Between Omega-3 and Omega-6 and Knee Arthritis Pain” by Lydia Nader, MS, RDN, LDN, Arthritis Health, May 14, 2020
‘The 13 Most Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Eat” by Franziska Spritzler, Healthline, December 19, 2019
“The Ultimate Arthritis Diet” by Amy Paturel, The Arthritis Foundation