“Creating a Pain-Free Body” (or What to Eat for Healthy Knees or “say no to knee inflammation”)
Hi, I’m Tricia Lahmann, Holistic Health Coach, Knee Rehab Coach, dance instructor and avid runner. I’ve made it my life’s mission to support people through making the VERY BEST choices in their daily lives so they can enjoy their ENTIRE lives to the fullest.. with healthy, pain-free, active bodies that can go the distance and finish their races strong. In this journey together, we can take the BEST course, and have more FUN than we can even imagine. It’s a win-win… so let’s dig in… in this case we discuss knee inflammation… but first…
Just a little about me – I studied and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Education from Purdue University and was a teacher for years before having my own health transformation in 1999, when I lost 35 pounds of weight and stress, then became inspired and on-fire to help others do the same. Health, fitness, wellness — and guiding people to live their best version of LIFE — these are the passions of my heart and soul.
So I attended the largest nutrition school in the world, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, also known as “I.I.N.”, based in New York. Studied a vast variety of health & nutrition lifestyle strategies (over 100 different dietary theories), the very best in how to create and maintain the healthiest life possible, not just in our bodies, but also within our emotional, spiritual and social lives — our mindsets. Our mindsets “drive” our lives.
I’ll get back to that in a minute or 2, but first let’s dive into “What to Eat for Healthy Knees” a.k.a. – Reducing or Avoiding Inflammation & Pain! Yes! This is especially for YOU if you’ve been suffering from joint pain & discomfort, arthritis, etc.
Fighting Knee Inflammation
Here are the main foods you should be getting more of in your daily / weekly diet to fight knee inflammation –
- Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Also, think of these like “oil for your joints.” Most are also very heart-healthy – things like Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Sardines. Not a fan of fish? There’s others: Fresh-ground Flaxseed & Flaxseed Oil, Wild Rice (long-grain Black Wild Rice has mega vitamins, minerals, protein & fiber), Eggs (especially free-range, flaxseed-fed), and also Walnuts & Walnut Cooking Oil.
- Garlic, Onions, Leeks – which all contain a compound that may help slow the wear & tear of our cartilage, as well as being natural anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-knee inflammation super heroes! Anti-inflammatory foods reduce arthritis pain, these are your friends.
- Tart Cherries – that beautiful red color possesses anthocyanin, a compound that helps reduce joint pain & inflammation, and has been used for years to help treat gout. Can also drink its juice (be cautious about the quality, & watch out for added sugar..sugar increases inflammation). With REAL fruit, you also have the benefits of fiber & other nutrients.
- Vitamin C – antioxidants in vitamin C may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and as we know, this vitamin is a powerhouse for our immune systems as well. Find the greatest amount in Red Bell Peppers (surprise!), all citrus fruits like Limes, Lemons, Oranges; also Strawberries, Kiwi, Pineapple and Cantaloupe. It’s best to get your vitamin C from real food, but if you DO take a supplement, there’s a warning not to go above 70 mg daily, because in large doses you can increase the risk for kidney stones. Our bodies are very good at balancing out nutrients coming from food – they’re in a natural, recognizable form that our cells can handle.
- Vegetables, specifically the cruciferous family — Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower — these all contain sulforaphane which help slow cartilage damage in joints due to osteoarthritis. Adding other greens such as Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens are also great choices for bone health, actually keeping our bones in better shape than milk! (Side note: milk is both mucous-producing and acidic, can actually CAUSE inflammation & health issues. Personal note: I’ve been milk-free for almost 10 years – no more allergies or colds, I virtually do NOT get “sick.” No stuffy nose here, no nasty phlegm)!
- Pomegranates – rich in antioxidants to slow aging, these gorgeous beauties help prevent LDL cholesterol from doing damage, they’re good for the blood and for circulation, AND can lessen arthritis because of their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Healthy heart food, too! Berries should get a mention here as well, for their powerful antioxidant properties and healthy cell-building abilities. Shout out to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. We should all be eating these every week! Try organics whenever possible, as berries tend to absorb pesticides if conventionally grown. Fight knee inflammation with this elegant and delicious fruit.
- Foods with Selenium – such as Brazil Nuts, Brown Rice, Tuna, Shiitake Mushrooms. For the more adventurous foodies out there, selenium is also found in high amounts in both Octopus & Squid! Yes, that’s why I mentioned Brazil Nuts & Brown Rice first. So glad there are multiple sources! Selenium is a trace mineral that’s known to help antioxidants clear out cell-damaging free radicals. Being low in selenium can lead to hip & knee osteoarthritis, so it’s worth seeking out this trace mineral each week. A little dab’ll do ya!
And last, but certainly NOT LEAST…
- Turmeric — this beautiful and bright orange spice used for centuries is also one of the best-researched and well-renowned inflammation fighters…Just USE IT! Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that is beneficial in the management of chronic inflammatory-related joint diseases. It’s a great natural anti-inflammatory overall. Find a plethora of Indian dishes online or, honestly, just sprinkle it onto foods you already eat. Sometimes I’ll put some on my scrambled eggs, or chicken, or even on my tacos, along with other spices. I try to use some each week. Do what works but by all means, please do it & reap the rewards!
This compilation is certainly not exhaustive. And I’m sure by now you may have noticed a common theme here with all these foods mentioned… they’re all REAL FOODS. Nothing packaged or processed, boxed or branded. These foods are real, whole, natural — fruits, veggies, some meats, spices… all are lean and clean – good for your ENTIRE BODY, which of course includes your knees, your joints.
So where should we spend 80% of our grocery-shopping time? You guessed it… in the produce section, then the perimeter, getting our fresh fish or meats. Do this, and drink enough water each day, and see how you feel. Your body is CRAVING real foods like these mentioned! Now go oil up those joints of yours and build up healthy cells in your body, you’re worth it.
Eating all these healthy foods can do a LOT of good for your body, but ultimately this works BEST when our hearts and our minds are set in a healthy place too. A person could eat a potentially “perfect” diet, but be so stressed, anxious or angry that the nutrients aren’t being metabolized properly, and the best result for that well-intentioned person goes missing. We can no longer deny the strong, powerful connection between brain and belly and their inextricable link to our overall health.
If you’d like to work with me to achieve YOUR best health, please see the link below for my contact info. I coach people through weekly sessions to reach their goals, using best practices, with 12-week programs customized to fit your busy lifestyle.
To view an interview with Tricia about Foods, Inflammation and Knees… click on the link below:
Healthy Eating for Healthy Knees
We have some amazing recipes for you to cook to maintain a healthy weight and reduce inflammation. Carefully selected from thousands of options these are delicious and healthy for you to create in your home. We break them down by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, dessert and holiday) and have a variety of selections from which you can choose. Click here or on the picture to explore some wonderfully healthy creations.
Living with Arthritis > "6 Food Choices to Help Ease Arthritis Pain" 2017 Lifescript.com > "Eat to Beat Knee Osteoarthritis and Other Aching Joints" Catherine Winters 2016 Arthritis Foundation > Arthritis Today Magazine > "How Cherries Help Fight Arthritis" 2017
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog” because we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health, surgery and recovery including this article about Fighting Knee Inflammation with Your Diet.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, writers related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. Whether you have a surgery upcoming, in the rear-view mirror, or just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery, you should find some value here.