Charlotte Physiatrist Covers the Best & Worst Types of Food for Knee Pain
What you eat can affect the health and functionality of your joints. Understandably, tips like maintaining a healthy weight, specific exercises, and even some over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the pressure on your knees. However, certain types of food can influence the level of pain and inflammation in your knees.
As your go-to source for regenerative medicine and knee pain treatment in Charlotte and Fort Mill, SC, we at Advanced Sports and Spine are here to share the best foods to help treat knee pain. This guide explores the best knee-strengthening foods you can incorporate into your diet to improve the health of your knees as well as the worst types of food you should avoid if you’re experiencing arthritic knee pain.
Read on to discover our expert guide on the best and worst types of food for knee pain.
How Your Diet May Contribute to Knee Pain
Knee pain is a condition that affects millions of people every single day. Whether you’re experiencing acute pain from a recent injury, or chronic pain that has lasted weeks, months, or years, knee pain can significantly affect your quality of life.
Your everyday routine and lifestyle can affect the health and functionality of your knee joints. Understandably, it’s hard to change every aspect of your lifestyle and daily routine all at once.
Taking a look at your diet may be a great starting point if you’re considering lifestyle changes that can help you reduce knee pain. Dr. Usman Ahmad, your #1 physiatrist in Charlotte and Fort Mill, is here to cover the best types of food you can start adding to your diet for knee pain.
Best Foods for Knee Pain
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids / Fish Oils
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain that are associated with knee pain. You can easily obtain omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and much more. In addition, because these fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, they can help you reduce the duration of stiffness that is often associated with arthritic knee joints.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of magnesium, l-arginine, vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These substances have been shown to regulate inflammation and prevent cells from releasing inflammatory cytokines which may worsen knee pain.
You don’t need many nuts and seeds in your diet to take advantage of these beneficial properties because the seeds and nuts are packed with these essential minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids that reduce knee pain.
You can begin by adding minute amounts of almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds to enjoy their knee pain-alleviating properties. Peanuts, walnuts, and shelled pistachios are also great for reducing knee pain.
3. Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans are great sources of minerals, proteins, flavonoids, and fibers that can be excellent food products for knee pain. In addition, they have great anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties that can help restore functionality and mobility to injured knees. We recommend adding black beans, chickpeas, and soybeans to your diet.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as wheat, barley, and amaranth can help you ease chronic knee pain thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Compared to processed grains, they’re better sources of fiber, and other components, such as magnesium and selenium which are potent antioxidants that limit free radical production and help to reduce knee pain.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil is popularly known as an unsaturated “healthy” fat. Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids as one of its chief constituents. Just as we’ve mentioned, this group of fatty acids is healthy for knee pain. You can begin by replacing your regular oil with olive oil. Ideally, you can use extra virgin oil to cook your meals.
Worst Types of Food for Knee Pain
1. Sugary Foods
Sugary foods represent some of the food to avoid if you have knee pain. Sugars increase muscle and joint inflammation by releasing pro-inflammatory substances in your body. This worsens your knee pain. Therefore, reduce your sugar intake or replace your sugars with non-sugar sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame which may be right for you.
Extensive alcohol consumption has been associated with an increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. Alcohol is one of the things you should avoid if you have knee pain because it depletes your body of water and nutrients, which in turn increases inflammation and worsens knee pain.
3. Red Meat
Multiple joint conditions such as arthritis and gout have been linked to high consumption of red meat. Red meat contains heme protein which is a pro-inflammatory agent that can increase the pain and swelling that are associated with knee pain.
Red meats like beef, and pork can provoke inflammation and heighten joint pain. You can begin by going meatless most days of the week, reducing your portion sizes, or replacing red meat with fruits and fiber-filled carbs.
4. Processed Foods
Processed foods like sausage, bacon, and mayonnaise can trigger inflammation when they accumulate in your bloodstream, so they are some of the worst types of food to avoid for knee pain. If you read the label on a packaged meal or snack, and most of the ingredients are processed, you should steer clear.
5. Salt or MSG
Salt contains high amounts of sodium which is linked to hypertension and inflammation. In addition, salty foods like pizza, canned foods, pretzels, and more are known to cause fluid retention, which is directly correlated with inflammation. These foods can worsen knee pain. Instead of consuming salty foods, switch to fresh fruits and veggies, and legumes, and drink plenty of water.
Knee Pain Treatment in Charlotte & Fort Mill, SC
At Advanced Sports and Spine, we offer numerous non-surgical treatments for knee pain by utilizing regenerative medicine, exercises for knee pain, stem cell therapy, PRP therapy, bursa injections, and more. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us for knee pain treatment in Charlotte and Fort Mill today!
Disclaimer: The benefits of regenerative medicine have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA.