Holiday celebrations include friends, family, and food. As you enjoy the festivities of the season, don’t let a flare up of joint pain dampen your spirits. Here are some holiday foods to enjoy that are good for your joints.
Cheese Boards: A tray filled with cheeses and crackers is a beautiful display and delicious tradition. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, and calcium is key to maximizing bone and joint health. Calcium also reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Pairing a variety of cheeses with whole grain crackers increases the benefits for fighting inflammation.
Turkey: The centerpiece of many tables, turkey is high in iron and low in fat when served without the skin. Iron helps prevent anemia, which is a common problem for people with arthritis. Another nutritional component of turkey is selenium, which can help prevent joint degeneration.
Fruits and Veggies: All types of colorful fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which fight inflammation. Choose sides full of vegetables that have anti-inflammatory properties like broccoli and yams. Fill candy dishes with fruit instead of candy to satisfy those sweet cravings while providing maximum nutrition.
Olive Oil: Preparing holiday foods with olive oil instead of butter is a small change that can make a big impact. Extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, an element that has similar effects as many NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
When celebrating the holidays with family and friends, you don’t have to skip the feast. Choose foods that can help fight inflammation and are good for your joints.
Small choices along the way can help you stay healthy and enjoy family and friends throughout the season.
Dr. Paul Jacob is a leading hip and knee surgeon in Oklahoma City who pioneered robotic joint replacement surgery in an outpatient setting. Dr. Jacob has performed over 5000 robotic joint replacement procedures and actively participates in numerous research studies on robotic outcomes.