Training jiu-jitsu and enjoying the bjj lifestyle has many benefits but it does all come at a price. Much too often that price is in the form of many inflammations and aches that ravage your body. And sure it’s more than worth it, however there are certain things that can help mitigate the damage and or the interruptions it forces on the rest of your life.
When dealing with joint pain there’s often a degree of fear – especially for those of us who have a history of arthritis in our family. But of course there’s always mitigating factors.
Osteoarthritis has several other significant factors in addition to frequent inflammations.
For one you should be watching your weight if you’ve got these chronic aches. The excess weight puts additional stress on weight bearing joints.
In addition to this inflammatory factors associated with weight gain might contribute. This is where you get tempted to enjoy many of the over the counter non steroid based anti inflammatory meds – and let us stop you there because more often than not chronic use of these medications, such as ibuprofen means opening up a can of worms that’s not as easy to deal with.
Food can act as an anti-inflammatory medication. Recent research has shown positive effects that food rich with anthocyanins can have. Anthocyanin rich food is typically purple and red fruits and vegetables. One research measured the beneficial effects of cherry juice – they reduced inflammations, oxidative stress and some symptoms of muscle damage. Connoly and his coworkers did a research in 2006. that has shown that consumption of cherry juice before and after exercise can reduce average strength loss to only 4% (from the typical 22%). This is a nice enough remedy and it doesn’t come at a too steep of a price.
Following the logic that there are foods that can help, there’s naturally the other side of the coin as well. It’s been scientifically corroborated that cutting back on processed and fried foods can seriously help.
While you can’t exactly lower your own age, what you can do is lower the related acronym AGE – advanced glycation end product.
That’s a toxin that appears in foods that are heated, grilled, fried or pasteurized. AGE damages certain proteins in the body, and the body tries to break these toxins apart by using cytokines – which are inflammatory messengers. Depending on where the advanced glycation end product occurs, it may result in arthritis or other forms of inflammation.
A 2009 study found that reducing the amount of foods cooked at high temperatures in your diet could potentially help reduce blood AGE levels.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can also help significantly lower the AGE concentration in your blood – cut out candies, processed foods, white flour baked goods, and sodas to reduce your arthritis pain.
Dairy is another significant factor that may contribute significantly to arthritis related pain. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, for some people this protein may irritate the tissue around the joints. Some sufferers of arthritis pain have success switching to a vegan diet—which contains no animal products whatsoever.Rather than getting protein from meat and dairy, get the bulk of your protein sources from vegetables like spinach, nut butters, tofu, beans, lentils, and quinoa.
Avoiding alcohol and smoking goes without saying but just for the record it’s been proven that smokers are at a much bigger risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Salt and food preservatives also have a significant factor. As a rule most things with a long shelf life should be avoided as they often they have excessive salt and other chemical preservatives. Consumption of salt often results with inflammation in the joints. Try to keep salt consumption at a modest level.
Another thing to be avoided is omega-6 rich foods. Namely, many baked goods and snacks contain corn or other oils rich in omega 6 fatty acids. These additives may be nice to the taste buds but they are significant triggers for inflammation. Omega-3 supplements have some pain relieving effects on subjects suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and fish oil in fact does help with joint pain relief in certain people.
Of course there’s always more but these are some general guidelines worth sticking to, especially if you’ve got chronic inflammation issues!
Written by Iva Djokovich
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