Chronicle and Echo - Joint Health 2
Tuesday 10th November 2020
Last time I shared some of nature's delights that can help with joint problems and inflammatory conditions. There are a number of vitamins and minerals we can include in our diet that can help and educating ourselves a little can mean we rely a little less on medications and trips to the doctor. Having my own aches and pains and needing to accept that age is inevitable (sob!) means I have a number of tips and recipes I can share with you, which hopefully will inspire you.
As we enter the cold, damp months, some joint symptoms can feel worse, and with the new lock down and further restrictions, we may find ourselves less active, which can also make us feel worse. Help is needed! Through the winter we do naturally slow down, our bodies absorb less 'feel good' Vitamin D from the sun and motivation is probably at its lowest.
Embarking on a routine now to keep you happy and active over the coming months will be a great help, and it really doesn't need to big changes.
Most cases of aging or arthritic joints benefit from activity. It is essential to try and aim to do at least one physical activity every day. Find a time in the day that you feel you can realistically manage, whether it's a walk, some gardening, a yoga session or even some vigorous housework, it's about staying active.
With gyms closing and sports facilities shutting for a while, this can restrict exercise classes and clubs, so finding something home-based to do is essential. I used to be an avid gym user, but with minimal home gym equipment, YouTube videos, a bike, like-minded friends and a dog, I still enjoy keeping fit (whilst saving some money too!).
There is a great on-line resource for exercises specifically targeting arthritis and I would really recommend you take a look round. This website is a wealth of information for different types of arthritis, help available, diet and exercise - www.versusarthritis.org
I explained the benefits of oily fish and Omega-3 to joints last time and here are some recipes to try in your diet.
Smoked Mackerel and Kale Quinoa
This is quick and packed full of nutrition that's good for joints and other ageing ailments, such as brain and eye health. It's quick enough to make for lunch or is substantial enough for an evening meal and will count as 1 oily fish portion for the week.
Heat a pan with 1 tsp olive oil. Add 2 large handfuls of kale and 1 clove of crushed garlic to the pan and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Empty a 250g microwave pouch of pre-cooked quinoa and 2x flaked smoked mackerel fillets to the pan and stir for a 4-5 minutes until heated through. Add a dash of lemon juice and serve.
Baked Salmon with Garlic and Orange Zest
Salmon can be an expensive oily fish option for the week - so if you find it on offer, get some in the freezer.
Place 2 salmon fillets in a non-metallic bowl. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp orange juice, 2 tsp grated orange zest, 1 tsp finely diced red chilli and 1 crushed garlic clove to a jug, mix well and pour over the salmon. Marinade for 2-3 hours.
Place the salmon in a greased shallow oven dish and pour over any marinade. Loosely cover with foil and half bake/half steam in an oven pre-heated to 200°C. Serve with noodles or rice.
Omega 3 Balls
These no-bake balls are a great energy boost plus a good shot of omega 3 without the fishy flavour.
In a food processor, add 50g pumpkin seeds, 50g cashew/brazil/almonds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp flaxseed, 3 tbsp rolled oats, 150g dates/other dried fruit - pulse until sticky and coarse enough to squeeze into balls and place in the fridge.
Many of us live with arthritis or aching joints as we get older, but this doesn't mean life and activity has to stop. There are many places to find help if mobility is an issue and your GP, Practice Nurse or various NHS websites can be a great resource. By keeping active, eating a healthy diet and keeping up a positive mindset, life can carry on being enjoyed now, and in the future...right, time for some Joe Wicks for me!