The food that supplies the fuel to power the human body can also help to repair it. This is true for all parts of this amazing mechanism – from the skin to critical organs such as the heart and lungs to the bones and joints that serve as structural support and enable movement.
Dr. Donald Hohman, a joint replacement surgeon in the North Texas area and a member of the Texas Heath Spine & Orthopedic Center referral line, noted, “As many as half of all women and one fourth of all men 50+ will fracture a bone at some point due to osteoporosis. Plus, joints are being replaced at a rapid rate because of wear and tear over time. Diet can affect both of these conditions.”
According to the American Joint Replacement Registry, “Considering the number of ‘baby boomers’ reaching old age in the U.S. along with the prevalence of osteoarthritis and the growing obesity epidemic, it is expected that by 2030 there will be approximately 3.48 million total knee replacements and 572,000 hip replacements performed annually in the U.S.”
“In my practice, I treat more and more patients for pain from joints that have worn down and these numbers get bigger each year,” Dr. Hohman said.
Building Bone and Joint Health the Old Fashion Way
Medical science has come a long way in the treatment of joint and bone injuries and diseases, but there are other preventative and treatment options that are less invasive and taste much better. The right kinds of food can make a big difference in bone and joint health.
“Your bones need a variety of nutrients, including calcium and vitamins, C, D and K,” Dr. Hohman said. “Low-fat dairy products are well-known sources of calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. You can also get calcium in non-dairy foods, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and other fish along with white beans and tofu.
“Fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to get these vitamins and minerals. For example, calcium and vitamin K come from kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach and cabbage. Vitamin C is high in red and green bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, oranges and pineapples.
“There are also some types of foods to avoid. Those with high levels of sugar, such as soft drinks and candy, decrease bone strength. Plus, consuming too much saturated fat (e.g. red meat and butter) can lead to a high level of homocysteine – a chemical in the body known to decrease bone mass.”
5 (Delicious!) Recipes for Bone and Joint Health
More than 40,000 people regularly follow chef/author Stacy Lyn Harris on Facebook. The self-proclaimed “locavore” (someone tries to consume only locally-sourced, seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish) is a regular guest on television food shows, has millions of visitors to her website every year, has sold thousands of copies of her cookbooks and is a wife and mother of seven children.
“Dinner at our house is a BIG production,” she laughed.
“In my work, I have tried to find the best, freshest and healthiest ingredients, whether they come from my garden or the local farmer’s market, and prepare them in a way that brings out their delicious flavors. Healthy foods can be scrumptious. It just takes some skill in their selection and preparation.”
The skills of this culinary were put to the test in a search for foods that enhance bone and joint health.
Southern Collard Greens
“Collards have been part of the Southern diet for centuries now. When I hear the word “collards,” I think of the days before the mega marts; the days when life was simpler, when every Southern family farmed the land. One can cook every part of these greens, from the leaf to the root, and they are one of the bone and joint superfoods .”
Click here for an easy, delicious recipe for collard greens. Your joints will thank you later.
Herb Pecan Crusted Trout
“Nutritionists are quick to tell you that you need at least three servings of fish a week. Amazingly, studies have found that those that eat trout a few times a week have a lower risk for dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is packed full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, over 900 milligrams a day, and far exceeds the minimum recommended daily allowance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, 250 milligrams a day.”
Click here for an amazing recipe for herb pecan trout that will help your bones stay strong.
Homemade Chicken Stock
“Traditional cultures the world over have included bone broth in their daily diets. Homemade broth is full of the amino acids necessary for collagen production; proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. This is critical for joint repairs. Recently, researchers have found that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to decrease the number of cells that congregate in the lung area, thereby relieving the development of cold symptoms.”
Click here for a classic recipe for joint-repairing chicken stock/soup.
Southern Style Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce
“If you just stuck to the traditional recipe, you would serve your Eggs Benedict with ham, English muffins, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Well, here I was thinking to myself, “Why not make a Southern-style Eggs Benedict using a Southern Homemade Biscuit instead of the English muffin, a fried egg in place of the poached egg, and crispy bacon instead of ham?” Then I put my thoughts into action, and voilà! Southern-style Eggs Benedict, plus my homemade hollandaise sauce!”
Click here for a bone-building breakfast treat.
“Seafood is an excellent source of protein. It’s also low in calories as well as fat and cholesterol. Seafood is high in polyunsaturated fat and a great source of vitamins and minerals. Besides seafood’s health benefits, it is easy to prepare. In fact, this snapper recipe will take less than 20-minutes to make”
Click here for a flavor packed recipe for amazing snapper that only takes a snap to make!
More delicious, bone and joint building recipes are available in Harris’ latest cookbook, “Stacy Lyn’s Harvest”. Eat well and stay well.
If you’re experiencing joint pain that has persisted for more than two weeks, check your symptoms, and schedule an appointmentto discuss treatment options with a participating physician.
Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center.
Stacy Lyn Harris is not an employee or agent of THSOC.