In our last post we reviewed some recent studies regarding whether or not running causes knee and hip joint problems (it doesn’t appear to) and today let’s talk about a few measures you can take to help avoid osteoarthritis, or, if you have it, to slow down its progression.
Broccoli is already considered a vegetable “superstar”. Besides being highly nutritious, it is the vegetable with the highest concentration of a substance called sulforaphane, which has been described as having “huge cancer chemopreventive potential”.
Some people have (unfortunate) genes that tell our cells, at a certain point in our lives, to change into cancerous cells, but these genes can also be “modulated”; that is, basically told to shut off, and thus will not create cancerous cells. The sulforaphanes in broccoli are believed to act in that way. In particular, sulforaphane has been shown to have properties protective against breast cancer and leukemia, and it is likely that it helps prevent other types of cancers.
But today we are talking about helping to prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. It is the type that develops over years of “wear and tear” on our joints, and over time the segments of cartilage that act as cushions between our bones break down. At worst, the cartilage in certain joints, for example in the knee, can be basically destroyed, causing bones that should be separated, to rub together, causing pain and disability.
Here are a few hints about keeping your joints free of arthritis:
The compound sulforaphane present in broccoli is also present in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, radish, watercress, cauliflower, and argula. If you want to maximize the anti-arthritis benefits, you might eat broccoli daily, and frequently eat some of these other vegetables.
This helps keep your joints from getting stiff. Whenever you are sitting watching TV or reading or working on the computer, change positions frequently. These sort of frequent movements, even relatively small movements, are also very helpful to fight obesity.
Being overweight causes joint problems through at least two mechanisms. First, the added weight puts extra force on your joints (again, imagine your knees) causing the cartilage to break down. Second, researchers have discovered that there are inflammatory substances secreted by the fat cells themselves, perhaps enzymes, that attack cartilage cells.
Workout for stronger muscles
Stronger muscles mean less strain on your joints. Thinking again of your knees, when your thigh muscles become stronger, these muscles better support the bones of your thigh, meaning less stress on your knees.
While most of the steps you can take to avoid arthritis involve how you move and exercise, it’s nice to know there are also some dietary measures you can take…often the most effective way to avoid medical problems is by taking multiple approaches at the same time.
See also in ProcuraMed:
Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)