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Sports Medicine | Jan 25, 2019

Cold weather can exacerbate joint conditions, leading to added inflammation and pain in winter months.  Age-related muscular, cartilage, and bone degeneration causes many joint issues for seniors, but a healthy lifestyle that includes safe exercise and a balanced diet can help alleviate some of the pain.

Joint pain can be caused by any or a combination of the following:

  • Aging bones, joints, cartilage and connective tissues. These parts of your body are subjected to great pressure over your lifetime and are vulnerable to wear and tear as you age.
  • Excessive weight gain. Carrying extra pounds can put further focused pressure on your weight bearing joints.
  • Lack of exercise. Stiffness and pain often increase when joints are inactive. Even light walking can help keep joints flexible and reduce inflammation.
  • Previous injuries. An old, previously non-troublesome injury can cause osteoarthritis as you age, leading to pain years after the incident.
  • Improper diet, including inadequate vitamin D and calcium levels and the ingestion of inflammatory foods.

Of these, the last can be addressed with the addition of thoughtful winter recipes to your diet. Try any or all of these dishes to help add healthy vitamins and minerals and reduce inflammatory response. As always, before making changes to your diet, consult your doctor for advice.

Roasted Cauliflower

Cruciferous vegetables have an abundance of health benefits and can improve the strength and health of your cartilage, increasing joint health. Try this roasted cauliflower recipe that includes plenty of wholesome olive oil, garlic, and thyme.

Butternut Turmeric Soup

Nothing is better on a cold day that a bowl of thick, steaming soup. Squash is terrific for filling the belly and delivering satisfaction, and turmeric can help lower inflammatory response. Coconut milk makes this butternut squash soup extra creamy and delicious without adding dairy.

Easy Millet Banana Pancakes

Trying to cut out wheat and other often problematic grains, but miss breakfast foods? These three ingredient millet pancakes are delicious and filling and can provide a great start to a winter day. Top with blueberries or other high antioxidant fruits for a complete meal.

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Tomato Vinaigrette

Wild caught salmon can be one of the best proteins for seniors, providing health benefits that can’t be obtained from chicken, pork, or beef. This simple pan-roasted salmon recipe combines the fish with cumin, capers, shallot and cherry tomatoes for a delicious vinaigrette that goes perfectly with a little side dish of quinoa or couscous.

Adding just a few healthy winter recipes to your weekly meal plan can increase joint health and decrease pain during winter months. If you have been experiencing severe joint pain that keeps you awake at night, consult Dr. Strasburger for additional, holistic pain mitigation options, such as PRP injections or iovera.