Dietary guidelines for bone & joint health | Gleneagles Hospitals
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Nutrition by Specialties

Dietary guidelines for bone & joint health

15 March 2023 · 5 mins read


Find out what to eat for strong bones and healthy joints!

Bones and joints condition

Musculoskeletal conditions affect the muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissue. Among the most prevalent conditions are:

  1. Gout

    Gout is an inflammatory condition that affects your joints. It is caused by hyperuricemia – high levels of uric acid in your body.

    Gout can affect any joint, although it most commonly affects joints such as toes, ankles, knees, and fingers. It causes sudden attacks of swelling and severe pain.

    If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, consume a diet rich in seafood and red meat, are obese and are on diuretics, you are at high risk of developing gout.

  2. Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and the most common type of arthritis. It occurs due to the ‘wear-and-tear’ that affects the joints over time, particularly the weight-bearing joints in the spine, hip, and knee.

    Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, and limited range of motions in the joints.

  3. Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more susceptible to fracture. As it develops gradually over the years, it is often not identified until a bone fracture is caused by a minor fall or sudden impact.

  4. Rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term, autoimmune condition that affects your joints (especially your hands and feet) and causes pain, stiffness and swelling. There may be periods of worsening symptoms, known as a flare.

    Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints symmetrically (both sides of the body simultaneously and to the same degree). However, this may not be the same for every patient.

Nutrition for strong bones and healthy joints

  1. Calcium

    This micronutrient is essential to maintain healthy bones and joints. As your body is unable to produce calcium, it is obtained from the food you consume. Food sources include:

    • Bread and others made with fortified flour
    • Cheese, milk, and other dairy products
    • Nuts
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Tofu
    • Soya beans
  2. Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is calcium’s helper! It helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when we are exposed to sunlight. Adults need approximately 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.

    • Food sources include:
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Whitefish
    • Tuna
    • Eggs
    • Mushrooms
    • Milk
    • Cereals

    Speak to your doctor about vitamin D supplements if you are concerned about getting sufficient vitamin D from your diet.

  3. Omega-3 fatty acids

    There are primarily three types of omega-3 fatty acids that have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect:

    • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
    • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
    • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

    Food sources include:

    • Mackerel
    • Salmon
    • Seabass
    • Sardines
    • Shrimp
    • Flax seeds
    • Edamame
    • Kidney beans
    • Walnuts
    • Soybeans
    • Chia seeds
  4. Polyphenols

    The antioxidant properties in polyphenols can help reduce joint inflammation. With a greater intake of polyphenols, the risk of fracture may be decreased as the bone mass density increases.

    Food sources include:

    • Berries
    • Apples
    • Cherries
    • Grapes
    • Lemon
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Soy milk
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Pecan
    • Flax seeds
    • Oats
    • Herbs
    • Spices
    • Green, black, ginger tea
    • Cocoa powder
    • Dark chocolate

Book an appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

To get more information and professional advice on your dietary requirements, contact your doctor and the team of dietitians at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital about your daily nutrition requirements.

To make an appointment for health screening, please contact the health screening centre at the Gleneagles Hospital nearest to you.

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