Think of your joints like hinges: fill them with gunk, and they’ll have trouble functioning. Clean and care for them, and they’ll keep swinging longer. Try incorporating these ingredients into your summer recipes for a jolt of joint-friendly goodness.
Why: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a smart choice when your joints are swollen or if you’re suffering from arthritis. It may take time to provide the best effects, so we suggest finding a ginger recipe you won’t mind indulging in regularly.
Recipe: Try a refreshing ginger lassi! Lassi, common in parts of India and Nepal, is a drink made with thinned yogurt. They’re cool, refreshing, and offer a bit more substance than traditional fruit smoothies. The yogurt gives them a little bit of bite, and means you’re also getting some calcium and protein. This recipe recommends a teaspoon of ginger, but if you like the flavor of ginger, you can certainly add more– some versions call for two tablespoons.
Why: Broccoli rabe is a terrific, non-dairy source of calcium–which is a must-have for strong bones and joints. It’s a little more sour than the more familiar variety of broccoli–in a good way, fans of the rabe would argue. It also gives you some vitamin A and fiber.
Recipe: Take it to the grill! Grilling seasoned broccoli rabe gives it some interesting texture without boiling away the nutrients.
Salmon or other Fatty Fish
Why: Fatty fish are a great source of vitamin D, which is essential for absorbing calcium. You can get this vitamin from time outside, too–but some people may have trouble absorbing their vitamin D this way, or may not spend enough time outside. Plus, you’re getting heart healthy omegas and protein–not to mention tasty, tasty fish.
Recipe: This Salmon Club with Avocado Butter. Ideally, you’d be eating this in a leafy yard overlooking the lake, but it’s also portable enough to bring into the office.
Why: Omega 3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, help joints work more smoothly. Fatty fish are a great source, but so are walnuts–especially if you are avoiding fish. Plus, they have some protein.
Recipe: Walnut and red pepper dip is a yummy alternative to hummus–try it with veggies, on pita bread, or in a wrap.