The fast fiber fix for your joint pain

My grandmother, who is now in her 90s, has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for as long as I can remember.

And, for as long as I can remember, she has always sworn by the fact that eating her favorite cereal for breakfast each day — you know the one, that’s practically all wheat  bran — makes her joints feel better.

Guess what?

She was right!

According to a new study, if you suffer from any inflammatory joint disease, like rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, eating more fiber could be the key to living with less pain.

Let’s take a closer look at the research…

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A team of scientists at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg were able to show that a healthy diet rich in fiber is capable of changing your intestinal bacteria in such a way that more short-chained fatty acids are formed.

This higher concentration of short-chained fatty acids slows bone deterioration down considerably.

The key to this effect lies in your intestinal bacteria…

You see, a healthy intestinal flora consists of a many different species of bacteria. In fact, every adult carries over four pounds of benign bacteria in their intestines. That’s right – four of those pounds you see on your scale every day are actually from bacteria living in your gut.

These bacteria help your digestion by breaking down the fiber you eat and as a by-product, you get those healthy short-chained fatty acids which are important for providing energy, stimulating intestinal movement and reducing inflammation.

In other words, when you eat fiber, you lower your inflammation levels and improve your bone density – two things that can vastly improve your inflammatory arthritis symptoms.

Finding relief from your inflammatory joint pain

Based on that research, it’s clear to see why adding more fiber to your daily diet could help you feel better and preserve your joints.

Here are some great ways to boost your fiber intake:

  1. Eat cereal – Like my grandma, try a bowl of high-fiber cereal to start your day. Kashi Go Lean, Raisin Bran, or grandma’s favorite, All Bran, all offer a good amount of fiber in a single serving.
  2. Try a yogurt parfait – Mix yogurt with flax seeds, cereal and your favorite berries for a high-fiber yogurt parfait.
  3. Eat more beans – Kidney beans, lentils and pinto beans all make a great side dish with a big hit of fiber.
  4. Go whole grain – When you’re picking out bread or crackers at the store, look for whole grain varieties.
  5. Think brown – Ditch the white foods in favor of brown ones. For example skip your regular pasta and instead choose whole wheat pasta… and instead of putting that white rice in your stir fry, go for brown rice instead.

Other ways to optimize joint function and reduce your inflammatory joint pain include:

  • Get moving – Although the pain in your joints may make you want to crawl back into bed, it can actually get worse due to inactivity. Try low impact exercises, like yoga, walking and water aerobics to keep your joints moving.
  • Manage stress – Stress can make your symptoms worse and your flare-ups last longer. Take steps to manage and mitigate your stress using meditation and deep breathing techniques or just a relaxing bubble bath.
  • Supplement – Studies indicate that C-reactive protein contributes to inflammation if you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Fortunately, other studies have shown that a good way to help decrease C-reactive protein levels, and the pain-inducing inflammation they can cause, is to supplement with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ).

The pain that comes with inflammatory arthritis can seem never ending but there is hope. Get more fiber in your diet to lower inflammation and protect your bones and use the additional tips above to ease your symptoms and improve your joint health.

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Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is the founder and Chief Research officer for Peak Pure & Natural.