Here at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, we emphasize the importance of exercise, proper form, and injury prevention techniques. We also advocate for optimal nutrition to aid in the prevention of injuries.
Our team maintains that you can eat your way to fewer injuries. Read on to learn more about the powerful connection between your diet and orthopedic health and how making smart food choices can help you stay injury-free.
Nutrition is the foundation of orthopedic health
Good nutrition is critical for maintaining strong bones, joints, and muscles. Your body is like a finely tuned machine. Nutrients are the fuel that keeps it running smoothly.
Consider that good nutrition includes:
Calcium and vitamin D are well-known for their role in building and maintaining strong bones. Insufficient intake of these nutrients can lead to brittle bones and a higher risk of fractures.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. A balanced intake of protein helps with muscle repair and growth, which is vital for maintaining joint stability and preventing injuries.
Control of inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a leading contributor to joint pain and injuries. Certain foods, like those rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce inflammation.
Excess body weight places added stress on your joints, increasing the risk of orthopedic issues. A healthy diet can help you maintain a weight that's better for your joints.
A diet that promotes orthopedic health
While a generally healthy and balanced diet is a good way to eat, including certain nutrients can best protect your orthopedic health.
Eat a good amount of calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. You need enough of this mineral to keep your bones strong and fracture-resistant.
Prioritize protein, too, from sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and plant-based options such as legumes and tofu. Protein helps with tissue repair and growth, aiding in injury prevention.
You need optimal omega-3 to reduce inflammation and promote joint health. Get it from sources like fatty fish (e.g., salmon and mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Berries, oranges, broccoli, and spinach are packed with antioxidants that also combat inflammation and oxidative stress, reducing the risk of injuries.
Limit certain types of foods
No complete food group should be banned from a healthy, balanced diet, but there are certain foods you should eat in moderation when your goal is to protect orthopedic health. These include:
- Sugary and processed foods, which can contribute to inflammation and may increase the risk of orthopedic issues
- Saturated and trans fats, which are found in many fried and fast foods, and can contribute to inflammation and weight gain
- Alcohol, which, if consumed in excess, can weaken bones and impair muscle function
Nutrition contributes to your overall joint and orthopedic health, but it’s part of a comprehensive lifestyle plan. You also need adequate rest, regular exercise, ample hydration, and a healthy body weight to maintain good health.
If you have questions, we can connect you to a registered dietitian who can customize a plan that meets your individual needs.
To find out more about how nutrition can protect your bone and joint health, contact one of the offices of Maryland Orthopedic Specialists today. We have locations in Bethesda, Rockville, or Germantown, Maryland.
Call us at 301-515-0900 or set up an appointment here.