Summer humidity plus activities like gardening might have your joints aching a little more than usual this time of year. While aches and pains might just be a symptom of getting older, there are things you can do to minimize your discomfort. Getting the right nutrients in your diet is a great way to start, and as it turns out, consuming olive oil for joint pain might bring the relief you’re looking for.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is super nutritious, loaded with age-fighting antioxidants and healthy fats. It contains high amounts of brain and body-boosting omega-3 fats, as well a type of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
Oleic acid makes up about 73 percent of the total fat content in olive oil, and it’s particularly special because it’s been shown to have some major health benefits, especially when it comes to your joints.
Olive Oil for Joint Pain
One of the leading causes of major disease is chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a normal immune response to “invaders” in the body like bacteria or viruses, and it helps reduce your risk of infection and disease. However, under certain conditions, inflammation can become chronic and start attacking your normal, healthy cells. This then raises your risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and you guessed it — arthritis.
If you’re feeling like your joints are inflamed and in pain, getting more olive oil in your diet is a must. Research suggests that the oleic acid and antioxidants in olive oil can help reduce inflammation and inflammatory markers associated with a number of major diseases. One study found that the antioxidants in olive oil may work similarly to the drug ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Other research suggests that oleic acid can reduce levels of C-reactive protein in your blood — an inflammatory marker associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Further research has investigated the effects of dietary intake of olive oil on joint pain, specifically in patients with arthritis. One study found that taking an olive oil supplement resulted in reduced oxidative stress and lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood of subjects with arthritis. Another study showed that ingesting olive oil significantly reduced joint pain, morning stiffness, and hand muscle grip in subjects with arthritis. That’s pretty impressive!
Luckily, adding olive oil to your diet is pretty simple. A serving of extra virgin olive oil is one tablespoon, and you can drizzle it over salads or cooked veggies along with what ever seasonings you like. Just make sure to consume your olive oil raw (that is, unheated) as this helps to preserve the antioxidant and fat compounds that give it it’s joint-healing benefits!
Aside from that, you can also try taking olive oil for joint pain in the form of a supplement. As always, get your doctors OK before trying any new supplement regiment. It’s worth noting that olive oil is said to work better for joint pain when used in conjunction with fish oil, which also boasts some serious health benefits! For a product we love, try this one from Life Extension ($18.81, Amazon).
Here’s to a more pain-free life!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.