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Eating to Help Joint Pain

One of the questions that many of you have asked is how to handle joint pain with food.

This week, I’ve written out the training - but please let me know what your preferred method of learning is; video, audio, or written. Depending upon what you like, I’ll make sure I do more of those types of trainings! For now, here’s this weeks article on eating to reduce joint pain.

Most of us, at one time or another has experienced some type of pain in our joints. Some people even have pain all the time.

Depending upon the cause of the pain, you can then figure out the best course of action. If you’ve been injured, it’s always best to get checked to avoid any permanent damage to your injured joint. Chronic joint pain however, can be from a variety of things. For example, scar tissue from an old sports injury, or from repetitive strain like working at a computer, or from toxic food chemicals that have accumulated in your body’s lymphatic system.

Any type of chronic joint pain or problem requires self-care and self-involvement if you want to prevent things from breaking down faster. Just using medications, without a program to help you, will end up with disappointing results - in the long term. There is no “magic” pill to make it all better.

But, understanding how things in your body work makes it easier to stay on track. There may not be a “magic” pill, but there IS magic that goes on in your body every single day.

Your body rebuilds itself every day. It has cells that die every day, and new ones that are born. So, every day, your body is rebuilding and repairing itself. AND, it gets even better, every seven years, your body rebuilds itself! So right now, today, you have the opportunity to REBUILD your body. Boy, do I wish my car did that while it sits in the garage overnight! But, alas, it does not, but your body DOES! That, my friend is the miracle and the magic! No man-made machine comes even close to doing what our bodies were designed to do when operating the way they should. Oriental Medicine’s ancient diagnostic and treatment techniques include using FOOD as medicine. They knew that in order to enhance the body’s ability to heal, mend and repair, you had to give it the fuel it needs to make that happen. Seven years to a new body, but feel a difference in as little as 2 weeks!

Now, remember, I said it takes seven years, but if you are over 50, like I am, seven years can fly by in a flash. I can’t believe it will be 10 years in December that I took the plunge into clean and organic food, and haven’t looked back. If you’ve been a patient and followed the food program, you KNOW what a difference it makes! But there are so many confusing ideas surrounding food! And it keeps changing! All I can say to this, is “I hear you!” I’ve spent over 35 years trying to figure it out, and I believe I finally have! And, it’s not that hard, once you get it!

The biggest mistake people make, when trying to pick a healthy choice at the local restaurant, is picking a salad. What? That sounds crazy! Salad is supposed to be a healthy choice! I know! It is crazy! Here’s the reality, our produce, like lettuce, is toxic because of an over use of pesticides. Unless you only eat organic, you’ve been exposed! Salad greens are among the dirtiest! So, unless it’s organic, get something else. So many people make this mistake, picking the salad, but not realizing there can be up to 67 pesticides on that apple or salad; unless organic.

If you haven’t seen the dirty dozen/clean fifteen list, there’s an organization called the Environmental Working Group, CNN did a big report on this topic a few years ago. Anyway, they test the 50 most popular produce items in the country and rate them from dirtiest to cleanest. To get this year’s list go to:

In a nutshell, the items listed as “dirty” contain between 47 and 67 pesticide residuals. The dirty dozen list includes apples, lettuce, spinach, berries, potatoes, kale, collards... Pretty scary. The items on the dirty dozen list must be organic; otherwise you are dosing yourself with poison every day - if you eat any of these things.

So, a basic rule to follow when eating out is: If it’s not organic, don’t order the salad! If eating conventional produce, it’s best to keep to the “clean fifteen” list and keep it cooked.

Just today, I had a patient comment on how different her smoothie FEELS inside her body now that she’s using organic spinach and fruit. That’s because the produce she was using before, was conventional and on the dirty dozen list. Since part of her care plan included using food as her medicine, I outlined food recommendations. At the top of the list is always “Quality First” which means choosing clean and organic, and then “Homemade is Best” so it’s best to avoid packaged and processed foods.

When I started using mostly organic food, my own chronic neck pain reduced significantly! And, if I would eat out, and consume non-organic food, guess what - it would start to ache, sometimes during the meal! It was unbelievable, and had I not experienced it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, I started to really think about it; and really think about the body’s physiology (how it works inside) and what the real role of food is - and it’s not to satisfy a craving! Food’s purpose is to provide fuel for the body to fix itself.

Now here’s the thing, your joints are a complex structure that multi-layered with soft tissue and have an affinity for getting stiff, and stuck, and even sticky. With time, toxic exposures, overuse, refined foods, dehydration, not enough flexibility training, and decreased blood flow, simply leads to degeneration and eventually disease.

I’ve worked with many patients over the years with chronic pain and joint problems. For those that got the best results, they took their homework seriously, and did what it takes to make the changes to their lifestyle, and they get the result. Understanding that your food quality is important is one of the 3 most critical aspects of getting joint pain under control. Education helps you to understand and you have to “get it” in your head if you want to change your habits. And when it comes to the food, it’s the habits that mess us up!

So, how do you use food to treat joint pain? Keep it organic AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! Spend the extra $10 or $20 at the grocery store on the organic produce, and don’t buy too much! It spoils quicker, and you won’t eat as much because you get fuller faster. If you must eat conventional produce, stick to the clean fifteen list. There are other food recommendations for joint pain, but this is the best place to start.

Almost 10 years ago I made a 180 degree turn with my food choices. Before that, I thought I was eating healthy, but I had no idea about the back-room corruption and poisoning that was happening to our food supply. We live in one of the few countries where a salad ordered out, unless organic, is not a healthy choice. Once I understood, and made the changes to my food, all the other natural methods for my body worked better. Amazing! But as I mentioned, the food is only one aspect, and eating clean is only one part of the food puzzle. Did you now there can be lies told on food boxes, and it’s completely legal? Check out the next training. And check us out online and on Face Book. I’ll be sharing the best practices I’ve learned working with patients over the past 20 years in my new online program Natural Pain Relief Academy.

That’s all the time for now. Next time, I’ll let you in on the lies the FDA is allowing - it’s so unbelievable, you can’t trust boxes!

If you liked this training, let us know!

Again, please let me know what you prefer for these types of trainings - video, audio, written, or all 3!

Until next time;

Eat well every day to Heal, Mend and Repair!

Dr. Mary Riggin, LAc, DAc, AP, DOM

Dr Riggin's Natural Medicine Academy
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