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iVillage: Foods That Fight Chronic Pain

Soy Good

If you have osteoarthritis, you may be able to reduce your pain, increase your joint mobility, and possibly even help your joints heal by increasing your intake of soy protein, according to research from Oklahoma State University. “We have found higher concentrations of estrogen in the synovial fluid of joints in people who have osteoarthritis compared to people who don’t, and this locally-produced estrogen is associated with increased pain and swelling in the joint,” says lead researcher Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., RD, now chair of the department of nutrition, food, and exercises at Florida State University. “Soy contains plant estrogens called isoflavones that appear to block the effects of the estrogen produced in the joint, reducing pain, increasing mobility, and possibly stimulating the regeneration of the cartilage in the joint.” Try tofu, soymilk, meat-substitute products (such as soy hotdogs) or snacking on edamame.

(CREDIT: Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
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