Joint Health: Chill Out for The Holidays


Winter is here! Time to enjoy your favourite Canadian outdoor winter activities or continue with your summer activities taken indoors.  Whatever your activity, you'll want to cool off and quench that thirst afterwards with something refreshing. Before reaching for the calorie laden or artificially-flavoured sport drinks -- hold on!  We've got something that's not only refreshing, but delicious and good for you.

As much as we love our sports and outdoor hobbies, for many people with mobility impairments, these activities can put extra strain on joints causing swelling and pain.

The Sweet and Low-Calorie Over The Holidays


Two of the best foods that will help you maintain your joint integrity are pineapple and cucumber. Yes, this sweet tropical fruit and crunchy, low-calorie, fibrous vegetable have a number of joint-health benefits. To start, pineapple is a natural anti-inflammatory. It contains a mixture of enzymes called bromelain, which can help reduce any swelling and pain you may experience by going that extra mile. Cucumber contains a substance called silica, which is one of the most important minerals for our joints because it helps build the cartilage and connective tissue that make these vital body structures. Furthermore, the high water content of cucumber helps to lubricate our joints, while its vitamin C and caffeic acid also help to reduce swelling.  


Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho

A great mouth-watering recipe that combines these two cool foods! We know what you're thinking... cold soup is disgusting. Trust us, this recipe is so delicious! Even in winter! And, perfect for those Canadians seeking warmer climates this winter, it's one recipe you'll be making plenty of batches of eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and to cool down after a work-out. Try it - you'll like it! It will enhance your performance!


  • 4 cups chopped pineapple
  • 4 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp purple onion
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped raw macadamia nuts *optional


  1. In blender, process 3 cups each of pineapple & cucumber, onion, lime juice, pineapple juice, and sea salt at high speed until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining pineapple, cucumber, cilantro and olive oil. Pulse the blender a few times - the soup should be slightly chunky.
  3. Pour into bowl and sprinkle nuts on top (optional).

* Recipe provided by Matthew Kenney

Happy Holidays, Joanne Smith & Kylie James

Co-authors of the book Eat Well Live Well with SCI and Other Neurological Conditions. For more information on nutrition for neurological injuries, go to


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