There’s no one specific food that you can eat to improve your flexibility. There are, however, foods that can help you take care of the parts of your body that you need to be flexible. If you take care of your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and joints, it’s going to be easier to stay mobile.
Let’s start with the tendons and ligaments. These are connective tissues that attach either muscle to bone or bone to other bone. Obviously, they’re pretty important when you’re moving. Both are made of collagen, which is a type of protein that needs vitamin C to work properly. In the worst cases, a lack of vitamin C for collagen can even lead to conditions like scurvy. Luckily, you can generally absorb plenty of vitamin C if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Calcium might be one of the most prominent minerals the body needs to ensure bone health (including at the joints), another important part of flexibility. It’s most famously found in milk and other dairy products, but it’s also present in soy and some kinds of fish, as well as leafy green vegetables like kale. Just like you need vitamin C for collagen to work, you need vitamin D for calcium to be effective. You can get most of what you need from sunlight, but oily fish can also be a valuable source.
Inflammation can be a big problem when it comes to mobility. When you’re injured or suffering from a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system springs into action to try to protect you. Unfortunately, this often comes with pain, swelling and a more general loss of function. It can make it very difficult to move at all, let alone extend your limbs in a flexible manner.
Yet again we find oily fish on the list of recommended foods, along with leafy green vegetables. The Mediterranean diet, with lots of olive oil, nuts, fruit, vegetables and fish but less meat, is considered good for fighting inflammation. Certain spices, such as ginger and turmeric, are said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Foods to avoid include red and processed meat as well as refined carbs.
If you can reduce inflammation and take care of your bones, muscles and the joints, tendons and ligaments holding it all together, it will make your movements more flexible.