Osteoarthritis is a painful joint disorder. Those 60 and over, 10% of men and 13% of women have knee osteoarthritis and that's just one joint, there are many more who have osteoarthritis in the hips, shoulders and other joints. Osteoarthritis is a widespread problem and is often caused by having worn cartilage (or cartilage wear) inside the joint.
The trigger for osteoarthritis is unknown, but it often begins with tissue damage, such as a mechanical problem or increased inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory diet has been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but it doesn't necessarily rebuild cartilage.
When there is wear and tear on the cartilage within the joint, it does not go away forever, we can rebuild the cartilage, however, since there is no blood supply to the cartilage, it is not as fast a process as the healing of a distended muscle. To rebuild cartilage there are certain nutrients that can be used to trigger the rebuilding process.
Foods to help rebuild worn cartilage
The following foods contain certain nutrients that can help trigger the rebuilding process of worn cartilage, making our joints feel better and healthier. Even if we don't have osteoarthritis, having these foods in our diet is important to help our joints continue to be strong and healthy.
As mentioned, an anti-inflammatory diet can be helpful in managing symptoms and having a diet that is anti-inflammatory is also vital while working to rebuild cartilage, so we are not taking a step forward or two back in the entire process.
Sulfur is an extremely important mineral for our body, it helps with many processes, such as joint health and the preservation of cartilage. A big role for sulfur is reducing inflammation, we've talked about the effectiveness of an anti-inflammatory diet in mitigating symptoms, and sulfur plays a similar role. Sulfur helps prevent cartilage breakdown and breakdown, which is absolutely vital as we are trying to rebuild it and make our joints healthy and strong.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-containing amino acid and has been shown to help promote collagen synthesis in the joints. There are other benefits to NAC such as the production of glutathione, the king of antioxidants in the body, so eating foods high in NAC has many benefits.
Some great sources of sulfur are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, eggs, onions, and garlic.
Foods with vitamin C
There are many amazing things that vitamin C can help with in the body, including helping with collagen synthesis. Collagen is found in our cartilage, which means that if we synthesize collagen, we can produce more cartilage in our joints. Vitamin C has been shown to increase collagen synthesis quite dramatically, so eating foods rich in vitamin C can be very helpful for our joint health. Some great sources of vitamin C are limes, lemons, kiwis, berries, oranges, and red bell peppers.
Bone broth for worn cartilage
Drinking bone broth is a big trend these days, and unlike other trends, this one has validity behind it. The bone broth has a high content of collagen, which helps with the joints; it also contains many amino acids such as proline, lysine, and glutamine, all of which are extremely helpful in healing the body. Bone broth can be a great way to help our joints and bodies feel better. One great thing with bone broth is making sure it comes from a good source like organic and pasture-raised animals.
Foods that contain vitamin D
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, but we can also get vitamin D from some foods like fatty fish, beef liver, and eggs. When vitamin D binds to vitamin D receptors, it triggers the growth of chondrocytes and aids in the formation of cartilage. Therefore, by having good levels of vitamin D, we help with the formation of cartilage within the joints.
More studies are needed to show this definitively, but having enough vitamin D is important for many reasons. Good levels of vitamin D have been shown to be vital not only for feeling good physically but also mentally. The best source of vitamin D does not come from food, but actually from the sun, so you should get some sun exposure every day to help boost your vitamin D levels.
The human body has an incredible ability to heal and regenerate, but we need to provide the building blocks for this to occur, such as those described in this article to help with the growth of cartilage in our joints. Each of these nutrients can be found in food sources or can also be taken in supplement form.
The supplement form can be helpful in obtaining therapeutic doses if levels are extremely depleted within the body. If the levels are just a little low, eating the right foods is enough to help straighten the boat.
As we discussed, reducing inflammation is extremely important in mitigating osteoarthritis symptoms and helping to build new cartilage, so having a low inflammatory diet and integrating foods rich in the nutrients that make up cartilage is a great way forward. This type of diet can also be done in conjunction with other therapies to help improve its effectiveness. Our bodies want to be healthy, strong and vital; we just need to give them the tools to get there.
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