On a functional level, collagen gives you flexibility and strength, allows your joints to move smoothly without aches and pains, and plays a role in everything from wound healing to gut health to heart health. It is the glue that holds you together. In fact, the word collagen is derived from the Greek word for glue, kolla.
There are foods that can promote healing throughout the body, including connective tissue injuries and ailments. By making the right dietary choices, you can also keep your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments strong and healthy, which will help prevent common joint-related ailments. Time to embrace collagen, supplements and joint foods that support collagen.
The best foods for joints
What foods help the joints? Here are the joint support stars. In addition to these five food groups for jointsMake sure to eat other collagen-rich foods.
The five foods (and food categories) you can’t live without:
No list of best foods for connective tissue and joints would be complete without a mention of this collagen-rich concoction. Because here’s the thing: Bone broth also contains a host of other joint-healthy ingredients, like glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur.
Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, cabbage, and onions contain sulfate, which combines with chondroitin to form cartilage. It is also required for the sulfation process, to produce glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, both of which help facilitate cartilage production and repair.
Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cinnamon, acai, red cabbage, and onions contain anthocyanidins, which help strengthen connective tissue by forming particular bonds between collagen fibers. And acai, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and raw cacao contain catechins, which prevent collagen breakdown.
Foods that contain zinc for the joints
Lamb, grass-fed beef, oysters, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all high in zinc, which is required for the production of connective tissue.
foods that contain copper
Avocado, cocoa, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews contain copper, which is necessary for collagen maturation.
The best supplements for your joints
In addition to enjoying foods for healthy joints and cartilagesupplements can be an important asset for the health of your joints, including:
Vitamin C for the joints
This substance not only increases collagen synthesis, but also accelerates bone healing after fractures and reduces oxidative stress. And it reduces the risk of cartilage loss and disease progression in people with osteoarthritis. When shopping for a vitamin C supplement, be sure to look for a food-based formula that contains superfoods like camu camu, amla berry, or acerola cherry.
Turmeric contains two compounds that protect the joints: curcumin, which reduces inflammation, and turmeric, which promotes the growth of stem cells. Together, they nourish and rejuvenate joint tissue. Use turmeric liberally in food or take a supplement as directed.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The Arthritis Foundation recommends omega-3 fatty acids and fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies that contain them, as part of an anti-inflammatory diet that fights arthritis. And there is some evidence that this multipurpose anti-inflammatory may be effective in helping to combat pain.
In high doses, this substance is so effective in treating osteoarthritis that it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration For that purpose. The FDA-approved version of HA requires injections from a health care provider, but there is evidence that lower doses, such as those found in supplements, can reduce joint stiffness and chronic pain. Take a supplement as directed.
Essential for the production of GAGs, glucosamine is also necessary for the formation and integrity of collagen and connective tissue. You can get this vital ingredient in bone broth or a bone broth protein supplement, or take a supplement containing glucosamine as directed.
Chondroitin for the joints
A vital structural component of cartilage, chondroitin gives the tissue its rebound and resistance to compression. Chondroitin is also found in bone broth and bone broth protein supplements, or you can take a chondroitin-containing supplement as directed.
This vitamin-rich supplement contains superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that helps reduce joint inflammation. Take a supplement as directed.
The best oils for your joints
It doesn’t stop there. Try these four oils for joint health:
This oil is often recommended for rheumatoid arthritis, as it has analgesic, anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve joint pain and stiffness. Rub a couple of drops on the affected area.
Frankincense and myrrh oils
Each of these oils can be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, but research has shown that when taken together, they can suppress joint inflammation and relieve pain in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Mix and rub a couple of drops on the affected area.
But nothing like collagen for the joints
Joint health is a topic most of us don’t consider until we have a problem, whether it’s a sports injury or arthritis. And there’s no question that once you’ve developed one of those issues, using collagen, along with collagen-boosting nutrients, can help you combat it.
If we all proactively incorporated collagen into our diets, we could support the healthy levels of connective tissue we already have, and potentially prevent joint-related problems from occurring, or at least improve them.
What if we could avoid some of the more than a million hip and knee replacements each year? Or help keep seniors active and engaged by keeping your joints pain free? Or give middle-aged athletes a chance to return to play safely after a tendon or ligament injury?
By embracing collagen and incorporating joint supplements and foods into your daily routine, this is not only possible, but likely.