Although you probably don’t give your joints much of a thought in your teens, by the time you get to your mid-to late twenties, especially if you have an active lifestyle, we bet you probably start to notice them more?
Yep, we’re talking about that ‘thing’ that happens. One day after a hard gym session, it’s harder to get out of bed and there’s a bit of popping and snapping when you’re going down the stairs...sound familiar?
But, did you know that your diet can play a significant role in looking after your joints from within?
One of the most important things to do is to make sure your diet includes the nutrients that will help keep your joints lubricated and mobile and build bone and muscle strength, like Omega-3, glucosamine, chondroitin and calcium.
When you think of bone strength you probably think of calcium and being told as a kid to drink your milk to make your bones strong? So, it might then be logical to think that taking calcium as a single supplement is a good thing, but, unfortunately it’s not that simple.
Calcium by itself isn’t absorbed properly and can be the cause of clogged arteries, which isn’t good news. However, there is good news! Let us introduce you to Vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is relatively new to to the market and only just beginning to make a name for itself here. It’s well known in Japan and is found in a dish made from fermented soybeans, called natto. Japan’s low rates of heart disease and bone problems are linked with the heightened K2 levels found in the average diet.
Vitamin K2 aids absorption of the calcium, meaning that it doesn’t clog the arteries. In addition, if you pair these two with Vitamin D3, you get the optimal supplement combination that will allow the calcium to be utilised by the bones effectively.
Joints don’t only consist of bones, so you also need to be looking after the supporting tissues that surround them.
Collagen can best be described as the mesh that surrounds your bones and forms a significant part of the network of muscles around the joints, bones and part of the skin tissue and Vitamin C and Magnesium are vital to its production.
These are both fairly easy to find in foods, but, depending on how active you are, how much pressure you’re putting on your joints or, if you know you have a joint or bone issue, you might want to take a look at supplementing these to make sure you’re getting enough to be useful and to see improvement.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
In nature these are both only really found in crustaceans, such as prawns and other shellfish. Unfortunately, Chondroitin is extracted from shark fins, which many will regard as an unethical source.
After studying the critical parts of Chondroitin here at Vegetology, we recreated it using plant matter and algae to replicate its mucopolysaccharide structure, and called it Phytodroitin™.
Mucopolysaccharides are long big structures that helps give bounce to your joints. These large molecules sit within the synovial fluid that keep joints lubricated so they can move more freely. Phytodroitin is therefore a plant-based product that does exactly the same job as Chondroitin without harming any shark.
Omega-3 is a versatile supplement with a range of health benefits. Probably best known for its heart health benefits, it’s usefulness in joint care shouldn’t be overlooked.
Omega-3 helps to boost the synovial fluid that keeps joints lubricated, but studies also show that it’s also great for keeping inflammation of the joints at bay, while decreasing the chance of developing osteoporosis.
So, how can we ensure that we’re getting enough of these vital vitamins and minerals to really take care of our joints?
Firstly, it’s worth taking a good look at your diet and analysing what’s there and what isn’t there. If you’ve got a healthy balanced vegan, vegetarian or even meat eating diet, then it’s more than likely that you’re getting decent levels of calcium, magnesium and some of the vitamins needed.
The most likely things to be absent from your diet are glucosamine, chondroitin/phytodroitin and Vitamin K2.
So, if you have an active lifestyle, or you’re beginning to notice some pops and cracks as you age, then it’s definitely worth taking a look at a supplement that’s specifically designed to look after your joints.