Creak, crack, pop! Stiff joints aren’t just painful; they can be embarrassing reminders that you’re not getting any younger. And although there’s no way to undo a lifetime of abuse on your joints, you can give them some healthy essentials to make you more comfortable (and less noisy). They come in the form of dietary joint supplements – vitamins, minerals or other compounds that can enhance the body’s ability to repair itself or preserve healthy function.
One of the most well-known joint supplements on the market these days is Glucosamine. Part of the reason for its popularity is the fact that it is easily absorbed through consumption (rather than injections or repeated topical application). It works to strengthen joints by maintaining the structural integrity of connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments. When combined with Chondrointin, another compound that maintains cellular structure and composition, the two offer a longer lease-on-life to all joints, even workhorses like knees and shoulders.
Besides connective tissues, it is also important to maintain the bony structures of joints. Even with cartilage and cushioning bones are under a lot of stress. When bones aren’t as strong as they possibly can be, they become more susceptible to wear and tear, including grinding and stress fractures which can weaken the entire joint over time. Calcium and vitamin D are both excellent choices for keeping bones solid, and best of all, they can be taken as pill supplements or can be found in food choices. Dairy, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and fortified soy milk are all rich in these two essential vitamins for joint health.