Though the human body can make glucosamine from glucose and glutamine, glucosamine production in the human body tends to decline with age.
On the other hand, consuming manufacured glucosamine to make up for glucosamine production decline may disrupt important processed within the body and lead to more health problems.
As mentioned previously, our body needs glutamine to produce glucosamine where it can make glutamine itself or obtain it through diet.
As such, consuming natural plant-based food rich in glutamine, antioxidants, phytochemicals and polysaccharides is the better alternative as they provide our body with material to stimulate glucosamine production, thus nourishing our bones and joints.
Here are 7 natural food we can include in our diet for bones and joints health.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vital for cartilage formation and quality. It stimulates differentiation of osteoblasts for different aspects of bone growth. In this respect, acerola cherries are concentrated sources of natural vitamin C, with 1,677mg of vitamin C in every 100g, providing an amazing 2796% of the body’s daily vitamin C requirement. Additionally, the vitamin C in acerola cherry is 1.63 times more bioavailable than synthetically produced vitamin C.
In the United Kingdom, scientists found that those with the lowest intakes of dietary vitamin C (found in fruits and vegetables) actually had more than three times the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis (affecting five or more joints at once). Therefore, consuming natural foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as acerola cherries, helps prevent such conditions and protect the joints.
Parsley is rich in glutamine, chlorophyll, iron, potassium, zinc, folate and vitamins A,B, C and K. A 100g serving of parsley provides 2050% of the vitamin K and 222% of the vitamin C an adult needs daily-more than twice the vitamin C in orange juice!
Parsley leaves are also rich in bioavailable calcium and boron. Boron aids in metabotizing calcium and may promote bone strength.
Antioxidants protect against cell damage that leads to cartilage loss. Parsley is rich in antioxidants, which can boost immune function and help to maintain normal bone density.
An experimental study also shows that parsley helps lower uric acid levels when uric acid levels are too high (the buildup of too much uric acid in the body can lead to gout, which essentially a type of arthritis).
ln China, reports show that fresh ginger has been highly effective for rheumatism whereas in the United States, a study on 247 osteoarthritis patients showed that those who took a standardised and highly concentrated extract of ginger twice daily experienced greater reduction of knee pain than those given a placebo.
Ginger reduces inflammation by preventing overproduction of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1, which are cytokines that cause inflammation, pain, and damage to cartilage when tissue is injured.
Ginger is also rich in a wide range of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. A serving of 100g of ginger provides 11% of the manganese an adult requires daily, thus making it ideal for bone nourishment. Note that, manganese helps produce new blood cells in bone marrow and is vital for the correct structure of cartilage, tendons, teeth, and bones.
Spinach is a rich source of glutamine and vitamin K. It supports bone health with chlorophyll, magnesium, manganese, calcium and vitamin C.
Scientists conducted a study on 1112 men and 1479 women aged 50 to 68 which measured these individuals’ bone mineral density at the hips and spine and at the same time, surveyed them on their their diets.
They found that although there was no significant link between vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in men, low vitamin K intake was related to low bone mineral density in women.
The research team noted that the study results for women were consistent with reports linking low dietary vitamin K to increased hip fracture risks. A 100g serving of spinach provides 604% of an adult’s daily vitamin K requirement.
Brown algae are rich in glutamine, which combines with glucose to form glucosamine. This is beneficial to cartilage health. The chlorophyll in brown algae can help to reduce the pain of inflammatory arthritis and retain calcium and other minerals in the body. The centre of the chlorophyll molecule contain magnesium, which contributes to strong bones.
Phytoestrogens in brown algae can increase bone density and bone collagen. Low vitamin K levels are linked to more severe fractures. Vitamin K in brown algae can speed up the healing of fractures.
In one study, phlorotannin derivatives extracted from brown argae were shown to be promising for chronic joint diseases like arthritis. Fucoidan (a polysaccharide) in brown algae is able to improve bone marrow cell survival and increase production of white blood cells.
Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid, gives brown algae their color. This phytochemical can also help support bone health. Scientists found that fucoxanthin Induces the death of osteoclasts (bone cells that break down bones), allowing a balance in bone turnover.
Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll, protein, beta-carotene, and vitamin K. The body uses vitamin K for bone formation.
Science has unlocked alfalfa’s potential as a nutritional treasure trove. An experimental study indicates that alfalfa extract can help suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and relieve inflammation.
Cactus is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cartilage loss, plus it can enhance the body’s production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Phytochemicals in cactus can aid wound healing, accelerate tissue regeneration, and speed up collagen formation and growth of new blood vessels.