If you suffer from osteoarthritis or wear and tear of the cartilage of your joints or if the pain in your knee joint has become annoying and unbearable, join us in this article, to introduce you to the best and most useful foods helping to reconstruct and rebuilt the cartilage of the knee.
What is knee cartilage?
Cartilage is a connective tissue composed of chondrocytes (cells that are specialized to tolerate tremendous amount of pressure), and mainly hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate molecules (these two molecules are responsible for healthy and normal function of cartilage tissue). Cartilage tissues are encapsulated between layers of soft tissue named synovium to form relatively soft, and flexible pads between the bones in the joints. These pad-like tissues prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.
But unfortunately, as the age or the joint usage increase, like having long walks and physical activity throughout life, the cartilage will be gradually worn out and weakened.
Is it possible to rebuild the degenerated cartilage of the knee?
Unfortunately, till now no method or medication has been discovered to regenerate the degraded and degenerated cartilage. Perhaps in the future, stem cell-based cartilage harvesting research could help in this matter.
As a result, it is important to have in mind that we can and should prevent the destruction and degeneration of our cartilage as much as possible. The best way to achieve this goal and maintain healthy cartilage is to try to move our joints correctly. In addition, consumption of some foods has shown to have a big impact on the health of the joints such a way that they can even repair the degenerated knee cartilage. Let’s look at some of these foods and products.
What are the best foods to repair and rebuild knee cartilage?
Vitamin C and the amino acid lysine are among the key substances that are essential for the regeneration of cartilage tissue. A healthy adult needs 12 mg of lysine and more than 75 mg of vitamin C daily to be able to repair damaged tissues, including cartilage.
Although aging plays a significant role in cartilage degenerations, but cartilage tissue destruction can occur at any age. So, remember that it is a misinformation that only the elderly people should care about cartilage repair.
Here is the list of the nutrients that are useful in the health, repair and regeneration of connective tissue, including your knee cartilage. With healthy diet comes healthy cartilage with which you can live for years without experiencing any joint pain.
In the connective tissues of our body, including our cartilage and skin, we have a substance called hyaluronic acid. This substance gives freshness, fullness and flexibility to cartilage and skin. Brown rice is a big source of hyaluronic acid.
Bone broth is a savory liquid that is rich in collagen and beneficial proteins that are useful for the growth and the health of our skeletal system, including your knee cartilage. Consumption of meat extracts can be done for example by using fatty meat extract in your daily food such as a soup, etc.
Low-fat dairy products, especially yogurt and kefir, in addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, initiate and accelerate the healing process of cartilage. Try getting used to low-fat yogurts containing probiotics.
Different types of dark berries:
Blueberries contain a high content of vitamin C and polyphenols that are very useful for repairing cartilage tissue. If you are living in a country where you do not have access to fresh berries, you may consider consuming organic blueberry powder.
Nuts are a great source of magnesium. To repair damaged cartilage and make hyaluronic acid, your body needs magnesium, which can be found in most nuts. Sesame seeds, almonds and other nuts should be part of the diet if you want a healthy cartilage or want to repair your cartilage.
Cartilage needs a substance called polyphenols and a substance called Catechin to repair and regenerate. By including green tea in your diet, you can get both of these beneficial substances at once.
Dark leafy vegetables:
Carotenoids are also essential for maintaining healthy cartilage or for rebuilding cartilage. In addition to eat vegetables with carotenoids, you can also consume vegetables like broccoli, spinach and parsley, which are a great source of magnesium and calcium, both essential for the health of your cartilage. Note that broccoli and Brussels sprouts also contain good amounts of vitamin K.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric are very unique. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which prevents the inflammatory process in the joints and therefore the destruction of cartilages. We recommend that you consult your doctor about the consumption of turmeric.
Sardines are one of the best and most beneficial foods for rebuilding your cartilage. Include sardines, which are rich in omega-3 (an important anti-inflammatory agent), calcium and vitamin D in your diet. You can also use salmon or tuna instead if you do not have access or like sardines.
The magnesium, potassium, and the vitamin precursors available in plums are very useful for maintaining the health of your cartilage.
Minerals along with beneficial fats increase the antioxidant properties of avocados and make them super essential for cartilage regeneration process.
What foods are harmful to knee cartilage repair?
Avoid the following substances to have a healthy skeletal system:
- High-salt and high-sugar foods
- Fast foods
- Prepared and processed meats such as sausages
It is also better to limit the consumption of butter and animal oils and use more healthy oils such as sesame seed and olive oils.
Avoid inactivity! Thirty minutes of walking a day with standard shoes on a flat surface will help the strength and health of your skeletal system without ruining your cartilages.
Cartilage repair Supplements:
Today, in addition to useful foods for the reconstruction and repair of damaged cartilage, a number of oral supplements are also made and available in the pharmaceutical market. However, it should be noted that the exact effects of these compounds, their side effects and their role in complete recovery and regeneration of cartilage has not been confirmed yet. Anyway, you can enjoy their benefits if prescribed by your doctor.
Cartilage repair supplements mainly include a combination of the following groups:
Vitamin C and other antioxidants can prevent the breakdown and degradation of cartilage. Some of these substances are also essential for building healthy cartilage.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, these substances are necessary for the regeneration of cartilage. You will find these compounds in a variety of berries, especially blueberries, as well as pure green tea.
Omega 3 accelerates the healing process of skeletal injuries.
Oral hyaluronic acid
Today, oral supplements containing some or all of these compounds are available in market.