What food varieties help ligaments permit us to keep joints sound? We should investigate which charges to decide for the prosperity of our versatile tissue. The ligament is a major area of strength for an adaptable connective tissue fundamental for bone well-being. What is it, and how can it forestall its weakening?
Cartilage: What Is It
The ligament is an extraordinary sort of connective tissue lacking veins and nerves. During early-stage advancement, it addresses the antecedent of bone. Like this, it covers the joints.
All the more explicitly, the ligament is made out of cells called chondrocytes drenched in a coagulated network shaped by collagen strands, which gives them sustenance and can be separated into three unique sorts:
- Elastic cartilage: it has the function of providing strength and elasticity to organs or structures, such as the external part of the ear, the epiglottis, and some regions of the nose and trachea;
- Fibrous cartilage: it is the strongest cartilage, located in the menisci and intervertebral discs, which has the function of “cushioning,” reducing friction in the joints;
- Hyaline cartilage: it is the weakest and most widespread type of cartilage in the human body; it is found in the trachea, ribs, nose, and larynx and is composed of thin collagen fibers.
Cartilage And Wear
Cartilage can become damaged following an injury or deteriorate over time. One of the most widespread causes of cartilage wear is osteoarthritis, a particularly widespread disease in the entire population, especially among the elderly, which involves, in fact, the deterioration of the cartilage of the knee or other joints, also causing the decline of the bone tissue, inflammation, and pain.
How To Stimulate Cartilage Production
Unlike many other tissues, cartilage does not self-regenerate; therefore, it won’t be easy to repair once injured. However, there are some medical techniques capable of stimulating the production of cartilage. Among the most common, we mention:
- Microfracture: stimulation of repair by microfractures of the bone;
- Osteochondral transplantation: taking healthy cartilage from a region not affected by the deterioration of a joint and implanting it in the site of the same damaged joint.
The good news is that, through a healthy lifestyle, we can strengthen and prevent cartilage injuries. In particular, it is very important to have adequate body weight, to reduce the load and stress on the joints. Moreover, consuming a good amount of anti-inflammatory foods is essential and useful for preventing the inflammatory processes associated with osteoarthritis.
Preferred Foods For Cartilage Health
Allied foods for cartilage health are predominantly all foods rich in anti-inflammatory molecules, which reduce the risk of inflammation, foods rich in vitamin C, and foods rich in lysine. Among these, we mainly mention:
- Fresh fruit, such as kiwis, citrus fruits, blueberries, and strawberries ;
- green leafy vegetables;
- grains, such as buckwheat and amaranth ;
- nuts, such as walnuts and almonds ;
- legumes, such as beans and soybeans ;
- extra virgin olive oil ;
- milk and yogurt ;
- oily fish, such as sardines and mackerels;
- beef and chicken;
- green tea.
On the other hand, potentially inflammatory foods should be avoided, such as:
- Refined sugars;
- red and processed meat;
- foods rich in salt, such as canned foods, cheeses, and sausages;
As regards the consumption of coffee in case of osteoarthritis and arthritis, however, there are no definitive conclusions, as some studies have found conflicting results: if, on the one hand, some scientific research has found an anti-inflammatory power of coffee, on the other, several studies have instead found a potential inflammatory effect on the joints.
Collagen: A Fundamental Protein
Collagen is a protein with a structural function, very important for bone health, as it makes up the gelatinous matrix in which the cartilage cells are immersed. It is also found in teeth, tendons, ligaments, skin, and hair. A decrease in collagen production can lead to skin aging and bone fragility.
The Role Of Lysine In Cartilage Health
Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is not produced endogenously. Among the various roles in which it is involved, lysine is essential for reinforcing cartilage, as it contributes to the production of collagen.
It can be found in many foods, both plant and animal, including:
- Milk, yogurt;
- chicken and beef;
- eggs ;
- beets, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, pears ;
- chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans ;
- amaranth and buckwheat.
When nutrition is not sufficient, lysine supplements can be used. The recommended dose is 1 g of lysine per day.
Read Also: What Are Foods Rich In Zinc?