Cartilage is a semi-rigid tissue whose function is to support some structures and organs. It is considered a connective tissue that covers the bony surfaces that are part of the joints.
Its firmness allows it to resist mechanical stress with greater flexibility than bone. When injured, symptoms such as intense pain when playing sports or going up or down stairs, sounds similar to cracking and joint pain, among others, can occur, according to the Top Doctors portal in Spain. There may also be deformity, swelling, and redness.
This tissue is recognized because it is responsible for distributing and supporting loads and providing a smooth sliding movement, protecting the bones and preventing them from rubbing against each other.. Cartilage also gives shape and support to various parts of the body such as the nose, ears or trachea.
Cartilage, according to experts, is susceptible to deterioration due to injuries such as sprains or degenerative diseases such as arthritis. The areas most affected by their wear are normally the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders, according to information from the Better with Health portal.
There are various causes that can affect cartilage. According to a post on BioMed Research Internationalage and aging are some of the reasons for the deterioration suffered by these tissues.
However, there are also other risk factors that have to do with their conditions and they include degenerative diseases, excessive physical activity, obesity, stress, loads or transporting very heavy things or insufficient nutrients.
Diet plays a decisive role in protecting cartilage, precisely to prevent a lack of nutrients that keep them healthy. A study carried out by the University of Maryland, in the United States, indicates that lysine is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to caring for and recovering this connective tissue, therefore, consuming products that contain it is decisive.
In the same investigation it was determined that the ideal consumption of lysine would be 12 milligrams per kilo of the body and it can be obtained from foods such as: red meat, figs, walnuts and almonds, cod, eggs, cheese, soy and unflavored gelatin.
Similarly, to regenerate cartilage, the consumption of vitamin C is required, a powerful antioxidant that adds various benefits to the body. In a study published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports it is suggested that this nutrient is key in the prevention of joint problems associated with cartilage wear. The RDA is 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.
Some of the main foods that contain vitamin C are citrus fruits, as well as kiwi, guava, mango, papaya, red fruits and melon.
Another key nutrient for cartilage is omega 3. According to some research, foods rich in this fatty acid can help prevent osteoarthritis, but also slow its progress when this disease has already been diagnosed, according to information from the wellness portal Salud 180, from Mexico.
Foods rich in omega 3 are fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines; in addition to nuts and dried fruits, vegetable oils such as flaxseed, soy and canola. Including this fatty acid in the diet also helps improve the nervous system.
Vitamin D is another key nutrient. Exposure to sunlight is the best way to get it. An investigation published in Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine determined that patients with sufficient vitamin D have a lower risk of developing osteoarthritis. It also highlights that its optimal doses help reduce the degeneration of joint cartilage.
In addition to the sun, this vitamin can be obtained from foods such as: whole wheat bread, milk, whole grains, salmon, herring and oysters.
Collagen structures cartilaginous tissues, tendons and bones. Various studies have concluded that it facilitates the union between all of these, indicates the Better with Health portal.
Furthermore, research published in the journal Plos One notes that it helps prevent cartilage degeneration and helps reduce inflammation. The easiest way to add it to the body is by eating foods like gelatin.