Tendons and ligaments make up essential parts of your musculoskeletal system. Tendons provide an anchor for your muscles to attach to your bones so that your muscle contractions can move the bones of your skeleton, while ligaments attach neighboring bones to keep your skeleton intact. Your diet affects the health of your tendons and ligaments, and getting enough of several key nutrients helps keep these tissues healthy and functional.
Even if you consider yourself to be a health-conscience person who takes pride in caring for your body, tending to your tendons and ligaments may not be at the top of your “selfcare” priority list. But these structural connective tissues are necessary to keep our bodies moving efficiently—they enable us to sit, stand, walk, and perform virtually all physical activity. Weak or injured tendons and ligaments can be disabling and may lead to chronic pain, making it important to nourish them before problems arise. This becomes especially important as we age. In addition to working with Dr. Chawla at Island Chiropractic Center for routine adjustments and therapies, here are some tips on how to keep your ligaments and tendons healthy.
Collagen, the major component of these connective tissues, begins to degenerate and stiffen as we age. Additionally, tendons and ligaments have a poor blood supply, making existing injuries harder to heal, leading to decreased strength in those tissues and chronic pain. Because the integrity of these connective tissues decline with age, leading to weakened tendons and ligaments and potentially an injury and/or chronic pain, it is important to support them with good nutrition and a few choice supplements. Let us talk about some of the below.
- Collagen is the main structural protein that makes up all human connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments, and helps keep these tissues strong. As we age, collagen production slows and existing collagen can deteriorate, causing tendons and ligaments to weaken. A diet high in quality protein will provide the building blocks the body requires to make collagen, including the amino acids proline and lysine. Additionally, collagen supplements have been shown to stimulate collagen production, helping to maintain healthy tendons and ligaments.
Vitamins.Vitamins C and E both have important functions in terms of tendon and ligament health. The most significant benefit of these nutrients is their role in producing collagen, an elastic protein used in your skin, tendons, ligaments and other flexible structures in the body. Vitamin C can also reduce inflammation, which can speed up healing. Vitamin C should be consumed regularly through your diet, but you should take high doses of the vitamin in the days following an injury to the tendons and/or ligaments to support healing and restore strength.
- The anthocyanidins found in dark-colored fruits such as cherries and blueberries, and in grape seed extract, have been shown to help the collagen fibers link together in a way that strengthens the connective tissue matrix.
Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of tendons and ligaments and has been shown to stimulate collagen production. Some of you have heard of these injections provided by Medical Practitioners as a relief to osteoarthritis in joints. It comprises the synovial fluid that surrounds certain tendons, helping to keep them lubricated and moving smoothly.
Researchers recently discovered that a thin layer of “skin” made of epithelial cells covers the tendons because hyaluronic acid is a major component of connective and epithelial tissues. It is also thought to help maintain the integrity of these tendons “skin.” An animal model of tendon injury found that hyaluronic acid significantly speeded healing.
- Gelatin-rich foods have long been a part of traditional diets—cultures around the world commonly consume all parts of animals, including the gelatin-rich cartilage and bones. Consuming gelatin has been shown to increase collagen proteins in the blood, helping to build the structure of both tendons and ligaments. One easy way to introduce more gelatins into your diet is to regularly make and consume bone broth, a savory broth made by simmering bones in water. (Ever made homemade chicken broth from a chicken carcass? That’s one type of bone broth.) Or consider taking a gelatin supplement
Ligaplex I & II Ligaplex is a supplement manufactured by Standard Process and is commonly used by Dr. Chawla. Check out our facebook page (about us tab) to learn more about Ligaplex or stop in to see your favorite Sanibel chiropractor and Dr. Chawla can describe its benefits.
Sudeep Chawla, D.C.
-Dr. Chawla is a Palmer Graduate and looking to increase his practice with Manual Adjusting, Massage, Nutrition, and much more. Check out the rest of the site to learn more about Dr. Chawla and GET YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM CHECKED! We are located on Sanibel, Florida and cater to everyone in the Southwest Florida area. Come see your SANIBEL CHIROPRACTOR!