Many of us are brought up to believe that as you age, your joints start deteriorating. While this is half true, it doesn’t mean that we can’t prevent, or ease the rate at which it happens. And this is where my joint pain remedy comes in, full of joint-supportive ingredients to reduce cartilage degradation, and ease joint pain.
Before I get to the recipe, I want to talk about factors that might be contributing to your knee pain.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of knee pain, and also one of the most common forms of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the end of your bones starts to wear down. It can happen anywhere on the body, but it more often than not affects the joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine. While OA cannot be reversed, symptoms can be managed with things like the ingredients in the joint pain remedy below.
Our knees will also start hurting if they’ve ever been injured. Even after the initial period of healing, pain symptoms may still persist.
Another cause of joint pain is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is needed to maintain blood calcium levels, and it also regulates calcium and phosphorous, which keeps our bones and teeth hard. Being deficient in vitamin D causes brittle bones and weak muscles. Make sure you get out in the sun for at least 30 minutes a day, and if you can’t, opt for a vitamin D3 supplement.
Whatever the culprit of your joint pain may be, you can help decrease your pain and strengthen the cartilage around your joints with the help of a few special ingredients (and no, you don’t need gelatine or other animal products to do so).
Introducing The Ingredients
The ingredients included in this joint pain remedy smoothie help increase bone cartilage while reducing inflammation (the banana and cinnamon I added more less to add flavour). They are:
Apples contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin, which is known to increase the production of both collagen and fibronectin, two substances necessary to keep the joints and skin healthy (1). Collagen, as you might already know, is needed in order to make cartilage. Quercetin is also a potent anti-inflammatory, and is more powerful than anti-inflammatory drugs used for the protection of arthritic joints.
Turmeric is a pretty incredible herb when it comes to joint pain. When cartilage breaks down, bones begin to rub against each other causing swelling, pain and stiffness. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, contains anti-inflammatory properties that curb the production of inflammatory cytokines in conditions such as osteoarthritis. It does this by suppressing the metabolic activity of chondrocytes (bone cells) and prevents degradation of cartilage (2).
Research has also shown that curcumin is a chondroprotective agent – meaning, it protects bone health and prevents cartilage from degrading. Curcumin acts on various enzymes and proteins in order to prevent cell death of bone cells and degradation of cartilage (3).
So not only does turmeric help protect your remaining cartilage from suffering further damage, but it also helps provide relief from pain.
Like turmeric, ginger protects remaining cartilage from suffering further damage, and also provides pain relief.
Ginger consists of a complex combination of active compounds like gingerols, shogoals, and paradols. These compounds all possess strong anti-inflammatory properties, which are highly beneficial when protecting our cartilage from degradation.
Studies have found that ginger is able to reduce the pain and disability in osteoarthritis (4). In vitro, it has been shown that ginger extract suppresses TNF-alpha and inhibited COX-2-mediated synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines (5).
4. Almond Milk
Nuts, like almonds, are an excellent addition to the diet if you’re wanting to increase bone cartilage. Almonds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent inflammation and speed up the healing process. They’re also high in manganese, an important mineral for cartilage repair (6). Manganese helps glucosamine (the main molecule used by the body for building cartilage), to work even faster.
Last, but not least, berries are a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, which protect our joints and reduce systemic inflammation. Vitamin C helps protect your cells and tissues from suffering further damage. It also works as an anti-inflammatory by reducing swelling in over-worked joints.
Natural Joint Pain Remedy: The Recipe
Ingredients: (serves 1)
– 2 apples, cored
– 1 ripe banana
– 1 tsp. turmeric powder
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– small piece of fresh ginger
– 1 cup homemade almond milk*
– 1 cup berries of your choice
*If you can’t make your own almond milk, add in 1/4 cup almonds and 1 cup of water to the smoothie
Stick all of the ingredients in a high speed blender like the Optimum VAC2, and blend on high. Drink at one time, or split it up so you’re drinking some in the morning, and some in the evening. Drink for 15 days total.