Sup­port­ing your joints

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health.

Matamata Chronicle - - Health & Wellbeing -

Ques­tion: I want to sup­port my joints with sup­ple­ments. I al­ready eat well and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly but os­teoarthri­tis is in my fam­ily so I want to do some ad­di­tional things to help my joints. Thank you, Anne

Hi Anne, You are right to be tak­ing care of your eat­ing and your move­ment. Good on you. To an­swer your ques­tion about sup­ple­ments, vi­ta­mins A, C and E are all po­tent an­tiox­i­dants. They help the body to fight free rad­i­cals that we gen­er­ate each day from our ex­po­sure to ‘‘pol­lu­tants’’, as well as from in­flam­ma­tion in the body caused by stress. Some stud­ies have shown them to ben­e­fit joint health.

Glu­cosamine is an amino sugar nat­u­rally pro­duced by the body. It is one of the build­ing blocks of car­ti­lage. Glu­cosamine comes in two forms – glu­cosamine sul­fate and glu­cosamine hy­drochlo­ride. It is of­ten found in joint care sup­ple­ments in com­bi­na­tion with chon­droitin. Chon­droitin is also a nat­u­ral sub­stance found in the body. It is be­lieved to help draw wa­ter and nu­tri­ents into the car­ti­lage, keep­ing it healthy and sponge-like. There is some ev­i­dence to sug­gest that glu­cosamine and chon­droitin are help­ful in the treat­ment and man­age­ment of some joint con­di­tions. Ques­tion: I don’t un­der­stand why I can’t cut back on how much sugar I eat. Can you please give me some tips to get started? Thanks, Elaine. Hi Elaine, Here are three tips: 1. Fuel your­self for longer. For far too long peo­ple have been afraid to in­cor­po­rate good fats in their di­ets, due to the false be­lief that ‘‘fat makes you fat’’. Try adding more fat to your meals, par­tic­u­larly at lunch, in the form of av­o­cado, nuts, or­ganic but­ter, co­conut, tahini or oily fish, and ob­serve if your de­sire for sweet foods mid-af­ter­noon di­min­ishes. Good fats slow down the re­lease of glu­cose into your blood stream mean­ing you ac­tu­ally stay full for longer. 2. Slow down. If you amp your­self up on caf­feine, live on adren­a­line due to your per­cep­tion of pres­sure and ur­gency, or push your body in­tensely dur­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise, your body will pre­dom­i­nantly burn glu­cose and you will crave sugar to re­plen­ish your stores. Slow down! I can­not em­pha­sise enough the im­por­tance of ac­ti­vat­ing the rest and re­pair arm of the ner­vous sys­tem – known as the parasym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem – us­ing breath-fo­cused move­ment, which al­lows your body to use body fat as a fuel. Not only will you feel a greater sense of calm, you are also far less likely to ex­pe­ri­ence hunger that re­sults in Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

you eat­ing the en­tire contents of the pantry.

3. Ex­plore the emo­tional con­nec­tions to sweet­ness.

For some peo­ple, a crav­ing for sugar has more to do with an emo­tional need that isn’t be­ing met. ‘‘Some­thing sweet’’ is of­ten per­ceived as a sym­bol of joy and we be­come con­di­tioned to want some­thing sweet to feel com­plete or sat­is­fied. Iden­tify other non­food-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties that give you a feel­ing of sweet­ness and joy and in­cor­po­rate more of th­ese into your life. Watch your chil­dren sleep and no­tice how pre­cious they are, get up and watch the sun­rise ev­ery morn­ing for a week, or book a get­away with friends – what­ever spins your tyres – and no­tice if hav­ing things to look for­ward to, di­min­ishes your sugar crav­ings.


Stud­ies have shown that vi­ta­mins A, C and E can help joint health.

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