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Home/Blog/Best Joint Supplements and Foods

Best Joint Supplements and Foods

By Rachel Link, RD, MS

May 18, 2024

Joint supplements

In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 adults (23 percent) deal with joint discomfort at one time or another. It can be persistent discomfort or occasional, such as during a movement as simply as walking up stairs (knee) or more complicated like swinging a tennis racket (elbow).

Because this is such a pervasive issue, supplements intended to support healthy joints, such as by promoting a healthy response to inflammation (or inflammaging) or by helping to support integrity of cartilage, are increasingly popular.

Which joint supplements are worth the investment if you’re looking to prolong the health, comfort and mobility of your joints? What foods can help the joints? Let’s look closer below at several types to focus on and why.

Importance of Joint Health

Joint health affects people of all ages. For various reasons, the joints that tend to get the most attention often include the shoulders, knees, hips, wrists and ankles.

Interest in joint health support includes:

  • Sustaining the overall joints

  • Promoting healthy flexibility

  • Maintaining healthy range of motion

  • Supporting joint comfort

  • Promoting general healthy mobility

Here’s where some of the best joint supplements, such as collagen protein, come in. They can generally help to keep joints healthy by providing support for healthy inflammatory responses, and supply nutrients such as amino acids, antioxidants and beta glucans that help keep various connective tissues elastic and strong.

8 Best Joint Supplements

1. Multi Collagen Protein

Collagen powder is widely considered to be one of the best joint supplements because collagen plays a major role in forming healthy cartilage and keeping connective tissues including joints, ligaments and tendons strong and healthy. Collagen is made up of 19 amino acids, which are the “building blocks” that help to give the body’s tissues their strength and elasticity.

Most experts consider the best collagen for joints and cartilage to be type 2 collagen, which is included in supplements like Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein (available as unflavored, vanilla, chocolate and more). Type 2 collagen makes up about 50 percent of all protein in cartilage.

Multi Collagen Protein is sourced from four real food sources (a combination of chicken, fish, bovine and eggshell membrane collagens), and since it contains multiple types of collagen, you get an array of body-wide benefits.

Clinically proven Multi Collagen Protein includes these benefits of collagen for joints:

  • reduces knee stiffness at 7 days

  • reduces joint discomfort and helps joints recover faster

  • supports exercise performance and recovery

  • reduces range-of-motion-associated discomfort and stiffness

A general recommendation is for most adults to take between 1–3 scoops/servings per day, which equates to about 10 to 30 grams of collagen protein. Multi Collagen Capsules are also available if you prefer an even simpler way to boost your intake.

Of course, you should always read label directions for suggested use. You should also consult your healthcare practitioner prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplementation.

2. Multi Collagen Protein Joint + Tissue

This groundbreaking joint supplement formula uses joint-supporting superfood ingredients like organic fermented turmeric and ginger on top of multiple collagen sources. Multi Collagen Protein Joint + Tissue is a vanilla-flavored collagen powder that makes a great addition to coffee, oatmeal or smoothies.

Designed to support more comfortable, mobile joints, there's also Multi Collagen Joint & Mobility capsules — if you prefer capsules over powder.

These joint-supportive capsules combine organic functional mushrooms, botanicals and adaptogens that have been fixtures in Ayurvedic and TCM (Traditional Chinese Method) for generations.

Due to the powerful effects of ingredients such as organic turmeric, chaga, galangal root and ginger, these capsules can help support joint range of motion, improve joint mobility and comfort, reduce joint discomfort by day 8 of use, and promote a healthy immune response and response to inflammation.

It’s recommended that adults take two capsules daily with a large glass of water or another beverage.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is brimming with beneficial compounds including its most active ingredient called curcumin, which has been shown to support a healthy response to inflammation.

Curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s signature yellow/orange pigment, and it plays a role in supporting healthy joints because of its soothing properties. It’s generally able to help:

  • reduce joint tenderness

  • support joint range of motion and mobility

  • reduce joint discomfort

The combination of compounds found in turmeric have also been shown to support muscle strength during periods of physical inactivity. For this reason, turmeric can be used to aid muscle and exercise recovery.

Ancient Nutrition’s Organic Turmeric Tablets make it easier than ever to add turmeric to your daily routine. These tablets are made with organic turmeric root extract and also feature compounds found in black pepper, which help aid in the absorption of turmeric. Typically adults should take one tablet daily with a glass of water or another beverage.

You can also include the spice turmeric (in powder form) to your diet in other ways for even more benefits; for example, it can be used to make turmeric tea or added to dishes for a bit of extra flavor and color.

4. Bone Broth Protein

With Bone Broth Protein, you get the same benefits as traditionally, slow-cooked bone broth, only in a much more convenient and versatile form.

Bone Broth Protein powder features type 2 collagen along with other joint-supporting compounds including hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin and essential trace minerals. Each serving provides 20 grams of protein to support healthy joints, cartilage, skin and gut health, and more.

Ancient Nutrition makes several types of Bone Broth Proteins, including those with a savory, chicken broth flavor, as well as chocolate, vanilla and salted caramel flavors. Check out the line of sipping bone broths as well. All Bone Broth Proteins are sourced from non-GMO, cage-free, pasture-raised and grass-fed sources, and made without hormones, added sugar or other fillers.

Just like with collagen powder, use 1–3 servings of Bone Broth Protein daily (depending on your dietary goals) in sweet and savory recipes like smoothies, soups and baked goods. Always consult the label for suggested use and serving size.

5. Omega-3s

Aimed at providing the proper balance of omega-3s, 6s and 9s, along with antioxidant oils, Ancient Omegas Whole Body is designed to provide your body with the building blocks it needs.

Containing omega 3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, both work to bring whole-body benefits for healthy joints (along with cardiovascular health and healthy cognitive function). How much omega 3 per day? Aim for around 1,000 milligrams per day.

6. Glucosamine

Glucosamine, a compound that is naturally found in bone broth/Bone Broth Protein powder, is used by the body to help form and support healthy joints. It plays a role in protein biosynthesis and is often taken in capsule form to help strengthen cartilage and assist in joint comfort.

While glucosamine itself can be a great addition to your wellness routine, taking it alone may not offer all the same benefits of Bone Broth Protein, which provides this compound in addition to several others that generally support healthy mobility.

7. Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are both in bone broth and Bone Broth Protein. It contains essential building blocks that the body can use to help maintain healthy joints.

It’s often used along with glucosamine to help support joint comfort and support general joint health. Typically the two will be combined in capsule form and taken daily by those looking to maintain healthy connective tissue structure and joint function.

8. Ashwagandha

Dealing with ongoing stress and a lack of sleep can both take a toll on your overall mobility and comfort level. Ashwagandha is one of the most-researched adaptogenic herbs, and it can help support healthy energy and help your body fight the effects of stress.

Ancient Nutrition's Organic Ashwagandha tablets help support healthy joints, plus can help you to get the rest you need to feel motivated and energized.

Best Foods for Joint Health

In addition to taking the joint supplements above, there are plenty of nutrient-rich foods you can add to your diet to support the health of your joints, tendons, cartilage and so on.

Eating a nutrient-dense diet that includes lots of antioxidants and “collagen boosting foods” is helpful for supporting healthy collagen levels, which supports overall joint health, and for supporting a healthy immune system and healthy inflammation response.

To keep your joints in tip top shape, focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices and quality protein-rich foods and healthy fats.

Some of the best foods for healthy joints include:

  • Bone broth (especially chicken bone broth which is brimming with type 2 collagen)

  • Foods high in antioxidants and vitamin C like leafy greens, citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli and berries

  • Foods high in protein like organ meats, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and pasture-raised chicken (these also are considered some of the best foods for bone health)

  • Garlic and onions, which are high in protective sulfur compounds

  • Pumpkin, flax, chia and hemp seeds, as well as nuts

  • Olive oil, avocado, coconut oil and ghee

  • Herbs/ spices such as turmeric, ginger, basil, parsley, etc.

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