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Independent health store advice on how to care for your joints

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health food store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This month we speak to Andrea Brooks, a nutritional therapist from Dimensions Dru Health in Bangor, North Wales.

We get a lot of customers asking for advice about joint issues. Joint pain, inflammation and swelling are very common health complaints. We often find that people have tried over-the-counter remedies and prescription drugs and haven’t seen any improvement in their symptoms, so they want to try something more natural.

Joints, bones, ligaments and tendons are all related and therefore they all need similar nutrients. So, my first recommendation for good joint health would be to take vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, as it is in fact a steroid hormone. As such, it’s needed for many vital functions in the body, including keeping inflammation in check. Vitamin C also helps with inflammation in the body.

Quite often what happens is that people have plenty of calcium in the body, but the calcium cannot get into the bones or the joints, or wherever it is needed in the body, because it doesn’t have the necessary co-factors. These co-factors are magnesium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D. I specifically recommend vitamin D3, which is the most bioavailable form.

Natural anti-inflammatories

If a customer is experiencing problems with inflammation or pain then we would recommend some natural anti-inflammatory remedies like turmeric, or curcumin, which is the active compound in turmeric. Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is another natural remedy that can help with inflammation. Cherry juice is a good natural remedy found in the product CherryActive. It helps to reduce any acidity in the body which can lead to inflammation. It also helps with production of melatonin which is crucial for people with extensive inflammation. The body heals in sleep and sleep is especially important for people with inflammatory conditions.

CBD also helps with pain and inflammation. It tends to come in liquid form – either a spray or drops – and you can spray it under the tongue. There are capsules too, but we find that when it is taken under the tongue, through the mouth, this option is much quicker and easier to absorb.

Another recommendation is the essential fatty acids omega-3s as these are crucial for reducing inflammation in the body. Quite often, people have too many omega-6s in their diet, which is actually pro-inflammatory. Omega-6s are found in vegetable oils and margarine.

Quite often, people who are long-term vegans find that over time they develop some kind of inflammation because they do not have enough omega-3s in their diet. So I would recommend that anyone following a vegan diet takes plant-based forms of omega-3s such as golden linseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and flax oil. You can also get supplements made from algae, which is a good vegan form of omega-3s.

Dietary advice

In terms of dietary advice, I would recommend that people reduce sugar in general as it is extremely acidic. Wheat and gluten tend to be very acidic, too, as is dairy. It can help to reduce your intake of these foods if you suffer with joint pain or any kind of inflammation.

Many people think that eating red meat is very acidic. However, a recent study showed that grass-fed red meat has high levels of omega-3s, whereas chicken can contain high levels of omega-6s as they are fed things like corn and soy.

Good foods to include in one’s diet are vegetables in general but especially green veg. All kinds of berries are good too as they are low in sugar and high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. Also, aim to include the seeds I mentioned before, like hemp, chia and linseeds. Or omega-3 fish oil capsules if you are not plant-based.

Lastly I would recommend that people take regular exercise, but in a balanced way. Try not to be underactive or overactive, but aim for somewhere in between. Keep active by walking as much as possible and doing activities like gardening, house chores etc. And if you need any help or advice on how to look after your joints naturally, please remember to ask in your local independent health food store as we are always happy to help!

Dimensions Dru Health Store

Dimensions Dru Health Store is based at 15 Holyhead Road, Bangor, North Wales, LL57 2EG.

The store was first established in the mid-eighties by a small group of students from Bangor University and it has since evolved into North Wales’ most extensive health store.

The team aims to “promote a positive, healthier and more peaceful existence for adults and children alike, giving back to the community by channelling resources into good causes”.

The store stocks over 3,000 products including organic juices and smoothies; healthy snacks; fresh organic, local produce; organic wholefoods; vegetarian, vegan, gluten-, wheat-, sugar- and dairy-free and speciality foods; natural remedies and organic superfoods; natural skin and bodycare; ethical cleaning products and much more!

To contact the store, call 01248 351 562, visit or follow the store on Facebook. Visit Andrea’s website at:

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