Connective tissues are fibers that are made up of proteins and sugars. These fibers surround organs and help maintain muscle form. Tendons and ligaments, which connect muscles to bone at your joints, are also connective tissues. Certain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, lupus and arthritis, may cause inflammation and degradation of connective tissues. Minerals and vitamins may help repair damage and reduce inflammation of these tissues.
- Vitamin E may also improve your body’s production of collage, which helps repair and strengthen connective tissue. This vitamin is found in sunflower seeds, almonds, eggs, asparagus, avocados and kale. You need 15 milligrams of vitamin E each day.
- The collagen-stimulating effects of zinc may help strengthen bones and reduce fracture risk. Lentils, pumpkin seeds, sardines, tofu, lamb, oysters and mushrooms are abundant sources of zinc.
- Copper also works in conjunction with vitamin C to produce elastin, a protein that improves the flexibility of connective tissue. Boost your copper intake by consuming foods such as hazelnuts, almonds, tomatoes, soybeans, crab meat and pistachios.
- Vitamin C may also help reduce inflammation of connective tissue and may reduce muscle and joint pain and stiffness. Citrus fruits, spinach, kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, bell peppers and papayas are abundant sources of vitamin C.