Ask Physio Flex: How To Get Glucosamine Naturally Through My Diet?

Q: I am a firm believer in maintaining a balanced diet to meet my nutritional needs. However, as I am aging, my joints aren't as forgiving, especially after my morning runs. My daughter suggested glucosamine supplements, mentioning they could be beneficial for my joint health.

While I am not opposed to supplements, I prefer sourcing nutrients from natural foods whenever possible. I am curious to know, how can I get glucosamine naturally through my diet, and are there particular foods you would recommend for someone keen on preserving joint health?

— Emily Richardson, Boulder, CO


A: Hello Emily,

Your dedication to a balanced diet and an active lifestyle is truly commendable. It's wonderful to hear that you are proactive about seeking natural ways to support your joint health. Glucosamine is a compound that's vital for building cartilage, which is crucial for joint function and comfort, especially as we age.

Getting glucosamine naturally from food can be a bit challenging as it is primarily found in the hard covering of shellfish and in the form of chondroitin sulfate in animal cartilages. Here are a few dietary sources and suggestions:

  1. Shellfish Shells: The shells of shellfish such as shrimp, crab, and lobster are rich sources of glucosamine. While not typically part of the western diet, you can boil these shells to make a nutritious broth.
  2. Bone Broth: While not a direct source of glucosamine, bone broth contains other joint-supporting nutrients like chondroitin and collagen which can be beneficial for joint health.
  3. Animal Cartilage: Foods like trachea or joints of animals contain glucosamine and chondroitin. They can also be used to make broths or stews.
It's slightly easier to obtain glucosamine through supplements, however, your preference for natural food sources is understandable. If you choose to go the supplement route in the future, ensure to select high-quality products from reputable brands.
Our joint supplements contain 500mg of Glucosamine per serving.

Maintaining a diet rich in a variety of nutrients, along with your active lifestyle, will continue to be beneficial for your overall joint health. As always, it's a good practice to consult with a healthcare professional to tailor dietary or supplement recommendations to your personal needs.
I'd also suggest that you take a look at our article comparing green-lipped mussel vs glucosamine.

Thank you for reaching out with your insightful question, Emily. May your morning runs continue to be enjoyable and your joints strong and healthy!
Warm wishes,
Physio Flex Pro


If you have a question about joint pain, joint supplements, or anything mobility related then our staff writers here at Physio Flex Pro will help you find the answers.
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