An arthritis diagnosis sounds like a sentence to a life, accompanied by pain, disability, and expensive medication and their side effects.
A new study by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine published in the journal Frontiers – Nutrition concludes that it doesn’t have to be this way.
The team performed a review of existing studies and found that a surprising (and controversial) diet could reverse arthritis without drugs.
Firstly, they found that plant-based diets were great at reducing inflammation, which is at the heart of arthritis.
From the majority of existing studies, they concluded that diets that contained a lot of meat and dairy were the most likely to cause inflammation.
C-reactive protein, one of the chief contributors to inflammation, was found to be much higher in people who consumed meat and dairy than in people who did not.
Secondly, with the exception of fish, olive oil, and avocado, excessive fat consumption worsens inflammation and arthritis symptoms. A lot of the fats in the typical Western diet come from meat, dairy, and eggs, proving why plant-based diets help.
Of course, this is not always true. If you turn vegan but load your diet with vegetable oils, your arthritis symptoms will remain.
Thirdly, people who consume plant-based diets lose more weight and maintain a healthier weight than those who eat animal-based foods. This reduces the weight they load on their joints, which prevents them from deteriorating as fast as those of overweight people.
But it is not necessarily true in all cases. A vegan diet filled with white bread and other refined grains will not result in weight loss.
Also, because of all the vegetables and whole grains, plant-based diets contain more fiber and other nutrients compared to the typical Western animal-based diet. This is great for cultivating a great variety of gut bacteria which, while sounding gross, is precisely what you want.
Finally, the studies revealed people who ate mostly plants suffered from a lot less pain than people who consumed animal-based products, which could have been due to the reduction in inflammation.