Beware The Studys Limitations
This study linking a vegetarian diet with a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke has a number of important limitations that should temper the concerns of vegetarians.
- The study was observational. That means it simply observed what happened among different people who followed different diets over time, without being able to account for every other relevant factor. For example, if vegetarians chose plant-based diets because of a family history of stroke, it could be their genes driving the higher rates of stroke, not the diet.
- The findings might have been different if the study had included a different study population, such as one with different genetic backgrounds or higher rates of obesity.
- The data regarding diet was self-reported. While the use of dietary surveys is common and necessary in research that requires a large number of study subjects, it isnt always reliable.
- The study was not large enough to reliably sort out differences in the rates of disease between vegans and vegetarians. As a result, its not clear whether the increased stroke risk applies to all vegetarians, or whether vegans might have a different risk.
- We dont know whether the health outcomes reported in this study might be due to what is included in the diet or what is eliminated. For example, is the lower risk of heart disease among vegetarians due to the plant-based diet, or is it just due to the restriction of animal-based products?
Increasingly More Research Is Pointing To The Benefits Of Cutting Back On Meat If Youre Suffering From Joint Pain Going Plant
Get access to everything we publish when you .
You already know that the typical Western diet isnt filled with the greatest or the cleanest foods. Centered around items like refined carbohydrates, high amounts of sugar and a whole lot of red meat, this way of eating can inflame joints and increase your aches and pains . Changing up your diet, however, has the potential to help you combat chronic joint pain or arthritis.
And new research shows that what youre eating just might have a direct effect on your joints achiness, stiffness and swelling. Specifically, sticking with a plant-based diet could help you lessen your symptoms, reduce your joint pain and feel better in more ways than one.
Getting Enough Vitamin D
The body naturally produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun. But its pretty much impossible to get the recommended daily dose if you live in the UK during the autumn and winter months.
So, keep an eye out for plant milks or margarines with added vitamin D. Shiitake mushrooms can also be a good source and they work great in a stir-fry.
You might also want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement during the winter months to boost your daily dose. Read more: are you getting enough vitamin D?
You May Like: What Can I Do For Arthritis Pain In My Thumb
How Plant Based Diets Can Help People With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Many recent studies have highlighted the health benefits that a plant based diet can bring. Now, a new review explains just why it can be helpful for people living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis a chronic autoimmune condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints has a prevalence of between 0.3% and 1% among the worlds population, according to the World Health Organization .
The condition can become so debilitating as to stop people from continuing in full time work. As the WHO also note, within only 10 years from disease onset, at least 50% of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis in high income countries become unable to hold down a full time job.
Doctors usually prescribe a range of drugs and lifestyle adjustments to help people manage their rheumatoid arthritis and make disability less likely. Management strategies that healthcare providers might advise include increased physical activity and weight loss.
Now, a new review appearing in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition shows that following a plant based diet can be a useful intervention when it comes to coping with this condition, as it triggers some helpful biological changes.
Ra Diet: What Foods To Eat If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis patients require a stable, healthy diet for a number of reasons. Patients may become overwhelmed by their chronic pain and inflammation, remain undernourished, or develop medical complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of protecting your overall health, managing weight, improving energy levels, boosting your mental health and boosting your immune system. While diet alone cant treat your symptoms, the right diet for RA can certainly go a long way in helping you feel better overall.
Read Also: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Toes
Diet And Arthritis: The Big Picture
Although further research is needed to better understand the effect of plant-based diets on the various types of arthritis, I have a hunch that nature was consistent in its design: that the diet that benefits our hardened arteries, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, painful menses, erectile dysfunction, ischemic hearts, distressed psychology, and diseased kidneys, is very likely to also benefit our inflamed joints.
We Contribute To Inflammation And Arthritis
Studies indicate that many of the foods we eat and our lack of movement contribute to disease and chronic inflammation in our bodies.
Eating factory farmed meat encourages the development disease and inflammation in the body because these animals are raised in stressful conditions which lead to the development of disease in the animals.
These animals are then treated with antibiotics to treat the diseases and the diseases become resistant to the antibiotics over time. These animals are also given various types of hormones to make them grow faster and bigger.
Compounds found in animals products, like Neu5Gc, are viewed as foreign substances and trigger inflammatory responses in our bodies.
The end result is we then eat the meat that contains these antibiotic resistant diseases and growth hormones. They throw off the natural balance of our bodies and trigger inflammatory responses.
Consumption of high protein and high fat diets have been linked to higher rates of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that people who eat large amounts of animal protein or more prone to not digest the protein properly. Large protein molecules can then enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammatory reactions in the body.
Many processed meats and foods lack fiber and contain high amounts of fat, processed sugar, additives, and preservatives. This combination contributes to high cholesterol levels and introduces foreign substances which again triggers inflammatory responses in the body.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Arthritis Pain In Hip
Ditching Dairy Can Alleviate Arthritis Pain
Ditching Dairy Can Alleviate Arthritis Pain is a guest post by Rick Scott
The first time that I broke my wrist was in a 1983 on-ice collision when I was an 18-year-old hockey player. I broke my thumb near the same wrist a couple of years later in a bike race. When I broke the wrist again in 2007 in another bike race, the orthopedic doctor looked at the x-ray and exclaimed, Look at all that arthritis!
What Causes Joint Pain
Joint pain is one of the most common and painful conditions that affect many people, regardless of age. There are more than a hundred conditions that affect the joints, and many theories to explain why this gradual damage to the tissue happens.
One of the most widely accepted theories is that joint damage is the result of free radicals attacking and destroying healthy tissues, including the joint tissue. Nutrition can play a very important part here. The food you eat has the potential to halt joint damage and help reduce pain. At the same time, the wrong food exacerbates joint pain and increases inflammation.
Read Also: Is Moringa Good For Arthritis
Embracing A Vegan Diet
How should you start? Cutting out inflammatory-causing foods like red meat, dairy, fried foods and processed foods are the first steps you should take to help your arthritis. A vegan diet goes further, though. It excludes all animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy. When you make vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds the majority of your diet, your body may start to see a decrease in arthritic flare ups.
If youre looking to go fully vegan, ease into it gradually. A pure vegan diet can be hard to maintain. Have three days a week of no meat, for example. You can also select a modified vegan diet that will allow fish. If youre struggling to commit to a 100% vegan diet, know that you dont have to go all in to see the benefits. Even cutting out inflammatory-causing foods most of the time will help. Here are some steps that you can follow:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you eat. Concentrate more on green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce and cabbage.
- Increase the fiber in your diet. Introduce whole-wheat starches and brown rice into your diet instead of pasta, white bread and white rice.
- Reduce red meat. Cut out red meat slowly. You can start by switching to lean meats once a week. Next, bring it down to once every two weeks and then once a month. If you reach a point where you dont miss eating red meat, then try cutting meat out altogether.
How To Start A Plant
Whether you want to try a vegan or vegetarian diet, or simply make plants the focus of your meals, youâll be doing your joints a favor. Research also suggests that cutting back on animal protein may protect you from some inflammatory types of arthritis. These tips can help you get the nutrition you need from a plant-based diet, without going hungry.
Fill up on protein. Protein helps you feel full and keeps your skin, bones, muscles, and organs healthy. To get enough of this nutrient on a plant-based diet, eat different sources throughout the day. You can try:
- Soy products, including tofu
Also Check: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Your Hands
Veganism & Athritis: Conclusions
Arthritis can be a troubling and debilitating condition that comes in many forms. Like many health conditions, there are various risk factors that appear to increase a persons risk of developing some kind of arthritis. Given that being overweight is one of the key risk factors, and that vegan diets have been shown in general to reduce peoples BMI, it stands to reason that following a plant-based diet could lessen a persons risk of developing arthritis.
There is less robust evidence to suggest that arthritis can be reversed by following a plant-based diet, though there are plenty of anecdotal accounts that claim this to be the case. There are also various research studies that suggest the eradication of meat and dairy from a persons diet can reduce the severity of some symptoms of arthritis. Further research could shed further light on the matter as scientists attempt to further understand the various conditions that fall under the arthritis umbrella.
Possible Problems With Plant
If adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet sounds appealing for your arthritis, consider what you may need to supplement or provide more of in your diet.
These include vitamin B-12 omega-3 fatty acids , iron , zinc & vitamin D , calcium and selenium & iodine .
One of the main areas of consideration we hear when people talk about veganism is protein intake. While protein intake changes based on how much we weigh and how active we are, the general daily intake for the average adult ranges around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
That means that the average sedentary man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams but thats only the bare minimum to hit in order to not experience negative side effects.
One thing to consider however is that older adults have significantly increased protein needs up to 50% higher than average, or about 0.450.6 grams per pound of body weight.
For this reason, it is best to add a protein source to each of the 3 main meals a day to ensure the basic needs are met. The most popular source of protein for vegans are beans, chickpeas, nuts, and tofu all containing enough protein to cover the daily intake if consumed at a proper amount.
Also Check: What Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Lead To
The Benefits Of A Wfpb Diet Are Clear
By eliminating animal products and eating a whole food, plant-based diet, individuals with osteoarthritis were able to move and feel much better very quickly. What a gift! Just think how that improved their mood, their relationships and their experience with life.
And they lost weight without even trying. They were able to eat to satiety and still lose weight. No calorie counting and no deprivation. This supports other studies that have shown that eating plant-based is actually easier to stick to that calorie restriction on an omnivorous diet. If youre not hungry all the time, youre much less likely to go off the rails.
The present and earlier studies provide further evidence for the beneficial effects of WFPB diets in many patients with OA. We hope that the results from the current study will encourage appreciation and clinical evaluation of dietary variables and that WFPB diet therapies are recommended as an adjunct to standard medical management of this debilitating chronic disease. Study Authors
If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, your fork is a powerful tool for wellness. I encourage you to learn more about a WFPB diet and how it can help you dramatically improve your health.
As a Certified Health Coach, it is my privilege to help individuals make a quick and doable transition to this way of eating. I invite you to book a complimentary 30-minute phone Health Consultation to explore options for support.
Psoriasis Inflammation And The Role Of Plant
While there are many factors that can trigger psoriasis, most are out of our control. With that said, there is one factor that is completely in your hands and thats your diet.
With psoriasis, the immune system overreacts, attacking healthy tissues, and causes chronic inflammation. If you were to take a microscope to the process, youd see proteins called cytokines, carrying out the inflammatory attack, and triggering inflammation. When it comes to psoriasis, this immune system battle is waged in the skin and joints. Unfortunately, researchers have not identified the substances inside the body that the immune response mistakes for antigen, yet it is understood that infusing the body with healthy anti-inflammatory agents, while also avoiding specific triggers, may help manage the aggravated inflammatory response.
Read Also: What Can Help Rheumatoid Arthritis
Research In Relation To Veganism & Arthritis
When it comes to arthritis and veganism, there is an increasing body of evidence that points to some other reasons why a vegan diet could reduce the risk of developing certain conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis Action suggests that the polyphenols, antioxidants and phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables could reduce inflammation and given that a vegan diet is based on fruit and vegetables, this is clearly something that is good news for those following a plant-based diet.
There is some scientific research out there that suggests a vegan diet and specifically a low-fat vegan diet could benefit those with rheumatoid arthritis. Though the sample size was small , the 2002 study concluded that, patients with moderate-to-severe RA, who switch to a very low-fat, vegan diet can experience significant reductions in RA symptoms. It is thought this is because a low-fat vegan diet, in this case, reduced both the rheumatoid factor and the C-reactive protein , both of which are associated with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
There is also evidence that suggests a vegan diet might improve the faecal microbial flora , and that this could have a beneficial effect in decreasing rheumatoid arthritis activity. Again, this research is based on a small sample , but it shows some promising signs that a vegan diet could reduce some of the bio-chemicals that can cause inflammation in joints .
Patient Reported Outcome Measures
The response definitions used in this study were developed by the FDA in consultation with pharmaceutical companies and in accord with their recommendations for the development for OA therapies. The one-week version of the SF-36v2 Health Survey was used to measure 8 domains of health status: physical functioning , role limitation due to physical problems, that is, role physical , bodily pain , general health , energy/vitality , social functioning , and role limitations due to emotional problems, that is, role emotional , and mental health . Subscale for each domain was calculated following the standard SF-36v2 guidelines. Z-scores were computed for each of the domains based upon 2009 national norms. T scores were then computed for each domain subscale using the following equation: 50 + , thus resetting each domain distribution from a z-score distribution with a mean of zero and standard deviation of one to a t distribution with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. Aggregate Physical Component Summary Scale and Mental Component Summary Scale were created by computing the sum of all eight domain z-scores multiplied by published population weights. These aggregate values were then converted to PCS and MCS t scores using the equation: 50 + . SF-36v2 data was collected at intake and weekly for the following six weeks.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Doctor For Arthritis In Hands