Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that affects many people across the globe. Researchers have been studying if a plant-based diet can help manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the studies done on this matter suggest that plant-based diets can help control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This is especially true in the case of vegan recipes. The basic theory behind these findings is that when you go plant-based, specifically vegan, you stop eating animal-based food products and this can help improve the symptoms of RA. Moreover, vegan meal plans include many healthy foods that can help control RA symptoms.
Before planning to switch to a vegan meal plan or plant-based diet to ease RA pain, understand that there are many plant-based foods that can be bad for you if you have rheumatoid arthritis. For instance, french fries and sugar are plant-based foods and can trigger inflammation.
How Can Going Plant-Based Ease RA Symptoms?
Now that you know going plant-based can help control RA symptoms, you might be wondering how it can help ease the symptoms. There are some theories backed by scientific studies about why vegan and plant-based diets can help ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Help Fight Inflammation
A plant-based diet that is healthy will include different vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. These are nutrient-rich food items and can help fight inflammation and pain. A study conducted to find the effectiveness of different diets on treating RA symptoms found that four weeks on a vegan diet that is low on fats helped to improve swelling, joint pain, and stiffness in RA patients.
Improve Gut Health
Results of various studies suggest that a healthy gut can help fight inflammation. Our gut has many good bacteria that can help improve immunity and fight inflammation. However, the gut of people with RA lacks these good gut bacteria. The fiber content in plant-based foods can help improve the number of good gut bacteria. Some of the plant-based sources of fiber are lentils, green peas, beans, barley, and raspberries.
Aids In Weight Loss
Having a healthy plant-based diet can help in weight loss, even if you do not hit the gym or track the calorie intake. The results will be even better if you follow a vegetarian or vegan meal plan. Some of the reasons why losing weight can manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Being overweight can add pressure on the joints that can lead to pain and inflammation.
- Excess amounts of fats present in the body can result in the release of chemicals that can result in inflammation.
Starting A Plant-Based Diet To Control RA
Making plant-based food items the focus of your meal can be beneficial to your joints. By going vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based, you are doing your joints a favor. Some of the studies also suggest that reducing the intake of animal proteins can offer protection against inflammatory arthritis. The tips that are shared below can help you ensure nutrition without going hungry.
Include More Protein Sources
Having adequate protein can help you feel full and satisfied. Moreover, ensuring proper protein intake can help keep your skin, muscles, organs, and bones healthy. To get enough protein when on a plant-based diet, you need to eat a variety of items like soy products, legumes, nuts, meat substitutes, lentils, and seeds. Adding these items to your plant-based or vegan recipes can help ensure adequate protein intake.
Ensure Intake Of Veggies
When on a plant-based diet to control RA symptoms, you need to ensure that you take enough vegetables. But this does not mean that you have to fill your plate with steamed veggies at every meal. You can search the internet and find many recipes that are centered on veggies and are flavorful. These recipes will make you look forward to eating. You can have items like guacamole, sweet butternut squash, gazpacho, etc in your plant-based meals to control inflammation and the symptoms of RA.
Find New Whole Grains
Many people who follow plant-based diets rely on oatmeal and brown rice as their only sources of whole grains. Do not do this mistake, as it can make your meals boring. You can add other whole grains like barley, quinoa, and buckwheat to your meals to make meals interesting and healthy at the same time.
Reduce Meat Dishes
If you were following an animal-based diet, it will be difficult for you to avoid meat altogether. If you do not want to give up on meat completely, you can reduce the amount of meat in your meals. You can have a plant-based diet and enjoy meat. Make sure to reduce the intake of meat and use it as a very small ingredient in your meals, instead of making it the main one.