A Veg Diet Can Keep Arthritis at Bay

Good news for arthritis sufferers: Researchers with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm—one of Europe’s largest medical universities—have found that people with arthritis may benefit from a veg diet.

Doctors put 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis—a degenerative inflammatory disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks joint tissues, causing swelling and tenderness—on a diet free of gluten and animal products for at least three months. The diet included root vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, fruits, buckwheat, millet, corn, rice, and sunflower seeds.

For the sake of comparison, they instructed 28 other patients to follow a nonvegetarian diet.

The people on the nonvegetarian diet did not see a significant difference in their cholesterol levels, but the people in the veg group had lower cholesterol and body weight and a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is particularly important because heart attacks and strokes are among the leading causes of death for people with arthritis, as inflammation also affects vital arteries.

The patients who followed the veg diet also had higher levels of natural antibodies to fight the compounds in the body that can cause or aggravate rheumatoid arthritis.

Try the following tasty treats to help prevent—or alleviate—arthritis symptoms. Pineapple is an especially good choice because researchers believe that bromelain (a chemical found in pineapple) may help stop inflammation and enable people to better digest fibrin, a compound linked to some types of arthritis. So eat hearty and stay healthy!