Arthritis is a condition in which the joints of the body experience swelling and become tender. This can occur in more than one joint, and the results include joint stiffness and pain. One of the more common types of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which results in symptoms that typically worsen with age. RA is an autoimmune disease that involves chronic inflammation, which affects the joints of the body, including the joints found in the feet and hands.
An integral part of the body’s immune system, inflammation is actually a natural process. For instance, when an injury occurs, the body delivers protein, white blood cells, and fluids to the injured area to surround and provide protection to the area. The resulting inflammation is called acute and is a necessary part of the body’s ability to heal itself.
However, chronic inflammation is the result of a prolonged influx of protein, white blood cells, and fluids and can actually start to cause damage to nearby organs and tissues. Chronic inflammation is thought to be a significant contributor to the development of a variety of chronic diseases, including RA.
Research has suggested that dairy–as well as other animal products–are involved in the development of chronic inflammation. Additionally, researchers from the University of Central Florida discovered that certain bacteria found in beef and milk may be responsible for triggering the development of the autoimmune disease in people genetically predisposed to develop RA.
Researchers are also coming to understand that other processed foods, such as white bread, pastries, and refined carbohydrates are also responsible for causing inflammation throughout body. Individuals wanting to experience better health by decreasing inflammation should also avoid any sugary drinks as well as processed pepperoni and hot dogs.
Fortunately, recent research suggests that a plant-based diet may provide significant relief for those suffering from the symptoms of arthritis, such as swelling, pain, and stiffness. Switching to a plant-based diet is relatively simple in that it is comprised of eating vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
Additionally, for protein, nuts are important. Grains, of course, are also an important contributor to a well-balanced, plant-based diet. Additionally, anyone making this dietary change should be sure to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants as they play an important part in the fight against inflammation.