Arthritis has been part of my life for years. Many family members, friends, and clients also live with one or more forms of arthritis. I had mistakenly believed that this condition was only a sign of age, wear and tear, and was inevitable. Those beliefs are incorrect, though once effected, arthritis is manageable as I share in my resource guide. Dr. John McDougall recently posted his April 2004 article discussing high cases of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis here in the West. He notes that a number of dietary factors damage joint health:
Malnourishment from a Western diet. Minerals and nutrients are absent in overly processed food…especially fast food - without these nutrients, bones and joints are not strong enough to maintain good health.
After eating a fatty meal the blood stream is clogged and circulation slows. Joints rely on circulation to obtain nutrients and to cleanse waste. If a drainpipe is full of debris a sink is slow to drain, right? Same concept…unclog the arteries and the system flows freely.
Excess weight wreaks havoc on joints. After my hip replacements my surgeon urged me to stay lean to protect my new joints. An extra five pounds of weight places twenty-five pounds of pressure on a joint. Have you ever seen tree branches sagging from the weight of winter snow? With enough pressure the branch will break. When carrying excess weight your body is not designed to hold, the strain and pressure on your joints is similar. Hips, knees, and ankles are especially overburdened with extra weight. Collapsed ankles, swelling, and failed joints leading to replacement are the result. Lose the weight and relieve the burden on your joints.
My osteoarthritis is the result of poor dietary choices. I have no doubt that my condition was self-inflicted after years of drinking soda, eating fatty foods, and following high protein diets. Shifting to a whole food plant-based oil free diet has been miraculous for me. As published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a healthy lifestyle reduces inflammation, reduces pain, and can prevent further damage from arthritis. To read Dr. McDougall’s article about preventing and treating degenerative arthritis in it’s entirety, click here.