Anyone who is interested in a healthy diet, and especially vegetarianism, veganism and raw foodism, has probably heard about the problem of inflammation of the joints and pain in them. Some report discomfort and “dryness” of the joints on a raw, plant-based, and less often ethical (vegetarian) diet. Such messages can be sent by both completely newbies, in the first months of a kill-free diet, and, surprisingly, even “oldies” after 3-4 years of veganism.
If you think about it, it’s very strange: after all, many (and milk, eggs and other animal products) patients with problem joints! Something doesn’t add up here, right? .. Let’s try to figure it out!
Why Doctors Think a Balanced Vegetarian or Vegan Diet for joints* :
the consumption of saturated fats is reduced (they are found in many products of animal origin, but a record amount is in beef and lamb lard and fat);
reduced consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks (an important item in any healthy diet);
increased consumption of vegetables and fruits; increased consumption of healthy (easily digestible) protein;
increased consumption of whole grains;
and finally, a person who is interested in a healthy diet usually leads a healthy lifestyle – that is, moves a lot.
Usually these factors are called essential for the health of the joints. The last of them is important, a sufficient amount of physical training and physical activity. daily. Physical minimum. workouts – from 30 minutes a day! And this, as you understand, is not counting walking from home to the subway and having a drink after waking up and before going to bed …
Undoubtedly, you have already noticed that following a kill-free diet does not guarantee that you have “checked” all the items on this list. These are the rules of life, those victories that you still have to fight for – and not those that were sent to you as a bonus in a gift box the next day after giving up meat!
A vegetarian diet helps to work on yourself, and does not remove such a need. If a person simply replaced fatty fish and chicken breast with cheese from a supermarket, fries food in ghee every day and moves little, and indulges himself in sweets like a first-born (“since I don’t eat meat …”), then fish and chicken, maybe and say “thank you”, but the joints and health in general – no!
Blindly switching to an ethical diet is not a bad thing. This is good, but not enough. We must study, we must understand. Ethical choices are more important than health, but when it comes to joint health, the rule is that it’s more important to watch what you EAT than not what you DO NOT EAT.
Even if you give up meat, you can move directly to problem joints (and not only):
Unless you limit your intake of saturated fats from butter, ghee and cheeses, as well as trans fats. On their own, the saturated fats from these ethical foods are no healthier than the saturated fats from the diet of the darkest meat eater… Everything is good in moderation, incl. butter, cheese, ghee (75% saturated fat, medicine, not food).
If you do not limit the consumption of sugar and sweets, and generally easily digestible carbohydrates. A gross (albeit so sweet!) mistake on a kill-free diet.
If there are few vegetables and fruits. Today, all Western doctors agree that it is necessary to eat at least 4 “servings” of vegetables and/or fruits a day – and this is overlooked by some meat abstainers. A serving is at least 150 grams. In any case, fruits and vegetables should be eaten MORE than anything else (cereals, bread and pasta, cheese, etc.). When compared to vegetables (rich in micronutrients) and fruits (rich in macronutrients), vegetables are generally healthier.
If you consume hard-to-digest protein, low-value plant foods (e.g., eat a lot of peas!) and not consume easily digestible ones (e.g. from quinoa, amaranth, hempseed and other proven sources),
· And if you move a little!
These are, in principle, the general rules of a healthy kill-free diet, although they are especially true for the “joints”. And now a few words about inflammation of the joints! To begin with, let’s be honest: from the standpoint of even a modern physician, a scientist, not to mention us ordinary citizens who study health issues only a little, the problem of inflammation, and in particular, in the joints, is a dark forest. Even doctors cannot always understand what a person’s problem is if they are treated with inflammation. (The fact that a vegan vegetarian with inflammation of the joints – and with any other serious problem! – Some Aesculapius convince to start eating meat is already a problem of personal and professional ethics, not nutrition). One way or another, inflammation in the joints is a real mystery! And there is no one conclusion, a “diagnosis”, and even more so – a recipe – and cannot be. So, in absentia. Because a person can provoke an inflammatory process in the body, speaking unscientifically, anything. That is, suspicion may fall on one of many factors. But let’s still try to get to know them.
Pain, inflammation in the joints can cause:
· Excess weight. Everything is clear here – if the weight is unhealthy, painful – it is necessary to reduce. Switching from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet helps a lot. (And then – do not lean on flour and high-calorie, that’s all).
· Changing the mode of motor training. Did you stop eating meat and start running? Enrolled in a yoga studio? Did you buy a gym or pool membership? At first, the joints can “protest”, the whole body can “ache” – the diet has nothing to do with it.
Weakened immunity. Whatever the manufacturers of Chyawanprash and other healthy products say, it is actually difficult to influence the immune system by consuming any food. Unless, of course, you do not eat modern immunomodulators (bad habit). But “weakening your immunity” is also very problematic – whether on a vegan, raw or raw diet, or on any other (so calm the anxious grandmother!). BUT, you can maintain the normal functioning of your immunity by eating fully, incl. consuming enough “lean” (easily digestible) protein, and taking probiotics – both can be done on any diet, meat has nothing to do with it! And attempts to “increase, strengthen” immunity, such as “hardening”, often lead to diseases – including, just joints.
· An unbalanced, unscientific diet (“potatoes, pasta…”) – and as a result, a lack of nutrients important for maintaining healthy joints and a deterioration in character. Important substances for the joints are recognized, including Omega-3 fats. They are found (not just in oily fish, mind you!) in rapeseed oil, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, and hemp seeds. Also, look for the values in your tests (and not on the packages of “superfoods” or supplements): vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium*.
· Consumption of refined products: white sugar and sweets with it, white bread and other flour products from it.
· Shift in the balance of products not in favor of vegetables and fruits, but in the direction of little useful side dishes (white rice, pasta, soy noodles or “asparagus”, etc.). The basis of nutrition when giving up meat is vegetables and fruits, in variety and in the right combinations!
· Consumption of vegetarian and vegan foods, which are known for their negative effects on the joints. This is wheat and products from it, all nightshade. – These are not mushrooms, but a type of plant, including: sweet pepper, ashwagandha, eggplant, goji berries, chili and other hot peppers, paprika, potatoes and tomatoes. (Nightshades are not harmful to everyone, and not always – this issue has not been fully studied).
Fasting can bring relief on the 4th-5th day, but within a week after the end of the hunger strike, all negative symptoms return. Therefore, fasting in terms of solving joint problems.
Sedentary lifestyle: lack of motor and physical activity. If you do not work out in the gym, run, swim from 30 minutes a day – this is about you.
If you can say the opposite about you – that you eat right and exercise enough – you have probably already noticed how plant foods help your body get in shape and recover quickly! It’s no secret that they use smoothies with vegetables and fruits before and after workouts. And in general, they literally “pray” for a plant-based diet! Or the predominance of vegetables and fruits in a kill-free diet. And this is no coincidence: after all, nutrients, vegetable fats and “light” protein help strengthen joints even with the most serious sports. But even if you move little, literally half an hour a day, as the doctor ordered, the preponderance of vegetables and fruits in the diet in general, and in the blender in particular, is in your favor!
And a couple of additions from personal experience:
1) Extra Virgin Olive Oil, when consumed raw, in the joints, allows faster recovery after intense movement training. 2) Consuming too much can even, on the contrary, increase joint problems – because. able to unbalance Vata. The same can be said in general about excessive fiber intake. 3) Often heard to support optimal joint health and even for runners, but be aware that it is a fat soluble substance. Turmeric powder – definitely lead-free! – should be added to fatty foods, for example, vegetables fried in a wok (with butter). In practice, it’s even better to dissolve turmeric in hot oil in a separate bowl and add this “yellow oil” to the finished dish: this way the benefits of turmeric will be maximum.
* Including rheumatoid arthritis, i.e. even with serious joint problems.
** about what vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils to get these substances from.