Let me preface this post with this: I am not a doctor, just someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. I still take medication for my RA, but I have noticed some benefits from a plant-based diet. I was vegetarian when I was first diagnosed (and had been for 8 months prior to the diagnosis) and a few months later I switched to a vegan diet.
I went vegan for the animals. I couldn’t justify eating animals anymore. It’s a major bonus that I can also live a healthier lifestyle and feel better while not eating animals. Here are just a few things I’ve noticed from eating a plant-based diet:
- Weight loss and ease to maintain weight:
- It is so easy to maintain a healthy weight if you eat a mostly plant-based diet (vegan corn dogs and ice cream are bomb though). I can’t exercise regularly just yet, but it’s easy to keep my weight low when eating right. Plus a lower weight is a lot easier on my joints.
- My digestion has never been better.
- I’m not sure of a better way to describe this, but on a vegan diet you just feel lighter. It’s probably because eating plant-based helps out your digestive system, plus I’m lactose intolerant and still ate a lot of dairy for most of my life. This just helps my overall wellbeing, even on days with flareups.
- Reduced pain:
- I don’t eat a lot of the foods that are found to cause inflammation, such as meat and dairy. I also discovered turmeric from making tofu scramble so often, which also can help with inflammation.
- Higher energy levels, even on days with flareups:
- I always treat myself to a big smoothie on mornings when I don’t want to get up and when I don’t feel well. This is also one of the easiest breakfasts for me to make since I just throw everything into a blender and the blender does all the work for me. Smoothies are full of nutrients and the fresh fruits and veggies help power me through the day. You can find one of my favorite smoothie recipes in this what I eat in a day video and this one that I just posted today.
- I don’t get sick as often.
- As someone who works in retail with a weakened immune system, I don’t get sick as often as I should, and when I do I bounce back fairly quickly. A lot of the time I feel like I’m going to get sick, but it passes within a day or two.
I am definitely not saying veganism cures RA. But for me at least, it helps make it much more manageable.
I’ve made some posts in the past on some easy vegan meals for bad days when flareups are too much too handle: