By Andrew Beauchesne, May 14, Poor diet has been identified as one of the top actual causes of death in the United States time and again. Arthritis represents just one way disease can limit our quality of life. It is a manifestation of countless diseases, many of which are caused in part by poor diet. Arthritis refers to painful inflammation of joints. There are many types of arthritis: some acute and fleeting with no long-term consequences, some chronic and causing decades of crippling pain and immobility. Below is a discussion of three common types of arthritis and how diet may play a role in the disease process. Osteoarthritis is a type of chronic arthritis characterized by inflammation and degeneration of the joint.
RA is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation that causes pain and swelling. While genetic factors are important, studies show that lifestyle factors, including diet, play a role. Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reviewed clinical trials and observational studies and found strong and consistent evidence that a plant-based dietary pattern can reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with RA. While more research is needed, the review adds to the evidence that diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes may be beneficial for autoimmune conditions. Other studies have found that a plant-based diet may be protective against hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and multiple sclerosis. Founded in , the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research. Food for Life classes teach you how to improve your health with a plant-based diet.
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