I have a very dear friend who has recently been suffering from what doctors believe to be a localized flare-up of osteoarthritis. The pain in her foot has become so intense it has substantially altered her ability to function normally and even walking has become an excruciating experience. Having suffered with osteoarthritis in my knees before bilateral knee-replacement surgery, I can relate to the impact constant pain can have on your ability to enjoy everyday life and withstand depression, although I never experienced pain this intense.
Armed with a relatively new understanding and respect for the power nutrition can have in both preventing and treating chronic diseases, I set out to examine the evidence available for the effective treatment of osteoarthritis through diet. I ran across a quote from a patient whose words mirrored my friend’s experience; ” I started getting a lot of pain in my right wrist, and no one knew why. I had been to eight doctors, and I thought that there was no hope for me. I had an MRI, many X-rays and a bone scan to try to find out what was wrong.” This patient ended up on drugs like Methotrexate®, Oraval®, Voltarin® and others; “each drug had a different side effect and I still wasn’t getting better.” She then discovered Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of #1 NY Times best-selling book, Eat to Live and a specialist in nutritional medicine and “in just a few short months, Dr. Fuhrman eliminated the pain in my wrist.”
How? Dr. Fuhrman believes “osteoarthritis is a disease that can be prevented and helped via nutritional excellence.” He has clinically demonstrated that “dietary modifications and the judicious use of appropriate nutritional supplements can eliminate pain and induce a remission in those with osteoarthritis.” The bottom line is, once again, a plant-based diet supplemented by vitamins and minerals shown to be particularly effective in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Aside from obviously avoiding all animal products, here’s a list of foods and supplements that will substantially reduce and potentially eliminate the ravages of osteoarthritis:
It is interesting to note that Dr. Fuhrman believes arthitis is not caused by aging, but rather the cumulative effect of years and years consuming an unhealthy diet. Making significant changes now can halt and even reverse the effects of long-term nutritional abuse.
You’ve seen the compelling evidence here for better health resulting from switching to a plant-based diet, but here’s a different take. In addition to the dramatic health improvements, there appears to be a viable and substantial economic reason as well. Adding greens to your diet will likely add those other greens to your wallet!
Plant-Based Diet Made Me Healthier While I Saved Thousands on Insurance
I have always been an athlete. From a young age, my mother would place my two brothers and me in any sports activity that was available. I grew up playing baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and running track. In high school, I was recruited to play football as a linebacker and told to gain weight. During this time, I worked part-time in an ice cream shop and would consume one milkshake every hour trying to pack on the pounds. I went from weighing 165 pounds to 215 pounds. My diet was filled with high fat, high sugar foods so I could maintain this weight.
I went on to play college football, where my weight reached 240 pounds. I was training with my team and felt I was in great shape. Following college, I started a business and a family. The weight was tough to get off. I tried every diet on the market losing weight at first, but gaining it right back when off the diet. I was always hungry and frustrated. I continued an exercise program, but it did little to control my weight.
Eventually, my health began to suffer. My joints ached, my feet burned, my cholesterol was too high, my blood work was off, and my heart and lungs showed signs of wear. I was still exercising at the gym and riding my bike, but I felt horrible. All the doctors would do is prescribe more medication. I finally hit my breaking point, when my wife retired and we lost our health coverage. Trying to find a health carrier, I was told I was uninsurable with an individual plan and would have to join a group to get group coverage. I ended up paying $2,790 a month to cover three of us!
I had enough. I started looking into eating plans that I could sustain. A friend and fellow cyclist and I discovered Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live program. I began a plant-based diet but wondered how long I could stay on task. I also began to research vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. I came across the documentary Forks Over Knivesand my life changed. I made the commitment to follow a vegan diet and have never looked back. Forks Over Knives showed me how and why this eating plan worked. I loved the recipes provided and have now been on a plant-based diet for 11 months! In 6 months I lost 40 pounds. I feel better than I can ever remember. I am stronger and fitter than I was when competing in football. The response from friends and coworkers has been overwhelming. I can eat until satisfied and never find myself hungry, cranky, or fatigued.
The highlight of this lifestyle came when my doctor called with the results of my recent blood work. It was perfect! My former doctor had told me it would be impossible for me to alter my cholesterol levels without statin medication, but I proved him wrong! My monthly health insurance premiums are now $809, saving me about $2,000 a month. I am taking no prescription medications whatsoever. I can honestly say I owe my health to a plant-based diet!