November is recognized as World Vegan Month, a time for advocacy for a meatless diet. Veganism differs from vegetarianism in that people who observe vegan eating habits do not eat any types of food made from or by animals.
Recent research into arthritis and joint pain suggest that adopting a vegan diet may be beneficial for patients. According to the study, published in April, 2022 in American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine participants who observed a vegan diet for the duration of the study reported a decrease in joint pain symptoms when they abstained from eating meat and animal byproducts. Additional results from a sub-study in this research revealed a reduction of joint stiffness and pain for patients who ate vegan while reducing pain medication. Read the study online.
In a typical vegan diet, people can eat:
- Most fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods
- Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas
- Soy-based foods like tofu and tempeh
- Nuts and seeds
- Rice, pasta and breads that do not contain animal byproducts
Aside from meat, poultry and seafood, these foods are not consumed by strict vegans:
- Dairy products – vegans use substitutes made with soy, nuts or plant-based products
- Eggs and fish roe, and products derived from eggs like mayonnaise
- Honey – vegans use plant-based nectars such as agave
Benefits of a vegan diet may also include reduced cholesterol and weight loss, while some adherents may have issues with a proper source of Omega-3 oils and other nutrients like Vitamin B-12. Before adjusting your diet to help with your joint pain, discuss your options with your physician.