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Joint Care And The Vegan Diet

There are many reasons why we may choose to eschew animal products in our diets. For some, it’s merely a matter of practicality. They are intolerant to lactose or allergic to eggs or they have trouble digesting meat. There are many who see the ethical cost of a plate of chili con carne or a t-bone steak too great to justify. Why should animals live short and agonizing lives in order to sustain a species that can get by just as well without them? There’s also the issue of sustainability. We’ve become much better educated over the past few decades about the enormous harm we’re doing to our environment and documentaries like Cowspiracy have highlighted the enormous amount of water, energy, and resources that go into raising livestock for slaughter. Whatever our reasoning for turning to a vegan diet, we want to ensure that we are able to keep our bodies fit, healthy and youthful without causing suffering.

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Taking care of our joints

For this reason, here we’re going to look at maintaining healthy joints on a vegan diet. For years conventional wisdom has taught us that we should load up on oily fish for healthy and mobile joints and ensure that we drink lots of milk for healthy bones. The science behind the latter is contentious, to say the least. Aside from keeping your joints well supported with the kinds of products you’ll find at Arthritis Hope.com, it’s important to maintain good joint health through our diet. We should also make sure that we engage in regular strength training to strengthen the muscle tissue around our joints to reduce the stress and pressure on them, especially in exercise.

Here are some principles of joint care on a vegan diet;

It’s all about anti-inflammatories

Most joint pain is caused by inflammation whether it’s the result of a condition like arthritis or simply overexertion at the gym. As such your diet should be packed with natural anti-inflammatories to keep your joints healthy and mobile whatever your age. These include;

  • Basil – It not only adds some extra flavor to your sauce, but it also contains eugenol, which is anti-inflammatory and is important for health problems like arthritis or inflammation in your gut.
  • Garlic, onions, and leeks – Some of the most potent anti-inflammatories out there.
  • Ginger- Tasty, versatile and can not only help to combat inflammation but has also been proven to be a great immune booster.
  • Apples- They’re not just anti-inflammatory, they’re rich in antioxidants and quercetin which is important for developing new cartilage for healthy joints. Check out my tasty Sweet Potato Carrot Soup with garlic, leeks, ginger, and apples.
  • Squash– It’s naturally anti-inflammatory, it’s delicious and it’s oh-so-versatile. Check out this delicious squash recipe


What to avoid

While a vegan diet is free of the kinds of foods traditionally known to trigger inflammation like red meat, cookies, and pastries containing saturated fats like butter or shortening and dairy products, it’s important to remember that ditching animal products is not a panacea in and of itself. It’s perfectly easy to be unhealthy on a vegan diet, which is why you should avoid processed foods in general, particularly trans fats like margarine and high sodium foods like potato chips. You should also steer clear of refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta which are also chock full of hidden sugars which will increase your body fat ratio and put more stress on your joints.