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Does the paleo diet help with arthritis-min

Can Eating a Paleo Diet Help With Arthritis?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a reader whether adopting a paleo diet would help with their mother’s Arthritis – not having any experience of Arthritis myself, what better way to find out more than to post the question on the Paleo Network’s Facebook page? With almost 60,000 fans, there were a lot of responses, some of which you can read below…

Does the paleo diet help with arthritis-min

From those who know…

A lot of people responding seem to suffer from Arthritis (or similar conditions) themselves, or had experience to share from family members:

  • I suffer with Osteoarthritis and seem to be really good eating Paleo.. When I get off track I know about it.
  • Bread and rice would have put me in a wheelchair eventually if I’d allowed it … Go paleo but strictly speaking only three months strict paleo cured me and eternal bone broth thereafter
  • I know someone who quit gluten for unrelated reasons and it helped arthritis a lot.
  • Take gluten out of diet. I had crippling fibromyalgia until realised it was coeliac disease
  • I have fibromyalgia, which is another inflammation-induced disease, and I definitely notice a huge difference in my pain levels & joint stiffness when I am following Paleo more strictly. Gluten is horrible for autoimmune diseases.
  • I have osteoarthritis and the Paleo Lifestyle has truly helped a lot. My nutritionist told me it would!
  • You have nothing to lose by trying it….my sister has seen her inflammation dramatically reduced the last two weeks on Paleo. She couldn’t close her hand in the morning….now she can and no pain….go for it.
  • I too have fibromyalgia and have had amazing improvement after 20+ years of suffering.
  • Definitely try gluten free and work your way to paleo. I was diagnosed with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Was on methotrexate and enbrel…I went gluten free and was feeling better within a week! Now I am paleo! No more doctors and no more drugs!!
  • Absolutely it would help! I had inflammation in my hip so bad that I could barely walk in the mornings. After 3 months paleo – no pain, inflammation gone and no migraines either (which I had been getting on a regular basis for 10years) arthritis is caused by inflammation so it is soooo worth a try for her!
  • I have arthritis in my knees, I need knee replacement surgery. I also have degenerative disc disease. The x ray of my back looks like a train with the cars off the track. At the urging of my chiropractor I began my journey into Paleo. My pain levels on the scale of 1-10, 1 being less 10 being most, are down from 10+ to 0 to 2 on the average day. I would say it works for arthritis…
  • I found paleo whilst looking to help my arthritis. I’ve got inflammatory arthritis and since going paleo it’s 90% better. No more NSAID’s since week two. Been over a year now.
  • Get rid of gluten! My joint pains stopped when I went wheat free.
  • I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I started eating Paleo during the Lurong Challenge…and I’ve noticed a huge difference in how I feel and in my mobility…get off the refined carbs!
  • I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and was in terrible pain. I am drug and pain free and in remission 2.5 yrs Paleo now.
  • The reason I’m Paleo is because of arthritis.. Pain-free now!!
  • I suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis. Paleo has decreased my pain immensely. Avoid glutens & refined sugars. It has blown my mind how different I feel, and the weight loss makes it even better!! Not a “diet”…it’s a lifestyle change.
  • Yes! I had limited movement in my left arm. Been to physio, rheumatologist, had cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory pills. I have gone Paleo. Lost over 2 stone in weight and my left arm is now back to normal movement, I can even hook my bra at the back. I put this down to Paleo way of eating. I gave up sugar, gluten, wheat, all processed foods. I only use Coconut Oil and natural fats for cooking. Go on, give it at least 3 months and you ‘will’ see/feel different inside and out. Good luck. I only want to share this to help! I also purchased a juicer and I juice lots of veg & fruits.
  • YES, YES, YES. I’m 64 and have NO aches and pains now.
  • Huge difference wouldn’t have believed it till I tried it
  • My mum had the same issues with her hands and feet, gave paleo a go and her aches and pains reduced significantly!
  • Yes, yes, yes!!! I had years of inflammatory arthritis and no grains and sugars helped tremendously!
  • Had tendentious for 10 years,was gone after 1 month of paleo
  • Definitely. Arthritis in hands and legs markedly less in just a week. Cured my morning hobble which made me feel way older than my years and was not a very encouraging way to start each day.

Nightshades

Another common theme among those who replied was Nightshades and an autoimmune paleo diet. In many cases it seems following a broad paleo diet is not enough and an autoimmune protocol is needed:

  • Depends on the type of arthritis. Mine is autoimmune, and after being Paleo for just three weeks, my joints feel much better than they have in years! I also have more energy than I have in a long time.
  • Look at the autoimmune version of paleo which nightshades also contribute to inflammation.
  • I did once read that some arthritis sufferers had had a positive effect from excluding nightshades from their diet.
  • The autoimmune paleo protocol excludes eggs and nightshades too. When I first went paleo my arthritis wasn’t at its worst but stopped with the new diet.
  • No nightshades
  • I have an auto immune disease too & eating Paleo has made a massive massive difference!! Started on an auto immune protocol now so hoping for more benefits
  • Go paleo and then beyond with AIP (Auto Immune Paleo), I control my joint pains and whenever I have gluten or nightshades, I flare up really bad so I know the foods I eat is impacting my health directly. Have her keep a small food journal to help her figure out which foods trigger certain responses.

Inflammation

Another popular topic in the arthritis discussion – inflammation:

  • Paleo would definitely help! Paleo is an anti-inflammatory diet which really has benefits for arthritic pain. By increasing good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and cutting out refined oils and carbohydrates we can effectively reduce arthritic pain. Give it a go!
  • Paleo works well, eliminating gluten is a big part of it. Reducing the inflammation
  • Foods high in flavonoids contribute to inflammation
  • Wheat causes inflammations and arthritis is one of them!

Try this…

There were also a lot of suggestions about other things that could help – Turmeric got several mentions:

  • Turmeric capsules are pretty good for joints
  • Cinnamon and honey in hot water is good for arthritis pain
  • Daily bone broth heals achy bones … Home made easy peasy …. Elimination of caffeine too helps dramatically
  • Tell her to try ginger more in her diet anti inflammatory
  • And fish oils! Lots of them I take 10 x 1000mg every day and if I don’t for a couple of days I have hip and knee pain, constantly! I swear by them.
  • Lots of salmon! Grass fed beef is high in omega three too!

Does Paleo help with Arthritis?

Judging by all of the responses, it definitely seems like eating paleo could help… My favourite comment sums it up nicely: “Get your mum on board. Tell her to give it a try for a couple of months ‘just to see’. She’ll be amazed”

I’d love to continue the discussion – do you have arthritis? Has changing your diet had an impact? Please share your comments below!

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet deficiency supplement nutrition-min

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet

An expert at aiding your body to convert carbohydrates into energy, Vitamin B3 or Niacin plays an important role in the metabolic functions. Good digestive function, detoxification processes, and the creation of hormones – all of these have to say a word of thanks to Niacin as well.

But how do you know if you’re missing this important vitamin in your paleo diet? Niacin deficiency can be characterised by digestive problems, skin infections, lack of appetite, and generalised weakness or muscular weakness. In addition, you might be prone to Niacin deficiency if you’ve suffered from stress, physical trauma, long-term fever, and excessive consumption of alcohol.

It’s quite impressive how Vitamin B3 can benefit your body in adequate amounts. Just look at this list of medical conditions that it may help to prevent or treat – Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, gout, hallucinations, headaches, hyperactivity, hypothyroidism, insomnia, inflammatory bowel disease, menstrual pains, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pellagra, smelling and taste disorders, vertigo. Let’s focus on Alzheimer’s for a moment – in a research from 2004 it was found that elderly subjects who consumed most Niacin in their food were 70% less likely to have Alzheimer’s than those who consumed the least. What an illustration for the power of food in achieving good health until old age. This is what makes the Paleo Diet so fantastic – it shows that delicious whole foods can be the best medicine for your body.

How much Vitamin B3 should you consume?

The recommended daily amount is 20mg, and there are no toxicity symptoms reported to be connected to Niacin consumption from whole foods. However, a tolerable upper limit from supplements is set at 35mg.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet deficiency supplement nutrition-min

Which foods can you get Niacin from?

Now, your body can produce some Vitamin B3 from an amino acid called tryptophan, but this is really inefficient. The Paleo Diet is a great source for adequate Niacin consumption, since it includes a variety of natural food sources. Here are some of the best!

  1. Liver – If you’re looking for a “comprehensive health supplement”, liver is one of the best, and Vitamin B3 is no exception here. A portion of 100g of lamb liver will provide you with 83% of your daily Niacin need, with other animal livers providing just slightly less than that.
  2. Chicken – Lean meats are a great source of Niacin, with chicken at the top of the list. A serving of 100g provides you with 68.6% of your daily need.
  3. Tuna – A protein-rich portion of tuna is another good source for Vitamin B3, as a 100g portion covers 15.7% of your daily intake need. Tuna salad, anyone?
  4. Turkey – Another lean meat, turkey provides 37% of your daily need of Vitamin B3 in a serving size of 100g. If you’re used to preparing a lot of chicken, try turkey on some of the nights instead for a slightly different micronutrient profile.
  5. Venison – Yes, Vitamin B3 seems to be all about lean meats… Venison provides you with 37.1% of your daily Niacin need in a 100g portion. Might be time to ring up that hunter you know!
  6. Halibut – This fish that makes for a lovely dinner along with some veggies provides 35.6% of your daily Niacin need in 100g.
  7. Shiitake mushrooms – These mushrooms that provide a rich taste for any dish cover 19.4% of your daily Niacin need in a 100g portion. That’s a good enough reason to search for some Asian recipes for your next dinner!
  8. Sweet potatoes – Not just a source of carbs to fuel your activity, sweet potatoes also provide some great nutrition. One cup of baked sweet potatoes will cover 8.5% of your daily need of Vitamin B3, so feel free to add them to your preferred piece of meat or fish.

What else should you know about Vitamin B3 consumption?

One of the most stable water-soluble vitamins, Niacin is only minimally influenced by air, light, and heat, and thus you shouldn’t be worried about losing the vitamin B3 content of the food you are cooking or storing.

So, what do you think? Are you planning a meaty (or fishy) Niacin-rich dinner already? Share your thoughts about this vitamin in the comments!

Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid Paleo Diet Primal Supplement Deficiency-min

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) & the Paleo Diet

Do you sometimes suffer from stress? Yes? Then there’s already one reason for you to take note of Vitamin B5 – also known as Pantothenic Acid – that can improve your ability to respond to stressful situations by supporting the adrenal glands. But that’s not all – Vitamin B5 also supports the processes that turn carbohydrates and fats into energy in your body, together with other B-complex vitamins, and helps in the optimal maintenance of fat.

Now, a Vitamin B5 deficiency is not very common, especially when following a natural Paleo diet,  but it’s still good to know its symptoms. You may be deficient of Pantothenic Acid if you experience fatigue, sensations of weakness, and numbness, tingling and burning pain in the feet.

Also, there are a number of medical conditions that Vitamin B5 may help to relieve or prevent, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hyperlipidaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cataracts, “burning foot” syndrome, and adrenal insufficiency. If you think you might benefit from adding more Pantothenic Acid into your menu, read on for recommendations on how to do this through a whole food approach under the Paleo Diet, in order to achieve long term health in a natural way.

How much Vitamin B5 do you need in your diet?

The recommended daily amount for Pantothenic Acid is 10mg. There is no upper limit set in health recommendations, but very high supplemental doses (of 2 or more grams per day) can cause mild diarrhoea.

Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid Paleo Diet Primal Supplement Deficiency-min

Which foods can you get Vitamin B5 from?

  1. Liver – Although all animal livers are a great source for Vitamin B5,  chicken liver will provide the biggest benefit by covering 83% of your daily need in a 100g serving. Adding liver is a great addition to your diet as it is packed with micronutrients, but if you can’t tolerate its taste easily, try mixing some of it with your minced meat when you make meatballs or burger patties. It’s like a naturally fortified mince!
  2. Sunflower seeds – For a sprinkle of Vitamin B5 in your salads, try adding in some sunflower seeds. Two tablespoons of sunflower seeds will provide 21.5% of your daily need.
  3. Shiitake mushrooms – Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins while providing few calories. So if your caloric consumption is on the low end, they’re an especially good addition to the diet. 100g of shiitake mushrooms provide you with 36% of your daily need of Vitamin B5.
  4. Avocado – Not only do avocadoes provide us with good fats, they have valuable micronutrients to keep us happy and healthy! In one medium fruit there’s 20% of your daily need on Pantothenic Acid. Reason enough to mix up a guacamole!
  5. Caviar – If you ever need one, here’s a good excuse to indulge in some caviar. 100g of it will provide 35% of your daily need, but it’s understandable if you’re not going for as much – there’s 6% of your daily Vitamin B5 need in a tablespoon. But beware; you might be wanting more than that!
  6. Sweet potato – The humble sweet potato is also a decent source for Vitamin B5. One cup of cooked sweet potatoes equals to 10.1% of your daily need of Pantothenic Acid. A cheaper source than caviar, at least!
  7. Cauliflower – Here’s an idea for a Vitamin B5-filled snack for your next film night! A cup of raw cauliflower provides 7.1% of your daily need. Snack on!

What else should you know about Vitamin B5?

Pantothenic Acid is relatively unstable in food, with significant amounts being lost through freezing and processing. This shows why the Paleo Diet that promotes fresh whole ingredients is a good approach if you care about vitamin consumption – you will simply more health out of your food!

So, will you take note of Vitamin B5 in your food from now on? Do you have any good recipes to use the specific ingredients? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Paleo diet arthritis rheumatoid Osteoarthritis Psoriatic-min

Arthritis and the Paleo Diet

Unlike many other diets, the Paleo diet is renowned for the fact that it not only encourages weight loss but it can also help with a number of illnesses. One of such illnesses is arthritis which is caused by the inflammation of joints and is particularly common in females. Arthritis can occur in any part of the body and contrary to popular belief; it is not just a health problem which affects old people. Arthritis can occur at any time and any age and it can have a huge effect on a person’s standard of life. The illness causes a lot of swelling and pain throughout the body which can make everyday tasks a huge upheaval.

It is thought that a person’s diet can influence their likelihood of developing arthritis at any stage of their life and there are specific food groups which can actually encourage inflammation of the joints, leading to arthritis over time. The most common foods which are said to enhance the likelihood of arthritis are wheat and grains as they contain a protein called lectin, which is not easy to digest and thus can encourage inflammation.

Paleo diet arthritis rheumatoid Osteoarthritis Psoriatic-min

 

As the Paleo diet completely discourages the consumption of wheat and grains it is thought that it can be hugely important in preventing arthritis and reducing the effects for those who already have the condition. The foods which we know are popular as part of the Paleo diet, including fresh fish and vegetables are anti-inflammatory which means they can reduce the risk of suffering from arthritis. A high intake of Omega-3 in the diet is the perfect way to maintain a good standard of health and this is the reason it is so widely encouraged with the Paleo diet. These food groups are easier to digest which makes them a much healthier option when it comes to taking care of our bodies.

There are many people who will turn to anti-inflammatory tablets as a means of combating the symptoms of arthritis, rather than looking more closely at diet and how this can have an effect on the condition. There is a common misconception that grains are important as a means of increasing fibre intake, but in fact this isn’t really the case. Vegetables which are non-starchy and fresh fruit actually contain much more fibre than what you would find in grains, so skipping these from your diet will not have any adverse effects on the body and overall health.

Grains also have a lack of essential vitamins, including A, C and B12, so there is no reason why they have to be part of any healthy diet. The key foods on the Paleo diet such as vegetables, meat and fruit have these in abundance so are a much healthier choice when it comes to looking after your diet.

In order to take good care of the body from the inside to the outside and setting it up for a long and healthy life, the diet we choose to follow is vitally important. As we all know, there are lots of diets which are constantly introduced but many of these focus entirely on lowering weight as opposed to keeping us healthy. There are many diets which will help us lose weight very quickly but these can actually be very detrimental to health. The Paleo diet on the other hand can offer a way to enhance our quality of life which is what makes it so popular and the reason why the popularity continues to grow.

Arthritis can be hugely dilapidating and can even be so severe that it can prevent people from carrying out normal day to day tasks and being able to work. The Paleo diet is the ideal way to introduce the right food groups in order to help prevent this illness or significantly reduce the effects of it. It is not a quick fix though, it takes a lot of dedication and following it to the letter – and the longer this is done, the easier it becomes. The incorporation of exercise together with the Paleo diet can provide a quicker way of combating arthritis and preventing the stiffness of the disease which can cause major health issues.

If you suffer from arthritis  I’d love to hear how Paleo has helped and how much difference it has made. Surely following a real food, Paleo diet is a much safer health option than consuming tablets, which are only really a temporary resolution.