Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Eating vegetables may help soothe the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, a new study says.
A plant-based diet can help with weight loss and relieve the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, according to research published Tuesday in Frontiers in Nutrition.
On the other hand, consuming red meat can aggravate the condition, causing higher body mass index and joint pain from inflammation.
"A plant-based diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes may be tremendously helpful for those with rheumatoid arthritis," Hana Kahleova, the study's co-author who runs clinical research for the Physicians Committee, said in a press release.
In a review of clinical trials and observational studies, researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine uncovered four ways to a plant-based diet can positively impact rheumatoid arthritis.
In one study, patients prescribed a plant-based diet for two-months had lower levels of C-reactive proteins, which are linked to inflammation. Other research showed the low-fat and high fiber normally associated with plant-based diets helped to alleviate morning stiffness and joint swelling.
Another analysis showed plant-based diets helped to lose weight better than diets that contain meat. Losing just 11 pounds made it three times more likely a person's rheumatoid arthritis symptoms would go into remission.
Finally, the researchers say the high-fiber of a plant-based diet can diversify gut bacteria, which also may help relieve the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
"This study offers hope that with a simple menu change, joint pain, swelling, and other painful symptoms may improve or even disappear," Kahleova said.