Plant-based diets appear to decrease inflammation via a variety of mechanisms, including boosting our adrenal gland function. Glucocorticoids are circulating steroid hormones produced by our adrenal glands that suppress inflammation and also help our kidneys excrete potassium. When we eat a lot of potassium-rich foods our adrenal glands secrete more glucocorticoids to keep our potassium levels in check, which may have the side effect of decreasing the level of inflammation in the body. See my 3-min video Potassium and Autoimmune Disease for the effect this may have on autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis.
Where is potassium found? See my post last week, 98% of American Diets Potassium Deficient. Hint: bananas don't even make the top 50 sources!
What about autoimmune arthritis? See my previous post Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis and my videos Preventing Arthritis and Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Eating healthier doesn't improve everyone's joint pain, but as with all nontoxic treatment modalities, they should always be tried first.
Plant-based diets may help with other pain syndromes:
- Plant-Based Diets For Breast Pain
- Fibromyalgia vs. Vegetarian & Raw Vegan Diets
- Fibromyalgia vs. Mostly Raw & Mostly Vegetarian Diets
- Cholesterol and Lower Back Pain
as well as other hypersensitivity diseases:
- Preventing Childhood Allergies
- Preventing Allergies in Adulthood
- What are the best foods to decrease seasonal nasal allergies (rhinitis)?
-Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death. My 2013 review should be out in July.
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