We’ve all heard about the growing problem of opiate addiction in the United States. While there are several causes of this epidemic, one of them is addiction of patients being treated for chronic pain. It turns out that a plant-based, or vegan, diet can help prevent and even treat several diseases that result in chronic pain. Let’s look at a few examples.
Diabetics can develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy which causes pain in the leg that is often severe. It turns out that a plant-based diet can cut the risk of developing diabetes in the first place by more than 75%. For those already with neuropathy, a vegan diet can eliminate pain in over 70% of patients and the results are maintained long term. Read more
Nuts are powerful for our health. The evidence is in and there’s a lot of it. Nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, can reduce the risk of death from diabetes by 40 percent, cut heart disease by 30 percent, and reduce the risk of cancer by 15 percent. They also lower the risk of high blood pressure and gall stones, and can even lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Even more good news – it only takes a handful or two of nuts two or three times a week to gain these benefits. Read more
This disease can really hurt. When severe it can double you over and send you to the emergency room. We’re talking about the pain from gall stones. Well over 25 million Americans have gall stones, 700,000 surgeries are performed every year to remove them, and the price tag for all of this is well over $6 billion dollars a year.
Now for the good news. By following a vegetarian diet, you can cut your risk of getting gall stones by half. It gets even better. If you avoid saturated fat, such as that found in dairy, and skip alcoholic beverages, you can cut your risk even more. Interestingly, adding an ounce or two of tree nuts per day takes it down by another 30%.
Now some people have a different kind of gall stones which just cause occasional grumbles and pains. However, these too can emerge as major pains at any time. So it’s good to know that a vegetarian diet also cuts the risk of this type of pesky stones developing by 50%.
With 1 million new cases every year, this problem is not going away any time soon. But you can help protect yourself by following a plant-based diet, the miracle drug of the 21st century.