Health

The Pantry Staple That Finally Soothed One Woman’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Severe joint pain left Sonya Holland facing a lifetime of prescription meds… until she found the amazing remedy for rheumatoid arthritis right in her own kitchen!

“Not again. I can’t take this anymore,” Sonya Holland groaned as she woke to familiar agonizing pain shooting down her arms and legs. The Palm Springs, California, 71-year-old had been battling ever-worsening aches for months. It had gotten so severe, she recently had to stop working as a massage therapist. This morning, she could barely walk to the bathroom.

This won’t do, Sonya thought fiercely. I’ve got to take charge of my health.

No More Pain

Having had enough, Sonya dragged herself to the doctor, who after running tests, diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue.

“RA is an incurable illness, but there is medication that can ease the symptoms,” the doctor said. But when he added that there were dietary and lifestyle changes that could provide relief too, Sonya told him she’d like to give those a try. He advised her to avoid smoking, alcohol, and salt and to reduce stress. In the meantime, he prescribed some mild steroids and pain medication to keep her comfortable.

Neither a smoker nor a drinker, Sonya began researching nutritional changes she might make. She learned that fibrous foods, beans in particular, were shown to reduce RA symptoms and improve joint pain.

The fiber in legumes, such as black beans, red beans, and lentils, she read, reduces levels of C reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, which is responsible for inflammation in the joints. Beans are also packed with protein, which can help boost the immune system while lowering inflammation. Additionally, beans help increase probiotic bacteria in the gut, further boosting immunity and reducing inflammation.

Hopeful, Sonya began eating a half cup of beans daily. She also removed all refined sugar, processed foods, and nightshades from her diet, increased green vegetables and drank up to a gallon of water a day.

Slowly, Sonya’s rheumatoid arthritis pain began to ease. Soon, she was able to walk without cringing, and she even resumed doing water aerobics.

But real proof came 3½ months later, when she went for a checkup and was told her blood work had massively improved. She’d also dropped 25 pounds, further reducing her risk of RA symptoms.

Thrilled, Sonya made beans a permanent part of her diet. Today, the 72-year-old is off all pain meds, except for an occasional Advil. “My arms and legs feel like new,” Sonya beams. “It truly is a miracle — I have my life back!”

Surprising health benefits of soluble fiber:

Blasts disease-causing belly fat: Visceral fat (abdominal fat that surrounds internal organs and blood vessels) can raise the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of blood sugar to stave off this fat storage. In fact, a study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber (from eating just two small apples or half a cup of beans) significantly reduced visceral fat.

Helps the heart: Soluble fiber binds to LDL “bad” cholesterol in your GI tract so it can’t be absorbed into the bloodstream to clog arteries. A 2020 review of plant-based diets found that eating 4 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day lowers “bad” cholesterol by 10 percent. Studies have also found that eating nuts and seeds, both high in soluble fiber, reduces risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 39 percent.

Fights breast cancer: Harvard researchers found that increasing intake of total fiber — specifically soluble fiber —significantly reduced breast cancer risk. Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat for Life (Buy on Amazon, $17.99), says, “Soluble fiber alters estrogen metabolism, which helps prevent the production of hormones that can fuel cancer growth.”

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This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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