Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment—
Non-Dairy Sources of Probiotic Supplements
by Barbara D. Allan
Author of Conquering Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is not inevitable, no matter the particulars of your family history or genetics. Some people have genetics that make them more susceptible, but something must still trigger the disease process. Likewise, it is usually possible, even after the rheumatoid arthritis has been triggered, to “untrigger” it by reversing its underlying causes.
One underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis is a disruption of healthy gut bacteria. This can happen because of any number of stressors: taking antibiotics, losing a job, losing a loved one, having a loved one seriously ill or injured, divorce, your home going into foreclosure, surgery, taking a board exam, traveling in a third world country, getting some other illness, working long hours without enough rest and more. Even joyful events like the birth or a child, a job promotion or, moving to a new house can cause stress that can trigger RA.
This is because for most people stress has a strong impact on the gut. Once gut flora gets out of balance it can stay that way for years and years, until something helps it rebalance itself.
This rebalancing of gut flora is one way to help “untrigger” rheumatoid arthritis.
One way to do this is by reintroducing healthy bacteria everyday through your diet.
Most people know about the benefits of eating live culture yogurt because of the healthy bacteria it contains. Most people don’t realize the almost infinite number of other sources of probiotics. Many can be made in your own kitchen without much effort and easily incorporated into your everyday diet.
If you can eat dairy, it is easy to get probiotics through yogurt, kefir, and the many commercial probiotics supplements grown on a dairy base.
If you can’t eat dairy, you may not realize how easy it is to still get enough probiotics.
Below is partial list of the many non-dairy probiotics-containing foods you can eat and drink. Click the links for recipes and resources for ordering the commercially available products (This list is added to regularly - Check back for updates).
- Commercially available cultured coconut milk
- Homemade cultured coconut milk, soymilk, rice milk or fruit juice made using kefir grains
- Unpasteurized sauerkraut
- Unpasteurized kimchi (also spelled kim chee)
- Pickled ginger root
- Sour pickles
- Other Vegetable ferments, such as pickled beets, pickled turnips, pickled daikon radishes, etc.
- Brine from ferments used as a digestive tonic and Soup Stock
- Fermented chutney
- MIso Pickles
- Ferments made from other beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc.
- Rejuvenac—made from sprouted grain
- Kombucha—a tea fermented with a special kombucha culture
- Porridge—fermented overnight before cooking to increase digestibility
These probiotics-containing foods start with either an already established culture which you can buy or someone can gift you (yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh and other bean ferments and kombutcha) or capture wild bacteria from the air (sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, rejuvenac and porridge.)