Autoimmune DiseaseHealingInflammation

Man Says Raw Foods Were Key to Healing his Rheumatoid Arthritis

Walt Merrill had been suffering for years and was already disabled when he finally sought help for the Rheumatoid Arthritis attacking the joints of his legs. His biggest lesson learned:

“If I had to do it over again I would have started earlier.”

In 2015 Matt Monarch interviewed Walt for his show Raw Food World on YouTube where Walt recounts how he conquered the autoimmune condition called Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). RA is an inflammatory condition where the body attacks the joints over time leading to extreme swelling, pain, and eventually degeneration and loss of ability.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own joints, eventually leading to disability and permanent loss of movement.
The disease affects more than 2 million Americans today. When Walt first sought help for his RA, there was already some irreversible damage done. He says,

“The knees over time were inflamed and swollen, they ended up being deformed a little bit.”

Today Walt still does not have full range of motion in one knee but he says that he feels great besides that. He healed himself with the support of his wife, naturopath, and physical therapist. Now Walt is passionate about sharing the three simple keys to his conquering RA. According to him,

“It was food, water, and exercise.”

A Rhematologist first diagnosed Walt with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but he chose to seek treatment from a naturopath. He also did as much research as he could on his own and tried many different things, some that worked and some that didn’t. He says he felt nutrition was the key to turning things around with his condition.

“Once I started eating organic fresh fruits and vegetables and that type of thing and no junk food, no processed food, and all that, I could feel I was getting rid of a little bit of the pain, a little at a time.”

Walt says that raw plant foods including organic fruit and vegetables were a key to putting his Rheumatoid Arthritis in remission.
Walt admits he didn’t give what he ate much thought before battling this disease.

“Before this happened I ate like every other American does. You know, you go to McDonalds here and there and you eat processed foods and other things, and you didn’t really think about the importance of having a raw diet and eating organic vegetables and fruits. I believe that’s one of the things that helped a lot. Eventually I found out that eating these things would help clean out the toxins and inflammation out of your body.”

Walt claims that replacing softdrinks with water was another key to he conquering his condition.

“Water helps clean you out and gets you in a better position to heal yourself.”

Exercise was the third key to his healing. For years his wife had been telling him to “get up and move.” But he recalls just wanted to sit, describing his knee pain as “horrific.” His naturopath also recommended he also see a physical therapist which would take him further in his healing. Finally Walt took his wife’s caring advice to heart and got moving. Working with his therapist, he began to get more range of motion in his knees. He says,

“You don’t have to be a real gymnist or anything. You just have to get up and move, take a walk, go outdoors, get sun, that’s what I learned.”

Eventually he was able to walk again without a walker and he claims he has mostly restored function in his joints and feels healthier otherwise on his new diet. Inspired to share the key to his self-healing, Walt wrote a book called Arthritis: How I Conquered It.

Walt Merrill says the three keys to healing his Rheumatoid Arthritis were 1. good nutrition from whole raw foods including organic fruits and vegetables, 2. replacing soft drinks with clean water, and 3. getting regular exercise.

“After I healed myself I got to thinking – I’ve done such a nice job on myself in healing and taking care of this Rheumatoid Arthritis I want to spread the word to other people. I want to let as many people know how I was helped in hopes that it will help them. Because there are millions of people around the world that suffer from it and I know how excruciating the pain can be.”

Still, Walt hesitates to use the word “cure” saying he believes he put his condition in remission. He feels that his diet is key to his continued wellness and that a return to the old ways would bring the disease back.

“I would never go back to the other diet and the other way of life. I’ll continue this as long as I live because I believe it works and I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize it.”

Walt’s story is one of over 300 stories of healing with a plant based diet collected so far for this Healing With Plants series. I thought I had collected a lot of stories, but in the interview with Walt, Matt Monarch claims he has personally met tens of thousands of people who have healed from degenerative diseases. In the interview with Walt, Monarch mentions how his work has exposed him to numerous examples of healing with diet,

“I’ve heard of people healing from Rheumatoid Arthritis even on a cooked whole foods diet – 80% raw – avoiding all the McDonalds and processed foods. This absolutely has the potential to work from my perspective.”

There is always the critic who hears one of these inspiring stories and screams – Anecdotal evidence! What works for one person doesn’t work for all! But, while one story alone you could call anecdotal evidence, a growing mountain of stories you might call a cure.
View the full interview with Walt below.

Follow Healing With Plants on Instagram @planthealing
1. Healing With Plants, Healing Autoimmune Disease With a Plant-Based Diet 
2. Raw Food World, Matt Monarch, Walt Healed Rheumatoid Arthritis with Raw Food
3. WebMD, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reya Steele Andrews

Reya (Steele) Andrews is a holistic health writer, educator, and publisher at Healing With Plants. Reya is a certified Holistic Nutritionist (AFPA), is certified in Plant-based Nutrition, and teaches nutrition science and healthy food preparation. Find her book, The Frugivore Diet, on Amazon.

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One Comment

  1. Simply put arthritis is the wearing out and breaking down of joints while bursitis is an over-use repetitive stress on certain areas of your body. Nothing you eat will prevent bursitis.

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