Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that can affect people of any age. It is not the same as osteoarthritis, which is the natural deterioration of joints over time. When your immune system attacks your joints, you get RA. The root cause is unknown. The most distressing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms — pain, stiffness, and swelling — all stem from the same source: inflammation. So, the question arises what to do in such a situation? The solution is having a proper diet as it plays an essential role here.
Your diet should include foods with anti-inflammatory properties as they reduce the inflammation in the body. Foods have this effect due to specific components, nutrients, or elements. Here's a list of those elements, as well as foods that contain them.
- Fibre - Fibre can help with weight loss and may help with gut bacteria that reduce inflammation. Increase your fibre intake with wholesome fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts.
- Spices - Spices can help to reduce inflammation in your body. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It is related to ginger and may have a similar effect. However, curcumin does not work as well without piperine, a substance found in black pepper. To reduce inflammation, combine turmeric with a pinch of black pepper. Capsaicin, a compound found in chilli peppers, also aids in inflammation reduction in the body.
- Antioxidants - Antioxidants may help to reduce the symptoms of RA. These compounds can destroy harmful elements in your body, such as the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). They can also help with inflammation. You can get more benefits by eating foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as selenium.
- Flavonoids - Flavonoids are plant-derived compounds. When we eat fruits and vegetables, they find their way into our bodies. Flavonoids can help reduce RA pain and swelling by reducing inflammation in your body. Flavonoids-rich foods include the following: green tea, broccoli, dark chocolate, grapes etc.
- Olive Oil - Antioxidants, polyphenols, oleuropein, and oleocanthal are all found in olive oil. The compounds have properties like anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory.
- Fish - Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies. According to the Arthritis Foundation, fat molecules help to fight against the inflammation that causes RA joint pain.
- Nuts & Seeds - Nuts and seeds can help you fight inflammation. Monounsaturated fat, protein, and fibre are abundant in walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds. Experts advise eating one handful of nuts and seeds per day.
These small changes in diet can help you with the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. This disease is not severe but it is important to stay safe and take a healthy diet.
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