Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating joint disorder. Individuals suffer from inflamed, deformed joints, pain, and inability to function in even the most basic ways. The disorder is chronic, and it progresses from slight inflammation of joints to total immobility, primarily in the far extremities of fingers, feet, wrists, and ankles. Physicians identify RA by its symmetric attacks; both hands, both ankles, and other joints are equally affected. RA is an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system attacks healthy body tissue.
Though researchers and doctors understand the symptoms, causes for the disorder are still under research. Studies have concluded that antibodies designed to attack dangerous viruses and bacteria, instead, attack healthy tissue. Though there is no cure, certain foods may help, and others exacerbate symptoms:
1. Good fats
Foods high in natural fats like salmon and avocados are naturally anti-inflammatory and can help reduce pain and immobility in the joints.
High-fat foods are exceptionally beneficial in the care of people suffering from RA. The foods recommended by dietitians include fatty seafood like salmon, tuna, herring, and other fish that live in colder water. They are rich in the fatty acid, Omega-3, which many believe can help fight inflammation. Choose anti-inflammatory foods to reduce symptoms.
3. Fruits and vegetables
In addition to fatty seafood, a person suffering from RA benefits from eating berries, broccoli, spinach, grapes, and other fresh vegetables and fruits. Stick to berries high in antioxidants and foods rich in fat like avocados to get the highest benefits. There is no research that proves potatoes and tomatoes are inflammatory, so they should be safe to eat, too.
Many nuts, including walnuts, pecans, cashews, and other fatty nuts can help to keep joints lubricated and reduce inflammation. The key is to find foods with high fat content.
5. Cooking oils
For a RA diet, be sure to use high-fat, healthy oils like olive oil or fish oil, and don’t scrimp on the garlic. These are anti-inflammatory in nature and tasty, besides. Studies involving people who suffer from RA found a decrease in markers for inflammation by a large margin for those who used olive oil and fish oil. In addition, another study found people who did not suffer from RA had lower risk of developing the disease.
6. Foods to avoid
Fatty fish, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits, olive oil and garlic have medicinal effects on joints, but conversely, there are many foods one should avoid or eliminate when suffering from RA. Processed foods like white sugar and refined flour may worsen the symptoms of RA. A few foods to avoid include processed foods, AGEs (methods of cooking including grilling, frying, sautéing, among others), and dairy. If one suffers from RA, they should also avoid salt, corn oil, and refined carbs such as snack cakes. In addition to foods, one should avoid alcohol and tobacco; both have the effects of increasing inflammation and therefore exacerbating the symptoms of RA.
It is best to live a healthier life full of fresh foods and fatty fish. Choose foods and behaviors that reduce inflammation and improve motor acuity to remain mobile for longer. Though there is no cure for RA, there are natural methods of improving your lifestyle. By applying a rheumatoid arthritis diet, you may find yourself living a happier, pain-reduced life.