6 Foods That Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation
The main goal of rheumatoid arthritis management is to reduce inflammation that's to blame for the most overwhelming symptoms - pain, swelling, and stiffness. More and more doctors include dietary changes in RA treatment because they matter.
According to a study published in April 2021 in Arthritis Research and Therapy, RA sufferers who had an anti-inflammatory diet were able to control the disease much better than those who followed inflammatory diets. Scientists have discovered that the beneficial effects of an anti-inflammatory diet are long-term.
There is also evidence that diets rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and plant fiber might lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, polyunsaturated fatty acids and plant fiber can reduce the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) that indicates joint inflammation.
Experts suggest that fiber is especially beneficial, but it might be that the phytonutrients in high-fiber veggies, fruits, and grains lead to lessening it. It's also known that regular consumption of fish with high omega-3 content, like herring, salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel might alleviate joint tenderness and swelling.
Keep in mind that if your symptoms are severe, an anti-inflammatory diet alone won't solve the problem. So, it's a good idea to consult a pain specialist, since dietary changes might be not enough.
But still, a healthy diet can help reduce the amount of medication needed and the side effects of the medication. Eating healthy has never been known to worsen any condition. Here are some foods that can help you relieve RA symptoms and keep your body healthy and strong:1. Carrots
Carrots are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene - nutrients that are known for their inflammation-fighting properties. Consider cooking carrots, as heating seems to improve their effectiveness. For the best results, consume these veggies regularly in recommended serving sizes rather than overdoing it by consuming them in large quantities. A single serving of carrots is about one large carrot.2. Ginger
Ginger has compounds that work the same way as anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen and aspirin. Ginger supplements can be helpful as well. But it's best to check with your doctor before taking them. Too much ginger can contribute to blood thinning, which can be dangerous for people who are taking blood-thinning drugs, such as Coumadin. It can also lower blood glucose resulting in hypoglycemia.3. Cherry juice
According to a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, consumption of Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers the levels of uric acid and raises specific anthocyanins (a type of antioxidants) in the blood. But more research is needed to identify how much cherry juice is recommended to consume to get benefits.4. Olive oil
Oleocanthal, a compound contained in extra-virgin olive oil, seems to suppress the same pathway as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, making it a great option to use while cooking foods or in recipes, such as salad dressings as part of your daily management plan when living with chronic pain.5. Berries
Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, and strawberries are especially beneficial for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. These berries are packed with powerful antioxidants, such as ellagic acid and proanthocyanidins, which combat free radicals and inflammation.6. Pineapple
Pineapple is high in vitamin C and bromelain, which has been associated with reduced pain and swelling in both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Bromelain can also be taken in supplement form. However, don't forget to check with your healthcare provider before taking it since it can raise your risk of internal bleeding, especially if you're currently on blood-thinning drugs like Plavix, aspirin, or Coumadin. Plus, bromelain might also lessen the effects of antibiotics and sedatives.
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