Regardless of your age, RA is usually described as having swollen and painful joints. RA is different from osteoarthritis (OA). OA is when the joints have been worn down. RA is usually the result of your immune system actually attacking your joints.
Currently researchers still don’t fully understand why this occurs. So let’s take a closer look at how your diet can have a positive or negative effect on your body.
A Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet
Many RA sufferers are looking for natural ways to reduce the pain in their joints. In addition to taking anti-inflammatory supplements, many are also changing their diets to increase their intake of anti-inflammatory foods. These are foods that may actually reduce inflammation in the body and also help to reduce the pain and swelling in the joints.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 acids are naturally found in certain types of fish including scallops, halibut, wild salmon and tuna. In addition to adding these varieties of cold water fish to your diet, consider adding nuts like walnuts and almonds. Finally, you can also add flax seeds to your morning oatmeal, yogurt, morning smoothie and other baked foods.
Enjoy More Flavonoids throughout your Day Flavonoids can only be found in plants and are a source of powerful antioxidants properties. Research suggests these same flavonoids offer natural benefits including anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory fruits include pineapple, a natural source of bromelain, and drinking tart cherry juice. Cherries contain powerful anthocyanins that help to reduce inflammation in the muscles and other areas of the body. However, some individuals are concerned about any side effects. Click here to learn about the side effects of drinking tart cherry juice. Here is a brief list of other foods that are rich in flavonoids.
Add Antioxidants Antioxidants help the body to fight off the effects of damaging free radicals. Free radicals can cause tissue and cell damage leading to disease and inflammation. Powerful antioxidants like vitamins E, C, lycopene and carotene help to provide the body with antioxidant power. Add antioxidant rich foods to your diet like beets, carrots, red wine, ginger and blueberries.
Enjoy Olive Oil Switch from cooking with butter or margarine to olive oil. In addition, trade out your salad dressing with a simple balsamic and olive oil combination. The reason is the fats naturally found in olive oil contain an anti-inflammatory compound called prostacyclin. This helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Add Some Spice to Your Life Did you know certain types of spices actually reduce inflammation? For example, the popular spice of Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Curcumin offers the body powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, chili peppers, a natural source of capsaicin, also helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Follow Popular Diets Both the Mediterranean Diet and the Paleo diet encourage people to eat fresh vegetables, fruits grains, while avoiding processed foods. While diets can be trendy, take the most beneficial advice from each diet and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid In addition to increasing your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, you also need to reduce the amount of inflammation causing foods, too.
Avoid Fast Food In today’s hectic and busy world, it may be hard to completely eliminated fast food from your diet. However, the benefits are well worth the effect. The reason fast foods cause inflammation in the body is they are packed full of unhealthy stuff. The best way to remember the type of foods to avoid is to follow the 3 “P’s”. These are any food that is processed, packaged or prepared.
Fried Foods Foods like potato chips, deep fried twinkies, French fries and other fried foods should be avoided. The oils in these prepared foods may cause inflammation and adversely affect your cholesterol levels.
Soft Drinks and Juices White sugar and other sweeteners are highly addictive and have an inflammatory effect on the body. While it may be difficult to completely rid your diet of sugar and sweeteners, every little bit matters. Start by reducing the amount of soft drinks you consume and only drink juice made from 100% pure fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates. For example, our cherry juice concentrate contains no added sugar and is 100% natural. Look for refreshing drinks that are all natural and pure.
- Alcohol Alcohol contains high amounts of sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Also, consult your doctor or healthcare provider prior to changing your diet or taking new supplements.