Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition characterised by inflammation in the body and joint pain. This disorder affects different individuals differently. You might feel like you’re coming down with the flu. You might feel pain and stiffness in your joints or even experience swelling. The pain can sometimes take over the entire body. The symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating, with some patients having difficulty performing daily activities during arthritis flare-ups. And all of this takes a toll on mental health as well.
If you’re suffering from this condition, you’ll need to follow your doctor’s recommendations and take the prescribed medications. But you should also consider a change in lifestyle, especially when it comes to your diet. Here are some foods that can help.
A 2016 research review found several studies that promote the benefits of turmeric in treating arthritis, but the researchers agree that there is a need for further studies. The main alleged perk of turmeric is curcumin, an ingredient that is believed to reduce inflammation, which is one of the main characteristics of RA. This famous Asian spice is fantastic for people with a taste for spicy Asian cuisine, but you can also consume it daily via soothing turmeric milk.
You see it as a garnish on entrées in restaurants, but have you ever thought about parsley’s healing properties? Well, the Mexican researchers who published a study about it in 2016 sure have. They’ve discovered that luteolin and other flavonoids found in parsley help block inflammatory proteins. That’s why regularly eating parsley in salads, mains, and other dishes can help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints.
Certain types of fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the inflammatory proteins in the body. Eating a minimum of three to four ounces of these or other cold-water fish twice a week can really make a difference in how frequently and how intensely you’ll experience the arthritis symptoms. You can check out some of our fish recipes for some foodspo!
Avocado is much more than just another hipster food fad. Because it is rich in anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, the carotenoid lutein, and vitamin E, this fruit can help ease arthritis symptoms. That’s why avocado is a highly recommended ingredient in the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet, the main goal of which is to reduce inflammation in the body. For further research, you can read this AIP guide about the food list you can follow.
It’s no secret that garlic provides numerous health benefits, but did you know that it also has anti-inflammatory properties? One study found that it can decrease the risk of hip osteoarthritis, while another one proved that it can reduce some of the inflammatory markers linked to arthritis.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest and one of the most underrated foods out there. It is rich with valuable components that can reduce the symptoms of RA. For example, sulforaphane blocks the formation of the cells which have a crucial role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Besides being used for making wine, grapes are very useful for decreasing the levels of inflammatory markers in the body. They contain various compounds beneficial for arthritis treatment. One of them is resveratrol, an antioxidant found in fresh grape skin. This compound has the potential to block the formation of rheumatoid arthritis cells. Furthermore, proanthocyanidin present in the seeds of the grapes also has the ability to reduce inflammation.
Do you think Popeye ate spinach just because? Of course not. Spinach has impressive benefits that can make you stronger and healthier. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, spinach scores plenty of points by containing a bunch of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Kaempferol, in particular, reduces the inflammatory agents linked to RA.
Several studies have investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil and its role in alleviating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The results of one, done on mice, showed that olive oil can decrease inflammation, slow cartilage destruction, and reduce joint swelling. Another study found that olive oil consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing RA.
Following a diet plan packed with anti-inflammatory foods can definitely help in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which can often be overwhelming. If you’re not sure whether you can keep up with a detailed plan such as the AIP, you can first start by introducing some of the mentioned foods into your diet, and see how that works for you.