Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system essentially attacks the tissue around your own joints. This is why it is considered an autoimmune disease. A good diet can help ease arthritis symptoms. Keep reading to learn types of food that might help rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when they are eaten. Other foods might help RA when they are avoided.
Check with your doctor and pharmacist before adding any supplements to your diet.
Take a fish oil supplement.
It has recently been discovered that your body converts the DHA in fish oil to a substance that helps reduce inflammation without suppressing your immune system.
Supplement with Vitamins A, C, and D3.
Vitamins A and C are anti-oxidants and may help prevent some of the damage to joints that causes pain for those suffering with RA. Vitamin D has been shown to have a positive effect on immune function and has anti-inflammatory properties. Again, check with your doctor and pharmacist before adding any supplements to your diet.4
Eat a balanced diet.
With the special problem of RA, start with the best general food choices that anyone would need to stay healthy. Include selections of healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins at each meal.5
Drink lots of purified water. This will help cleanse your system and facilitate all of the healthy processes in your body.
Eat fresh, whole foods.
Emphasize colorful fruits and vegetables, such as winter squash, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and blueberries. 7
Eat less protein, particularly animal protein.
Include some vegetable protein sources such as beans. Those with autoimmune disease seem to do better on a low-protein diet. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, only about 400-600 of them should be from protein, especially from animal sources. 8
Limit or avoid processed foods.
They are loaded with additives which may aggravate your RA. When you buy packaged foods, read the label and put it back on the shelf if the ingredient list is mostly additives and not real food! 9
Maintain a healthy weight. This will lessen the inflammation in your body as well as ease your joints.
Drink white or green tea.
Both have healthy phytochemicals and antioxidant properties.11
Cut down on sugary foods.
These include soft drinks and other sweets with added sugar.12
Avoid products made with high fructose corn syrup.
This ubiquitous, lab-created additive may stress your liver and also make it harder for you to maintain a normal weight.
Eat less saturated fat from meat and dairy products.
Concentrate on Omega-3 foods such as salmon, sardines, flax seed and walnuts.
Skip margarine and other trans fats.
These unhealthy fats encourage inflammation and are found in fried foods and foods with hydrogenated oils.15
Add some avocado to your diet.
It is a rich source of healthy, monounsaturated fat.
Cook with extra-virgin olive oil.
This is a better choice for an anti-inflammatory diet than other vegetable oils.
Add fiber to your diet.
You should have a goal of 35-40 grams a day.
Limit your exposure to insecticides and buy organic foods grown without pesticides whenever possible.
These chemicals may exacerbate your RA.
Consider getting tested for food sensitivities. While you make your diet better, notice changes. Did some things seem to help or hurt? Allergies are also immune reactions and unnoticed allergies can make RA worse. Avoiding allergens might also make RA symptoms go away. One common food allergy gives people reactions to proteins in wheat (gluten) and related grains. You can get food sensitivity test. You can also simply limit processed foods made with wheat, which may aggravate your Rheumatoid Arthritis.