There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but you can certainly keep your pain, swelling and discomfort under control by choosing foods that promote your health. Some foods can help battle the inflammation that leads to symptoms, and including them in your diet is always a good choice. Talk to your doctor before making huge changes.
Eat Fish to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Studies show that fish oil is a powerful way to control inflammation. You can choose from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and herring. The omega-3s in the fish help fight stiffness and tenderness in your joints. If you don't like fish, you can take a fish oil supplement instead, which will have similar benefits. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate dose for you.
Choose More Fruits and Vegetables
When you have RA, eating more fiber is always a good option. That's because fiber is another nutrient that helps control inflammation. When you eat more fiber, you might notice that you experience less stiffness in your joints and are more comfortable in general. The more variety, the better, according to the experts. Try to include a fruit or vegetable at every meal and you may be surprised by the difference it makes.
You Need to Eat Whole Grains
Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains contain the fiber needed to battle the inflammation associated with RA. Refined grains don't have the same benefits, so be sure the foods you choose contain 100 percent whole grains. That includes foods like popcorn, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread and other grains. Make these a big part of your meal plan, and you will feel better in no time.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a Good Choice
Research shows that extra virgin olive oil can fight inflammation in much the same way that over-the-counter NSAIDs can. The oil contains a substance that works to block the reactions in your body that lead to inflammation. You can add olive oil to your meal plan by cooking with it, using it to make marinades or salad dressings, or you can simply eat it plain once a day. Talk to your doctor about how much is appropriate for you.
Foods to Avoid
Just like there are foods that can help treat RA, there are some that you should avoid eating because they can exacerbate your symptoms. Grilled or fried meats are one. When you heat meat to high temperatures, reactions that cause inflammation have been noted by researchers. Packaged snack foods are another culprit that have been linked to higher rates of inflammation. Corn, safflower, sunflower and soy oils are also ingredients to stay away from. Your best bet for RA is to follow the Mediterranean diet. Your doctor can help you develop an eating plan.