Rheumatoid Arthritis: What role does diet play?

Rheumatoid arthritis and diet have always been a subject of research for the medical science. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, only you know the pain that you go through. There are episodes where the symptoms become severe and aggravate the rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease (where your immune system attacks your body) which affects the multiple joints in the body. It is marked by pain and inflammation in the joints, swollen joints, fever, stiff joints, deformity of the joints, fatigue, and inefficient joint movements.

Rheumatoid arthritis does not have a cure. Its management focuses on reducing the severity of the symptoms.

New studies have suggested that there is a strong connection between rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and the food that one eats.  There are foods that help in easing out the inflammation and the joints pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Several food items have been found to act as a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: What role does diet play?

Foods that can help in rheumatoid arthritis termed as anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: The more colourful the fruits and vegetables are, the more beneficial they are in helping your rheumatoid arthritis. The antioxidants, carotenoids, fibres, irons, vitamin C & E are some of the components of fruits and vegetables that have rheumatoid arthritis fighting properties in them. Antioxidants are good for reducing the cellular damage causing free radicals.
  • Fish: If you are a non-vegetarian, fish is a far better option for you than red meat. Fish are rich in omega-3-fatty acids, which are considered as the healthy fat. You can also opt for fish oil capsules to help you deal with the pain.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil has oleocanthal in them, which blocks the inflammatory enzymes in the body, thus reducing the inflammation.
  • Whole grain wheat, cereals and eggs: Whole grain wheat flour is an excellent source of selenium. Selenium has been found to control inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Eggs and cereals are rich in vitamin D, are thought to lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: What role does diet play?

Just including the foods mentioned above will not help as much as avoiding certain food items that are supposed to trigger flares of rheumatoid arthritis.Chuck out these food items from your diet to get relief from those painful rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

  • Say NO to processed and fried food items.
  • Avoid sweet and bakery items.
  • Dairy products have a type of protein which damages the tissues surrounding the joints.
  • Alcohol and tobacco consumption is a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Corn oil has Omega 6 fatty acid considered harmful for painful symptoms.
  • High intake of common salt and preservative used in certain foods can trigger inflammation in the joints.

Consult a top Orthopaedic Surgeon

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  • Can Diet Improve Arthritis Symptoms? – Harvard health publications – Accessed on 2 March 2016 – http://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/can-diet-improve-arthritis-symptoms
  • Foods and Arthritis – The Physicians Committee for responsible medicine-Accessed on 2 March 2016 , -http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/foods-and-arthritis
  • Nutrition Guidelines for People With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Arthritis foundation – Accessed on 2 March 2016 – http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/anti-inflammatory/rheumatoid-arthritis-diet.php
  • Rheumatoid arthritis : American college of rheumatology – Accessed on 2 March 2016 – http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis

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