Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system starts attacking the synovium (membrane lining the joints). Patients usually experience tender and swollen joints, stiffness in the morning, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In rheumatoid arthritis, even organs without joints like eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, and bone marrow can get affected. Though there is no cure for this autoimmune disease, your doctor may prescribe Xeljanz, Tremfya, Actemra, Rinvoq, Skyrizi, Simponi aria, Apremilast, or over the counter pain relievers like Voltaren and Advil to relive symptoms. You can also follow this list of foods to eat and avoid for rheumatoid arthritis to help manage the condition:
Foods to Eat in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Those looking for foods to eat and avoid for rheumatoid arthritis must remember that following a strict diet can help in minimizing symptoms. So, you can include
- Fatty Fish
Consume a good amount of fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout to minimize rheumatoid arthritis pain. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, fatty fishes also act as an excellent source of vitamin D, essential to prevent the worsening of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil also has proven anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits. Prepare all your dishes with extra-virgin olive oil to get the maximum benefits of this product. In addition to easing the symptoms, olive oil can also help restrict the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Garlic can be beneficial for arresting inflammation and strengthening the immune system. Scientists have discovered a compound called diallyl disulphine in garlic, which prevents the secretion of cartilage-damaging enzymes in the human body.
They’re also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Consume a few walnuts every day during breakfast or snack time, to reduce pains and swelling of joints.
Foods to Avoid in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Try to stay away from these foods to prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Sugar and Refined Flour
Do not eat foods that are full of sugar or made with refined flour. These products not only spike your blood sugar levels but also produce pro-inflammatory compounds like cytokine. They can aggravate your rheumatoid arthritis pain.
- Fried and Processed Foods
Stay away from fried and processed dishes like fries, sausages, canned meat, and frozen meals. They contain saturated fats and a toxin called advanced glycation end products, which enhance the oxidation of cells and increase inflammation. Moreover, these food items adversely affect the immune system.
Limit the intake of alcohol to one drink per day, or abstain completely. Excess alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage and ultimately increase inflammation in the body. On the contrary, if you have a moderate level of alcohol (especially red wine containing resveratrol), then it can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
So, now that you know about the foods to eat and avoid for rheumatoid arthritis, consult your doctor for personalized meal plans today.