Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Should Eat and Shouldn’t Eat
You might have heard of the disease named arthritis. But have you ever wondered what is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system malfunctions. The immune system attacks the joints of the body. This unprecedented attack causes swelling and inflammation, giving rise to the thickening of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, also referred to as osteoarthritis, can damage cartilage and bones, making it difficult for the patient to move due to immense pain and swelling.
Read on to find out how to deal with rheumatoid arthritis from a dietary respect.
Bane and Boon for Arthritis Food
While there are different methods of treating osteoarthritis, maintaining a well-knit diet can actually help you avoid this disease. You might be wondering what to eat and what to leave out from your diet. Whether you are affected by it or not, the following rheumatoid arthritis diet can help you maintain a healthy and prosperous life.
1. Foods to eat
The following list shows what you should eat if you are affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
This natural household vegetable serves inflammatory functions. A regular intake of garlic in some way can help release the swelling of joints.
- Fish with Omega 3
Fish with Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory characteristics that will help you get rid of arthritis swelling and pain. Fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, and herring are fatty fish that have high omega 3 content. Baking these fish properly can supply significant amounts of omega 3 to your body, while overcooking them destroys their nutritional value considerably. You can also take fish oil supplements as an alternative to a fishy diet.
- Whole grains
Whole grain pasta or cereals are rich in antioxidants, which helps in controlling the CRP level in the body.
Walnuts and almonds are loaded with nutrition. You can take them regularly as a part of your everyday meal. If you have an aversion towards the fishy smell, walnuts, almonds and chia seeds, which are also rich in omega 3s, can be great alternatives.
- Green vegetables and fruits
Any diet for rheumatoid arthritis should also include large portions of green vegetables, which are filled with minerals and antioxidants. Broccoli, grapes, beans, and soy are rich with nutrients and will help minimize the joint pains.
- The Mediterranean Diet
The Arthritis Foundation certifies this specific regional diet. The Mediterranean diet consists of whole grains, olive oil, and fresh fruit and vegetables, which helps in controlling swelling and pain.
2. Foods to avoid
Now, there are some foods that you need to curtail to help keep your feet and ankles away from the pain:
- Fried food
It is essential that you cut down on fried foods. They can have a severe impact on the pain, worsening it to the level that you will struggle to walk. Fried foods are claimed to have toxins such as advanced glycation products, leading to higher oxidation levels. Besides, fried food causes obesity, which can add pressure to your soar feet.
The effect of alcohol content in the body can be a little confusing. While alcohol intake in moderate amounts has shown to keep arthritis under control, consuming large amounts increases CRP levels, creating pain and swelling that could potentially worsen arthritis. Moderation is the key.
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates
A healthy rheumatoid arthritis diet should eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates like white pasta, processed flour foods, white rice, sugary drinks, and snacks. This can spike the sugar level in your blood, creating pro-inflammatory chemicals like cytokines, worsening rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
- Red meat
Lots of red meat contains high amounts of sugar, which can increase inflammation in arthritis patients. It also has omega 6 content, which can increase the risk of joint deformation involved in osteoarthritis. However, lean cut of meats can be an ideal food as arthritis patients.
Some Best Things You Can Do to Control Arthritis
Besides a healthy diet, you also need to take extra measures in managing rheumatoid arthritis. The following methods can help you keep the pain and swelling in control:
1. Maintain a healthy weight
It is essential that you keep your weight in check. An increase in weight creates pressure on the joints, leading to more pain and swelling. Maintaining a proper diet can help to keep your weight in check. Reduce the extra fat from your body to reduce the inflammation in your ankles.
2. Drink for fun, not to get drunk
Alcohol in moderation can be useful, but excessive intake increases the CRP levels, making you prone to joint pain. Thus, it is advised that you keep control of your drinking habits. Drinking alcohol can also lead to an increase in weight and worsen the pain in your feet and ankles.
3. Don't get too salty at meals
High sodium content increases the water level. Cutting down on the salt content reduces the water weight in your body, making you lose weight faster. Moreover, a higher concentration of salt worsens the inflammation, increasing the pain to a tremendous level.
Maintaining a healthy routine can relieve you from the symptoms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can be detrimental to your cartilage and bones if not taken care of properly! You should maintain a healthy diet plan as advised by physicians to prevent further inflammation.
It is best if you keep a healthy diet to keep yourself free from arthritis in the first place. However, if you suffer from arthritis already, you need a well-planned diet to prevent further inflammation. Always consult your physician if you are not sure whether a certain food might worsen your symptoms.