Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, and disabling autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints and can affect other body organs.
RA usually affects the hands and feet first, but it can occur in any joint.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
(1) bruising easily;
(2) allover weakness or fatigue;
(3) skin conditions and rashes;
(4) itchy and dry eyes;
(5) sharp chest pain;
(6) soreness in your ankles and feet;
(7) a sensation of prickling or numbness in your hands;
Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity, called flares, alternate with periods of relative remission — when the swelling and pain fade or disappear.
Alongside doctor’s prescription, dietary changes can play a major role in improving the symptoms of a person dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. There are a couple of reasons why changes in your diet can help improve symptoms. First, maintaining a healthy weight is very important to a person’s health, in general, more so for people dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. It is because excess fat may increase disease activity. Another reason is that, there are a number of foods that trigger RA and there are some that help in improving symptoms.
Here is a list of best foods for rheumatoid arthritis:
The more fish the people ate, especially fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, the lower their level of markers of inflammation in the bloodstream. Eating a 3- to 6-ounce serving of these fish two to four times a week is recommended for lowering inflammation.
Fruits and Veggies
Oranges, grapefruits, and limes are great sources of vitamin C, which leads to a strong immune system that can help hold off inflammatory diseases like RA.
On the other hand, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy and cauliflower offer a certain benefit – a natural compound called sulforaphane. Research shows sulforaphane blocks the inflammatory process and might slow cartilage damage in arthritis. And there’s some evidence diets high in cruciferous vegetables could prevent rheumatoid arthritis from developing in the first place.
Whole grains can reduce inflammation by lowering the level of a certain protein in the blood. This protein, called CRP, is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other ailments. A variety of foods are rich in whole grains, including oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and other foods. Stick to whole wheat bread, rather than white bread, and pick whole grain cereals.
Peas and Beans
Beans are full of fiber and phytonutrients, which help lower inflammation. They’re also an excellent source of protein, packing about 15 grams per cup. Whether it’s small red beans, kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans, aim for at least one cup, twice per week.
Peas contain phenolic acids, a type of antioxidant that may help protect against inflammatory-related diseases, according to a 2012 review in the British Journal of Nutrition. Peas contain a variety of phenolic compounds and are also good sources of flavonoid.
Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts contain high amounts of fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fats which all have anti-inflammatory effects.
A serving of nuts makes a filling, good-for-you RA snack. Nuts are rich in fiber — healthy fats, and nutrients like magnesium — are smart additions to a rheumatoid arthritis diet. Nuts are also especially convenient snacks: Just pack a 1 to 2 ounce portion size in advance to carry with you.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been said to have preventive properties with regard to chronic diseases, particularly those with an inflammatory etiology such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Olive oil can help reduce joint pain and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis. The beneficial effects are greatly increased when combined with fish oil.
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