Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful chronic condition of the joints. It usually affects the small joints such as the fingers and toes. What happens is the protective linings become inflamed and causes pain.
RA is an autoimmune disorder, what happens is the immune system starts to attack your body’s healthy tissue for no reason. This causes the problems with the joints, not only do they become inflamed causing pain, eventually the joints can become deformed and the bones start to erode. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can also attack other organs in your body such as your blood vessels, skin, lungs, and eyes.
Your diet can plan play an important role in combating the pain and effects of rheumatoid arthritis. We are going to look at 5 of the top anti-inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis.
Government agencies such as The United States Department of Agriculture and The Food and Drug Administration ,along with scientists and doctors have done numerous studies on anti-inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis and their benefits. Below is a list of what some experts consider to be the top 5 anti-inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis based on their studies.
A 2009 study published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports” reported that cherries (fresh) or preferably cherry juice that is sold in the health food section of your grocery store or a specialty health food store. The study found that by drinking the cherry juice or eating organic cherries suppresses some of the compounds that cause inflammation that result in the pain caused by RA.
The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods – have said the vegetable cauliflower is one of the top anti-inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis. Cauliflower is loaded with omega 3 and it is believed to have large quantities of anti-inflammatory compounds. This vegetable is also loaded with vitamins and minerals. Two well-known anti-inflammatory “fighters” are included. Vitamin K has been scientifically proven to regulate the anti-inflammatory response in the body. The other is selenium, it is a substance that helps strengthen the body’s immune system and indol-3-carbinole, a molecule scientists believe help in the prevention of inflammation.
Strawberries are high in antioxidants, which are known for their ability to get rid of the free radicals in the body. Free radicals are molecules that are responsible for damaging tissue anywhere in the body. These molecules are extremely unstable and some are believed to cause diseases. The radicals take electrons from other parts of the body to make themselves stable once again. While they are looking for stable molecules to take electrons from, they travel freely through your body and in some cases such as RA, they can wreak havoc on your joints and other healthy tissue through your body. The antioxidants found in strawberries help to get rid of the free radicals, along with vitamin C can help ease the pain of RA.
Spices and Herbs
If you enjoy cooking and baking, then your spice rack probably has several of the recommended spices and herbs used for RA. All of these spices and herbs have properties to help with both inflammation and pain for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The first is ginger, you can buy this in a grounded form or fresh (ginger root) and drink it in tea. Curry is great to add to foods, as is turmeric, cinnamon, mint, and garlic. These spices and herbs will allow you to spice up your meals and help with the RA pain and inflammation.
Fish is another widely used food in rheumatoid arthritis diets because of the mega doses of omega 3 and omega 6 they contain. Salmon, tuna, haddock, cod, and any other type of fresh fish (frozen will also be beneficial if it is not breaded or seasoned.) The FDA recommends eating fish two to three times a week.
There are several other RA fighting foods you can eat, these 5 foods are some of the very best. If you do a little research, you will find more foods to add to your new RA diet to help with the chronic pain and inflammation.
[Also read: Living with Arthritis]
About the Author:
Tammy Mahan has worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. In her free time, she enjoys contributing articles to Healthline.com.