Do you have stiff, inflamed joints? The answer may involve your diet. Discover which foods to eat (and which to avoid) to reduce RA symptoms.
The most troubling symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis — pain, stiffness, and swelling — stem from the same source: inflammation. Changing your diet and addressing your Genetic predispositions www.mygenewize.com/lifestyles to inflammation can help eliminate inflammation.
Compounds in many foods improve RA symptoms. Eating well has never been known to make any health condition worse. Here are 10 foods that may help reduce RA symptoms and pain — and one that won’t.
The strongest connection between reduced arthritis symptoms and a food has been shown in studies of omega-3 fatty acids. This is because omega-3s help reduce inflammation. Salmon, fresh or frozen, contains the highest naturally occurring levels of omega-3s of any food source. You may have heard warnings that certain fish contain toxic amounts of mercury, but luckily, salmon is not on that list. American Heart Association guidelines say it’s safe to eat two 3.5-ounce servings of salmon a week. Increasing your salmon and fish intake alone may not supply all the omega-3s you need to fight inflammation and reduce symptoms.
Citrus foods such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes are rich in vitamin C — a dietary component necessary for the synthesis of collagen, which helps build and repair blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone and is therefore helpful for people with osteoarthritis. Citrus fruits are also good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which are helpful for those with rheumatoid arthritis. So start your day with a glass of orange juice, have half a grapefruit for a snack, and squeeze lime or lemon juice on foods when you’re cooking to take advantage of the healing power of citrus. Aim for a total vitamin C intake of 75 mg per day for adult women, and 90 mg per day for adult men, the current U.S. Recommendation daily allowance.
One or more servings of fresh berries (organic blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or huckleberries) part of your daily diet. These little fruits pack powerful antioxidants like proanthocyanidins and ellagic acid, which fight inflammation and cell damage. The amount and combination of the compounds vary by the type of berry, so make variety your goal.
A study by researchers from Michigan State University found that tart cherries are a good source of anthocyanins, which may have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than aspirin.
Carrots, Squash & Yams
Add carrots, squash, and yams to your anti-arthritis shopping list, too. These and other orange-hued vegetables are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which are believed to fight inflammation. Cooking seems to increase the availability of these compounds. For the biggest benefit, eat these vegetables on a regular basis in recommended serving sizes rather than overdoing it by eating them in large quantities. (A single serving of carrots is 1/2 cup, about 1 large carrot or 7 to 10 baby carrots.)
Much has been made of the health benefits of Whole Grains and for good reason. Whole grains are simply grains that still have all three parts of the original grain — the outside hull and the two inner parts. And it’s in the hull where most grains’ nutrients, like vitamin E, reside. A diet rich in whole grains has also been linked to better weight control, which can help reduce pain and symptoms of RA. So switch from white bread to 100-percent whole wheat, and from regular pasta to whole grain and add other whole grains to your menu — like a bulgur salad at night.
Like onions, ginger contains compounds that function in much the same way as anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen. This versatile root adds flavor too. Add fresh peeled ginger to stir-fries, eat pickled ginger along with salmon sushi, or puree some and add it to an acorn squash soup. Too much ginger can lead to thinning of the blood, which can be dangerous if you are taking certain medications.
Especially the green-hued extra-virgin olive oil — contains an inflammation-fighting compound known as oleocanthal, which functions in much the same way as COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors, Sandon says. This may explain why people living in regions where olive oil is heavily used, like Greece, have lower rates of arthritis, she says. So swap inflammation-boosting butter and margarine for olive oil, which has the opposite effect. Try drizzling olive oil on a baked potato or on whole-grain bread, and on your popcorn, for example. But beware: Like other fats, olive oil is calorie-dense, so don’t overdo it.
Is rich in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which has been linked to decreased pain and swelling in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Sandon says. So add this tropical fruit to your diet every chance you get. Try it cubed in fruit salad, baked in savory dishes, blended into a smoothie, or added to stir-fries to give a sweet-and-sour zing.
Avoid Animal Fat
Sandon says the one thing people with arthritis should avoid is animal fat, from sources like red meat, butter, and sour cream. Animal fats are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which produce exactly the opposite effect of omega-3 fatty acids — they actually increase inflammation. According to experts from the University of Maryland Medical Center, the typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6s than omega-3s, creating an imbalance that leaves inflammation unchecked. The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and vegetable protein sources, has been linked to a reduced risk of RA and to reduced pain and swelling.
Find out if you are genetically predisposed to inflammation www.mygenewize.com/lifestyles