What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition which can inflict you with a lot of pain as it involves the joints in the body becoming swollen and stiff. The most common areas of the body that are affected tend to be the wrists and feet but it is not unusual to have rheumatoid arthritis that is painful on other parts of your body.
A lot of the time, people who are suffering from RA, find that they go through short durations of time where the condition becomes worse and it is commonly referred to as a flare-up. It is often difficult to pin point when these flare-ups are going to happen as they tend to be very random. It is possible to seek treatment when a flare-up is happening. It’s important that this is done as soon as possible to ensure that any damage caused to the joints is only temporary because if it is left untreated, there’s a higher chance of it causing long term problems. Prevention of RA flare-ups is the most ideal scenario. Prevention can be challenging as flare-ups are often random, but with careful monitoring of diet & activity, many people can see a pattern of when to expect a flare-up.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a very practical option as a way of preventing rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Your approach to your diet can impact your rheumatoid arthritis condition and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration have come out and said that a diet consisting of healthy foods can significantly reduce the symptoms of your RA. This essentially means sticking to whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, slow-releasing carbohydrates and protein that is from lean sources.
But there is a little more to it than that.
The Best Diet for Treating RA
So, let’s have a look at some more of the specificities that are involved in eating a healthier diet that contains anti-inflammatory foods because it may not be quite as simple as it seems.
According to Ruth Frechman, a dietitian and prominent figure in the American Dietetic Association, foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are amongst one of the most effective anti-inflammatory things that you can consume through your diet.
If you are a suffering from RA, it is vital that your diet contains fish that live in cold waters, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, trout and tuna. Make sure that these types of fish are being regularly included throughout your diet over a consistent basis but another thing that you can do to ease the pain of your joints is to supplement with fish oils.
Not only can this help to reduce the severity of the swelling but if your joints are feeling very stiff, fish oils (Omega's) will provide you with a sense of comfort by making them feel a little looser. If your case of RA is serious, it is likely that you would have been on some form of medication for a while. Consuming fish and fish oils may, over time, enable you to not have to take as much medication.
People who have RA will also be able to supplement with more than the recommended dosage compared to regular people however we would always advise that you speak to your doctor about using fish oils. We would not advise just going straight into a higher dosage of fish oils as there could be some side effects so it is always best to get the opinion of your doctor as the information that they provide you with would have been specifically tailored to you and your body.
For example if you are taking drugs to help with high blood pressure, the fish oils could mix with the drugs already in your system which may cause some complications.
As we discussed earlier, eating foods that are wholesome is crucial to maintaining a healthy diet and this allows you to consume a good amount of fibre. This is a macronutrient that has been found to have some anti-inflammatory properties as it diminished the amount of C-reactive protein that is carried around in the blood.
C-creative protein is something that is a major contributor to causing inflammation so reducing the quantity of it is going to be beneficial for you if you have RA.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
While there are foods that can reduce inflammation in your joints, you should also be aware that there are foods that can actually cause certain parts of your body to become inflamed. For the most part, foods that have been fried in oils or on the grill at extremely hot temperatures have been found to be the main culprits.
There is currently no direct correlation between these foods and inflammation, but they have been found to increase the amount of advanced glycation end products within your body which is something that’s commonly found amongst people who have inflammation problems such as RA.
Omega-3 fatty acids, as you know, are great as an anti-inflammatory food but the omega-6 fatty acids can result in the joints becoming inflamed and it has also been found to be something that is high in obese peoples’ diets. It
All in all, an anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis diet is something that is fairly easy to maintain, provided that you stick to good and healthy sources of food. It may take a few monthly of healthy eating before you see the results, but ultimately, the anti-inflammatory properties of vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains will help to give you relief of pain and discomfort from those joint irritated by RA. In addition to happier joints, you very well may experience the total-body benefits of eating a wholesome, nutritious diet!
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