10 Foods That Will Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis and Reduce Inflammation

What Should You Know About Arthritis and Inflammation?

What Should You Know About Arthritis and Inflammation?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the population. It is a progressive disease that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. Later, it causes deformities in areas like the feet, ankles, fingers, and toes. Severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis can lead to immobility.  

There are several medical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. You can also control some of the symptoms of RA with diet. Diet alone will not cure RA, but the right foods can control inflammation. A proper diet can also help to keep weight down, which takes pressure off of the already inflamed joints.

Fatty Fish

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help inflammation. Examples of fatty fish include tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines. People who do not eat fish can take fish oils supplements as another option. 

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy Green Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach are rich in vitamins E and C. Vitamin E protects against molecules that cause inflammation. Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, which aids in joints flexibility. Collagen is a major part of the cartilage found in joints. 

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Peas and Beans

Peas and Beans

Beans and peas are known as legumes. Legumes are rich in protein. This protein aids in muscle health, which is affected by RA. Legumes also contain antioxidants, folic acid, and zinc. Good choices of legumes are black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas. 

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Nuts

Nuts

Nuts are high in monounsaturated fat, which has protective properties. Some also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy nuts include pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. 

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Whole Grains

Whole Grains

Foods like brown rice, oats, quinoa, and wheat are whole grains. They lower the levels of C-reactive proteins in the body.  C-reactive protein is higher in people with RA. Also, refined grains often have additives like sugar and saturated fats. Whole grains have more nutrients and fiber. 

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Berries

Berries

Berries are super-rich in anti-inflammatories. Fruits have high levels of antioxidants that fight inflammation. Fruits like blueberries and strawberries have anthocyanins, which also reduce inflammation.

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Garlic and Onions

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that reduce some types of arthritic pain.

They also have immune-boosting characteristics. 

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Olive Oils

Olive Oils

Olive oil is much healthier than other fats and oils. It contains healthy monounsaturated fat, and something called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal reduces inflammation. 

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Green Tea

Green Tea

Very popular and enjoyed in both hot and cold forms, green tea has a natural antioxidant named epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG can stop the creation of some inflammatory chemicals that are in the body.  This includes the ones that cause arthritis. It may also contain properties that keep cartilage from breaking down in the joints. 

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Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is most often seen in Indian curry dishes. It is sometimes considered a superfood because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One of the main parts of turmeric is curcumin. It can reduce inflammation and swelling in the bodies of people with RA. 

An added benefit is that turmeric can also reduce inflammation in the brain, which is thought to lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression. 

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