9 Rheumatoid Arthritis Superfoods for Your Healthy Lifestyle + Tips
7 minute read
Arthritis is a general term for a collection of inflammatory-related joint conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a specific autoimmune version of the condition that is chronic and disruptive to life.
Thousands of new cases are diagnosed each year, and medications continue to be produced to alleviate pain. There are also more natural ways to treat RA, such as adding certain superfoods to your diet. Including these foods regularly in your diet can be an important step in mitigating arthritis-related joint discomfort.
The Root of Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA affects your joints, specifically the lining of your joints and when inflamed, it can be painful to move. Without treatment, this chronic inflammation can cause your bones and joint tissue to deteriorate which only increases pain and immobility.
Since RA is an autoimmune disorder, it means that your immune system mistakenly targets healthy tissues in your body. The main player in this attack on your own joints is chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation causes deterioration to your joints but can be controlled and prevented. There is no cure for RA, but by learning to control and prevent widespread inflammation, your joints do not come under attack as often. This allows them time to heal and recover from any previous damage before it is too late.
Much of the chronic inflammation we experience stems from our diet because most of our immune system lives in the gut.
Maintaining a balanced diet will promote a healthy and happy gut, which will lead to less inflammatory triggers. While the RA will still be present, you can reduce the amount of inflammation that is released by controlling your diet.
Removing trigger foods that produce inflammation as well as adding those that fight it will ensure your immune system stays in check and RA symptoms can be successfully controlled. This is the best joint support you could ask for.
Superfoods to Fight RA
Adding these superfoods to your diet is one of the best natural ways to fight inflammation and ease the aches and pains of RA.
Apples make the perfect snack because they are full of fiber, which fills you up. The healthier, filling foods you eat, the easier it is to avoid overeating and weight gain.
Obesity and excess fat not only trigger inflammation but can also increase the strain added to your joints.
2. Citrus Fruits
Oranges and grapefruit are just some of the citrus choices you should consider to fight inflammatory-related arthritis. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals that are looking to damage your delicate joint tissues.
Take care if you suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) because too much citrus can trigger excess stomach acid production which can lead to unwanted inflammation.
Along with other leafy greens, kale is full of antioxidants and fiber, making it perfect for controlling your weight and inflammation. As part of a balanced diet, kale can help promote weight loss to protect your joints from excessive pressure and can keep inflammation under control so RA flare-ups are minimized.
Nuts are one of the best food sources for healthy unsaturated fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which allows them to control RA flare-ups.
In addition to this, they are great snacks because they are cholesterol-free. High cholesterol contributes to inflammation and excess fat storage.
Pumpkin, along with winter squash of any variety, is full of antioxidants like vitamins A and C. These help to prevent oxidative damage that can cause joint deterioration and inflammation.
Another great source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can promote heart health, fight inflammation, and help you lose weight. Other coldwater, fatty fishes like tuna and sardines will provide the same essential nutrients and powerful omega-3s.
7. Sweet Potatoes
These potatoes do not have to be reserved for the fall holidays as they are a great source of antioxidants. Add sweet potatoes to your diet all year round to keep inflammation under control and your joints safe from oxidative damage.
A spice for curries that have been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions. Whether you add it to your foods or try turmeric supplements, this spice can control inflammation and protect your joints from RA pain and damage.
9. Whole Grains
Fiber will always be your friend when it comes to controlling RA symptoms. Whole grains have been found to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a potent inflammatory marker.
The easiest way to add whole grains to your diet is to switch white bread and rice with whole wheat bread and brown rice.
Living Comfortably With RA
In addition to adding these remarkable superfoods, there are additional measures you can take to make sure RA doesn’t control your life. While there are medications available, many people look for more natural alternatives because medications can have unpleasant side effects.
Dietary and lifestyle changes are the best way to improve your symptoms and live pain-free without the risks of unknown medications.
Losing weight is another great way to promote joint health. Excessive weight adds pressure to already stressed RA joints and can increase inflammation in the area.
Shedding those unwanted pounds not only gives you more energy and reduces fatigue associated with RA, but it alleviates the pressure on your joints and allows them time to heal.
| Related: 13 Things Everyone With Arthritis Needs to Know |
Reducing stress is another way to help prevent unwanted inflammation from terrorizing your joints. Stress is a major factor in inflammation, but like inflammation, it can be controlled.
If you feel that your life is stressful, consider adding meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and mindfulness practices to promote relaxation. Stress is inevitable but can be maintained and reduced with the right approaches.
The Bottom Line
RA is a painful joint condition that affects thousands every year. Pains can be so debilitating that everyday functions become impossible and quality of life can deteriorate.
Protect your joints from inflammation by adding some superfoods to your diet. RA may not have a cure, but that doesn’t mean you have to just live with it. With the right dietary and lifestyle changes, your joints can be protected from RA and deterioration and your life can go on any way you want.