No one wants to suffer through the pain and disfigurement that can occur with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but what’s more devastating is the fact that once the damage to your joints has been made, there’s usually no going back.
When it is within your power to push back disease by making some deliberate changes and additions to your diet, why not do it? RA is often preventable if you’ll only do your part to make it happen.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most debilitating forms of arthritis, because essentially what happens, like with all autoimmune disorders, is your body launches an attack against itself. Your joints become the target for your white blood cells to attack and conquer, as if the joints themselves are a disease or foreign object in the body. As a result, joints become extremely inflamed, swollen and painful. The surrounding cartilage and bones are eaten away until deformity and disfigurement set in.
Experts believe that nutritional deficiency and low antioxidant levels are largely to blame when a person gets RA, since patients’ bodies seem to be overrun with free radicals that antioxidants are designed to kill. So eating foods that are overflowing with antioxidants can be an incredible defense.
There’s no need to feel powerless against RA. Low fat and high fiber intake, as well as exercise, can help keep you from contracting the disease. Here are some great foods that you can put to use:
- Fatty Fish – Eating fish is like lubricating your joints with an oil can. Fish is one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which not only soothe your joints and give them better ease of motion, but also greatly reduce joint inflammation. The tricky thing is making sure to override omega-3’s archenemy, omega-6, which counteracts the effects of omega-3 and is more tempting to eat. Omega-3 is found in fish, nuts and green, leafy vegetables primarily; while omega-6 is found in breads, crackers, processed foods, and vegetable oils.
- Ginger – Ginger can be acquired through a lot of different foods and beverages, which is great, because this spice is an excellent analgesic that will ease the pain brought on by joint inflammation. The antioxidant curcumin in ginger is reportedly as effective as over-the-counter medicines at alleviating pain.
- Olive Oil – Of all the cooking oils out there, olive oil is probably the healthiest choice. It works like omega-3 oils and primarily contains the good fats the body requires.
- Water – Just like fish oils, water also lubricates and cushions joints, making them less likely to ache, get stiff, and sustain disease. Water is an internal cleanser that helps to flush out whatever gook stands in its way, including toxins and disease. For sustained hydration and lubrication, drink as much water as possible, or at least the recommended 64 ounces per day.
- Selenium-Rich Foods – Selenium is an antioxidant that also gets rid of inflammation and joint pain, which is exactly the effect we want in order to beat RA. Selenium can be found in foods like seafood, whole wheat, mushrooms and dairy products.
- Vitamin E-Rich Foods – Vitamin E-deficiency somehow increases your risk for developing RA, so it’s important to consume more foods containing this vitamin, including fish, nuts and fortified cereals.
- Resveratrol – This antioxidant flavonoid is often found in grapes and works to block inflammation, which keeps your joints protected.