Nutrition and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Foods To Eat & Avoid

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. While there is no cure for RA, dietary changes can help manage symptoms and improve overall health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the foods to eat and avoid for those living with RA.

Foods to Eat

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3s help reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, which can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness. An E3N Cohort study found that consuming fish 2-3 times per week may help reduce inflammation in RA patients.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which help combat inflammation. Berries, in particular, are high in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are also rich in antioxidants and nutrients that can help reduce inflammation. According to this study, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help improve RA symptoms.

3. Whole Grains

Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are high in fiber, which can help reduce inflammation. Fiber helps promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Whole grains are also rich in nutrients like magnesium and selenium, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Walnuts, in particular, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Flaxseeds are also high in omega-3s and lignans, a plant compound shown to reduce inflammation.

Foods to Avoid

1. Processed Foods

Processed foods like chips, cookies, and frozen dinners are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium, which can increase inflammation. These foods are also often low in nutrients and fibre, contributing to poor gut health and increased inflammation. Medical News Today explains that a diet high in processed foods may worsen RA symptoms.

2. Red Meat

Red meat, mainly processed meats like hot dogs and bacon, is high in saturated fat and may increase inflammation. Saturated fat has been shown to increase the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, which can worsen joint pain and stiffness. Some researchers have shown that a diet high in red meat may worsen RA symptoms.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with RA medications and may worsen inflammation in the body. Alcohol can also contribute to poor gut health, which can increase inflammation throughout the body. This study found that excessive alcohol consumption may increase the risk of developing RA.

The Bottom Line

Dietary changes can be an effective way to manage RA symptoms and improve overall health. Incorporating more fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds into your diet while limiting processed foods, red meat, and alcohol may help reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

If you’re looking for personalized treatment options for RA, consider contacting Dr. Manu Mengi. With years of experience in the field, Dr. Manu Mengi is the Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist in Chandigarh who can help develop a tailored treatment plan to manage your RA symptoms and improve your quality of life. Don’t let RA control your life – take control of your health today.

Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

The Leading Arthritis Specialist in Chandigarh, Dr. Manu Mengi, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating this condition. He also explains RA’s common signs and symptoms to help you recognize the early warning signs and seek timely treatment from a Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist in Chandigarh.

1. Joint Pain and Stiffness

The most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain and stiffness. Whereas osteoarthritis affects only specific joints, RA affects multiple joints symmetrically. This means if the patient’s one hand or knee is affected, there is a high chance that the other will also be affected. The pain and stiffness are often worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity lasting more than 30 minutes.

2. Swelling and Redness

RA can cause severe inflammation, leading to swelling and redness in the affected joints. The patients can also feel the warmth or tenderness in the joint. In some cases, the swelling may be enough to cause visible deformities in the joints. This happens mainly in the hands and feet.

3. Fatigue and Weakness

Many individuals with rheumatoid arthritis experience persistent fatigue and weakness. They complain about these symptoms even if they have not engaged in strenuous activities. This fatigue can be very uncomfortable and may affect your daily life. The underlying inflammation caused by RA is often responsible for this symptom.

4. Low-Grade Fever

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience a low-grade fever. The temperature can be anywhere between 99°F to 100.4°F (37.2°C to 38°C). This fever is caused by the body’s immune system actively fighting the inflammation caused by RA.

5. Numbness and Tingling

In some cases, patients also complain about numbness and tingling sensations. This is mainly because of the inflammation in the small joints of the hands and feet, leading to numbness and tingling sensations. This is due to the compression of nerves in the affected areas, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

6. Rheumatoid Nodules

About 20-30% of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis get rheumatoid nodules. These are firm, painless lumps that develop under the skin near the affected joints. Most patients have them on the elbows, fingers, and heels.

7. Dry Eyes and Mouth

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other parts of the body other than the joints. Some patients with RA may experience dry eyes and mouth. This is also known as Sjögren’s syndrome. It occurs when the immune system attacks the glands that produce tears and saliva.

Suffering from RA? Get in Touch With the Best Arthritis Specialist in Chandigarh today.