Did you know that rheumatoid arthritis affects over 1.3 million Americans? Rheumatoid arthritis or other known as RA is a chronic disease that is due to an autoimmune disease that does not have a cure. This specific autoimmune disease will attack the synovial joint fluid in the body. The result will be pain and inflammation.
There are a couple of different factors that play a role in your risk of developing RA. While genetics do play a part, environmental, hormonal, and lifestyle factors are also important to take into account. Hormonal imbalance can lead to RA as can smoking. While there are some risk factors you may not be able to control, such as genetics, there are some steps you can take to improve your symptoms of RA. In addition to not smoking, and working to manage your day to day stress, there are some dietary changes you can make to better manage your symptoms.
The small joints of the hands and feet are most susceptible. Symptoms include:
- Stiffness (worst in the morning or after inactivity and improves with activity)
- Restricted movement
- Loss of energy
- Low fever
- Firm lumps or nodules growing underneath the skin on the hand or elbow
BEST FOODS FOR RA
- Anti-inflammatory Spices: Anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric have been found to combat inflammation in the body which is a key component of getting RA symptoms under control. Try adding these spices to your dishes or make a homemade juice with fresh ginger and turmeric.
- Pomegranates: This delicious fruit makes another great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. A study found that pomegranate extract could help reduce symptoms of arthritis and joint inflammation. Try adding this fruit to your diet to see what it can do for your RA symptoms.
- Green Tea: You may want to consider swapping your morning cup of coffee for green tea as this powerful beverage contains impressive anti-inflammatory benefits. ECGC is a catechin found in green tea which has been found to hold these anti-inflammatory health benefits.
- Wild-Caught Fatty Fish: Wild-caught fatty fish like salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are also anti-inflammatory and may be able to help reduce the symptoms of RA. You can choose to enjoy wild-caught fatty fish like salmon or sardines twice a week, or if you’re not a big fish eater, you can supplement with a high-quality fish oil.