Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Can a specific diet help the symptoms of RA?
One survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms... read all about it here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28217907
Okay so I am a big foodie, you know when you are eating breakfast and meanwhile you’ve already planned and got excited for dinner? Yeah that’s me. If theres an excuse that I have to eat some of my fave foods for my condition then YEAH im going to use that! After speaking to many new people recently since launching my website and instagram page I have learnt the adaptations they made specifically to their diet which have vastly improved their symptoms such as gluten free, dairy free, oil free, juicing and many more!
There is no scientific proof of linking a particular diet and RA, but more so how certain foods such as processed foods, salt, sugar increase inflammation and RA also increases the risk of heart disease. Fruits, veggies, and cold water fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) are considered as anti-inflammatory foods. Diets that are suggested are Gluten free, Paolo Diet and a Mediterranean Diet.
A Mediterranean diet works best for me as it consists mainly of meat, veggies, fruits and olivie oil. Replacing your saturated fats with unsaturated fats. I don’t eat red meats so I get my protein from Chicken and fish. I find diets hard as im allergic to like a billion things (im a walking disaster I know) so you can obviously adapt certain diets to fit your requirments. At the end of the day your body is your temple, and the more you look after it the more it should help look after you. Even though our immune system attacks its own healthy tissue, thanks body!
Here are some foods known to help fight that inflammation and give your body the good stuff it needs.
Greens- Broccoli spinach kale- loads of vitamins and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Beans- These are a great source of protein to keep the muscles around your bones strong. They have folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, all of which can give your heart and immune system a boost.
Citrus fruits – Contains lots of Vitamin C to improve your immune system.
Fish- Salmon- don’t over cook your fish to keep the nutritional value inside- omega-3’s, and Vitamin D. Two servings of fish a week are recommended to improve the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Olive Oil- A natural chemical within it (oleocantha) stops the production of inflammation.
Whole Grains- A healthier replacement for white processed carbs.
Green Tea- Full of polyphenols-antioxidants that may lower inflammation and cartilage destruction.
Iron & Calcium
RA is known to cause fatigue, so to help tackle this there are many foods rich in Iron that you should be eating regularly. These include eggs, green leafy veg, peas, beans, lentils.
Calcium is also imperative to keeping those bones strong and healthy.
Fibre can reduce the amount of CRP in your blood. Strawberries are a great source!
Nuts, beans, wholegrains, fresh fruit and veg.
Flavanoids (what a fabulous word!)
Flavanids are plant compounds found in almost all fruits and veggies, cocoa, legumes. Increasing research has found that flavonoids can have anti-inflammatory properties. Foods high in falavanoids are parsley, onions, blueberries and other berries,grapes,broccoli, black tea, green tea bananas, all citrus fruits and dark choc.
Nuts & Seeds
( Im unfortunately allergic, boo!)
Nuts are jam-packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat. And though they’re relatively high in fat and calories, they contain protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats.The most benefcialWalnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds.
If you need further help with your diet, contact a dietician to discuss the best options for you. You can find these theough the NHS, or on Freelance Dietician website.
Overall staying a healthy weight is important to relieve extra pressure on your joints. Eating correctly gives you more energy and motivation to exercise, which is another lifestyle choice you should make to help your joints keep moving, but I’ll talk about that in another blog post.
Thanks for reading,
Chloe & Arthur