Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful autoimmune condition in which the linings of the joints are treated as foreign objects by the immune system. As the immune system attacks what it sees as an invader, the results are debilitating levels of pain and limited movement.
While there are pharmacological treatments for RA, about a third to three quarters of those afflicted with RA report that diet plays an impact on how they feel. Scientific evidence for a specific RA diet needs further research, study after study shows the impact food can have on health, and several RA studies have shown the impact that diet can have on RA symptoms. Read on to find out what research is showing to be the top foods for those suffering with RA.
Omega 3 Rich Foods. The essential fatty acid omega 3 offers numerous benefits to health and well being. When it comes to RA, it is the anti-inflammatory property that is believed to help. By decreasing inflammation in the joints, pain levels can be decreased. For optimal results, people need a dose of at least 3 grams of omega 3s per day. Because it can be challenging to get this through diet alone, a high quality omega 3 supplement may be helpful.
Fruits and Vegetable Rich Diet. It the antioxidant rich content of fruits and vegetables that get credit for helping fight against RA symptoms. The antioxidants fight against the damaging effects that free radicals have on the cells around the joints. A study was done on a strictly vegetarian diet, but even if people do not follow a strictly vegetarian diet, the more fruits and vegetables a person consumes, the more antioxidants he or she will get.
Mediterranean Diet. A 2003 study showed that those on a Mediterranean diet experienced fewer RA symptoms than those who did not follow the diet. The produce and healthy fats of the diet are believed to be responsible for the benefits.
Ultimately, while there is no guarantee these dietary changes will alleviate pain, because they are healthy choices overall, there is no drawback to making these changes.