Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, for many people, means undergoing some considerable lifestyle changes to mitigate the symptoms. As an autoimmune disorder, RA requires extra efforts to maintain the strength of your overall health and immune system.
Much of this process will center on finding an exercise routine that can build strength and reduce pain. You probably know that you also need to reduce or eliminate harmful lifestyle factors such as smoking. But many people tend to overlook the fact that their diet can play an important role in making RA a far more livable condition. If you’re looking for additional ways to boost your ability to handle the disease, take a look at some of the best foods to eat with rheumatoid arthritis:
Arthritis Today recommends a diet that is higher in fish than it is in traditional red meats. Many fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In studies, this sort of healthy fat has been shown time and time again to help fight inflammation. Regular consumption of fish may enable your body to better fight pain and swelling in joints that are affected most by rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re currently not eating much fish at all, try including at least two servings of 3 to 4 ounces of fish like salmon, herring, mackerel or tuna each week.
Many people have never heard of bromelain supplements. That’s OK, though, as they’re easy to find and may have a significantly positive effect on your life with RA. Bromelain is a chemical found in pineapples that has been shown to possibly reduce inflammation in patients who have either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. According to Everyday Health, eating pineapple won’t put enough bromelain into your system, as it is found in higher quantities within the stem of the fruit. With your doctor’s approval, try supplementing your diet with bromelain pills, which you should be able to find at most drugstores and on the Internet.
One of the more unexpected (and delicious) possible dietary solutions for the stiffness and swelling that come along with RA is eating more nuts. Health Monitor reports that walnuts, peanuts, almonds and similar foods have plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. That’s the same substance described above and commonly found in fish. Try carrying small bags of these nuts around with you as a simple and healthy snack that may help you with your disease. You can also sprinkle them on a wide variety of foods from pancakes to salads for a crunchy, delicious addition.