Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Should You Eat and What Should You Avoid?

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that has gained prevalence in the U.S.

This troublesome condition primarily causes swelling and pain. It happens when the immune system doesn’t work properly and attacks the lining of the joints. The disease commonly affects the hands, knees, or ankles, but it sometimes causes problems in other parts of the body as well, such as the eyes, heart and circulatory system, and/or the lungs. While there is no specific diet that treats RA, there are certain nutrient-dense foods that decrease inflammation in the body and may help you feel better overall.

In this article, we have identified some foods to fill up on and foods to avoid if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Do Eat These Foods

Beans

Loaded with fiber, beans can reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the bloodstream, which is a sign of inflammation. Beans also provide the protein needed to keep the muscles that surround joints strong. Red, kidney, and pinto beans are also good sources of magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, all of which can give the heart and immune system a boost.

Leafy green vegetables

Fill your plate with leafy veggies like spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli. They are full of important vitamins like A, C, and K, which protect the body from free radical damage. They’re also great sources of calcium, which keeps bones strong.

Cherries

Chemicals called anthocyanins give cherries their vivid red color. These chemicals are also powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation. In addition to cherries, you can find these beneficial chemicals in other purple and red fruits like raspberries and blueberries.

Fish

Many types of fish are rich in omega-3s, a specific type of fatty acid that may ease RA pain and morning stiffness. They also lower inflammation and cut down on bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies are great sources of omega-3s. Salmon packs the most, with as much as 2 grams per 3-ounce serving. Bake or grill fish instead of frying it to retain those powerful nutritional properties. Aim for two or more servings of fish per week.

Green tea

This tasty drink is laden with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. It also has epigallocatechin-3 (EGCG), which hinders the production of molecules that lead to RA joint damage.

Whole grains

Consuming whole grains instead of processed ones (such as brown rice instead of white) may lower CRP levels, the marker for inflammation. Plus, the dense fiber in whole grains is very filling. It can help you manage your weight so that extra pressure is not put on your joints.

Steer Clear of These Foods

Red meat

Beef represents a prime source of saturated fats, which can cause inflammation in fat tissue. Other common sources include full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Corn oil

This commonly-used oil is brimming with unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids. These culprits can lead to weight gain and joint inflammation. Sunflower, safflower, soy, and vegetable oils are also sources of omega-6 fatty acids.

Fried and processed foods

They may taste good but they are major sources of trans fats, which are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to extend its shelf life. They can trigger inflammation throughout the body and they quickly raise bad cholesterol.  

Salt

Not only does too much sodium bad raise your blood pressure, but if you have RA and take steroids, your body is likely to accumulate it more easily. Kick the salt habit and aim to consume less than 1,500 milligrams a day.

Sugar

Many people with rheumatoid aortitis have proteins in their body called ‘anti-citrullinated protein antibodies’ (ACPA), which cause inflammation and trigger the disease. Experts think sugar tells the body to produce more ACPA, which can make RA symptoms worse. In addition to checking food labels for sugar, also look for ingredients that end in ‘ose’, such as dextrose, fructose, and sucrose.

Alcohol

Simply put, alcohol doesn’t mix well with RA meds. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers, and those odds increase with the addition of alcohol.

Keep rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in check with common-sense eating.

Experts recommend eating three balanced meals per day plus a couple of healthy snacks, such as fruit or nuts. Fill up on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. They should make up two-thirds of your plate. Consume low-fat dairy and lean proteins, and limit processed and fried foods.

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is proud to offer helpful resources, useful tools, and compassionate care. If we can be of assistance in any way, please contact us.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit batchelorbrothers.com.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Black History Month: Six Fascinating Facts Everyone Should Know

Black History Month is an important annual celebration of achievements by African Americans. In the United States, Black History Month is observed in February to recognize the innumerable key cont...

During Cold and Flu Season, Follow These Smart Ways to Stay Healthy

When everyone around you is sick, staying healthy can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

Coffin or Casket? Six Considerations to Help you Choose the Right Memorial Product

The choice of a coffin or casket should not be taken lightly. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have some notable differences. Caskets and coffins both serve as burial contain...

Hosting a Reception after the Funeral? Follow These Six Helpful Guidelines

Hosting a reception after the funeral of a loved one presents an opportunity to demonstrate your enduring affection. The funeral reception gives mourners the chance to support each other, share fo...

Six Proven Ways to Calm Anxiety and Ease Stress

As stress levels rise, so does the need for self-care. Having effective ways to calm anxiety becomes even more essential amid challenging times. We all feel anxious from time to time. That sense o...

Coins on a Headstone Hold Special Meaning. Here’s Why.

Have you ever seen coins on a headstone? Leaving signs of remembrance on graves is a long-held tradition. While flowers are the most common grave decoration, they aren’t the only way to pay tribut...

Four Things You Need to Know If You are a Pallbearer or Honorary Pallbearer

The role of pallbearer or honorary pallbearer is both an honor and a great responsibility. The duties primarily consist of helping to carry or accompany the casket throughout a traditional funeral...

Four Essential Things to Know When a Death Occurs Away from Home or Out of Town

When a death occurs away from home or out of town, knowing what to do can greatly ease the burden for you and your loved ones. Today, people spend significant time away from their homes for vacati...

Honoring Your Loved One: Seven Beautiful, Personalized Tributes Using Cremated Ashes

Cremated ashes take on a new meaning when they are utilized creatively to fashion enduring tributes to loved ones who have passed on. Cremation has become the most popular funeral choice for Ameri...

Military Funerals: Six Creative Ideas for Honoring Your Departed Service Member

Transforming ordinary military funerals into highly personalized, meaningful occasions can be deeply healing. When an active-duty service member or veteran passes away, a meaningful final salute i...