The list of recommend foods, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, includes fruits such as dried plums, blueberries and pomegranates, whole grains, specific oils and teas and the spices ginger and turmeric.
“Regular consumption of specific dietary fibers, vegetables, fruits and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis,” said study author Bhawna Gupta in a journal news release. Gupta is an assistant professor in the School of Biotechnology at KIIT in India.
Adding probiotics may also reduce the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Gupta said. “Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietician.”
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. An autoimmune and inflammatory disease, the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake, causing inflammation in the affected parts of the body.
Difficult to detect early, it can rapidly progress in the first few years. The first line of treatment includes disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, but these can be expensive.
By eating certain foods, people with rheumatoid arthritis may be able to reduce their symptoms and slow down progression of the disease.
Benefits may include:
- Reducing joint stiffness and pain.
- Lowering oxidative stress – the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify harmful chemicals.
- Lowering inflammatory cytokines – chemicals released by the immune system that cause problems in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
“Supporting disease management through food and diet does not pose any harmful side effects and is relatively cheap and easy,” Gupta said.
Sources: Frontiers in Nutrition news release, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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