Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are so many forms of arthritis, but arguably one of the most debilitating is rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, you can do some things to reduce the pain and fatigue — most importantly developing a proper diet plan. Did you know that fatty foods as well as sugars can exacerbate your symptoms?

rheumatoid arthritis

Although there is no specific “arthritis diet,” customizing your diet by eliminating sugar and excess starch from your diet. Did you know that if you’re deficient in minerals, your body will look for what it needs by stealing calcium from the bones and teeth. Since calcium is the primary mineral used to neutralize high acid in the cells, we could be left with “toxic” minerals, because there’s not enough calcium to fight them off. This can also lead to osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney stones, and even hardening of the arteries.

Here are some types of foods to avoid and some to include in a diet that may ease pain, stiffness and tiredness:

Avoid fatty foods – Saturated fats found in some foods such as butter, bacon and various dairy products might increase inflammation. Chemicals called prostaglandins are found in these foods and have been identified as culprits in arthritic joint destruction. Meats contain arachidonic acid, which can convert to prostaglandins after it’s ingested.

Arthritis ReliefA vegetarian diet can help – Some people find that eliminating meat and adopting a completely vegetarian diet helps relieve the pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Others find no advantage to eating a meat-free diet.

Eliminate alcohol – It’s best to entirely eliminate alcohol from your diet if you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, research shows that alcohol may protect against developing the disease. If you’re taking arthritis medication, be sure to talk to your health care provider about harmful side-effects.

Take vitamins – Certain vitamins and minerals should be included in any diet to prevent symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis – especially if you take certain prescriptions such as methotrexate. A diet high in folic acid (a B vitamin) can help to alleviate side-effects of methotrexate and also helps manufacture important red blood cells. Selenium, found in tuna, is also a good way to prevent damage to tissue. Vitamin D can prevent bone loss.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids – Foods such as nuts, some fish, flax seed and soybean products are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that can effectively reduce inflammation. As an added benefit, these fatty acids also help prevent heart disease, which is more likely in those who have rheumatoid arthritis.

Consider a Mediterranean diet – Research has shown that cases of rheumatoid arthritis are rare in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece – or less severe if diagnosed. A Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables and foods rich in vitamin C. Olive oil and legumes also figure in to this healthy and disease-fighting diet.

There’s no need for a trial and error approach. Many people have quit the sugar habit and improved their health by changing their diet. If you know an improved diet could improve your health, the plan is meant for you.


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