Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can effect people of any age. In fact, almost 50% of Americans under the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis. Although not all of these are cases of rheumatoid arthritis, it just goes to show that arthritis can effect someone at any age.
Thankfully, there are many foods that provide arthritis relief that are easily available and can help reduce the unpleasant symptoms caused by arthritis.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis that stems from an autoimmune disorder. This means that it occurs because your immune system is unable to differentiate healthy tissue from invading toxins. This causes the immune system to attack your body’s tissue, which causes the various symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that is characterized by pain, stiffness, swelling and limited movement of multiple joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can effect any kind of joint, however the most commonly effected joints are the ones found in the hands and feet. Sometimes inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can effect organs as well, such as the lungs of the eyes.
The stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis is usually at its worst during the morning, or after long periods of staying still, such as sitting on plane. This stiffness can last for as little as an hour or as long as the entire day. Stiffness during the morning can be an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis, as no other forms of arthritis are characterized by this.
Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Firm lumps (called rheumatoid nodules) that grow beneath the skin on elbow and hand joints
Foods for Arthritis Relief
In order to treat arthritis, many people turns to pharmaceutical treatments and medicines to relieve them of their arthritis pain. However these have been shown to cause a variety of unpleasant and harmful side effects, some of which can even worsen symptoms of arthritis. Thankfully, there are many readily available food that are able to relieve arthritis pain naturally.
Many different types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which contains effective inflammation-fighting properties. Researchers suggest eating at least 3-4 ounces of fish twice a week. Species of fish that are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that are able to reduce inflammation and slow down the destruction of cartilage. This means that, not only does it relieve arthritis pain naturally, it also slows down the damaging effects caused by it. Studies have shown that an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate is able to block the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Certain type of oils that are either naturally found in foods or extracted for cooking purposes can both make your meals tastier and relieve arthritis pain naturally. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in healthy fats and oleocanthal, which produces benefits similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs without all of the side effects. Avocado and safflower oil also have similar properties, and walnut oil is incredibly rich in omega-3’s.
Eating citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and limes has been shown to reduce symptoms caused by arthritis. Research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin C helps in preventing arthritis caused by inflammation and maintaining healthier joints.
Beans are an excellent and healthy source of protein, which can benefit muscle health and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Beans are also rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, all of which are now for their immune system-protective benefits. Try eating either red, kidney or pinto beans.
Remember, if you eat a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory and immune protective nutrients, you can treat arthritis to the best of your ability while experiencing no side effects from harmful drugs. Let us know if this information was helpful for you in the comment section.