Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling disease which affects approximately 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population. The symptoms of this disease may be mild and may continue to be unnoticed for sometime. Fortunately, research has shown that healthy diet for rheumatoid arthritis patients cab helps to reduce the symptoms and can even prevent the condition. Thus, in this article, there is a brief discussion on the diet for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Diet for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Patients suffering with rheumatoid arthritis must include all essential nutrients in their diet as it helps in the treatment.

  • Cold water fish:

    This is one of the best foods for people who are suffering with the sore joints of the rheumatoid arthritis as fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Regular intake of fish (4 to 6 servings per week) has been proven to lower the symptoms of the disease and also to elevate the levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty. Cold water fish include halibut, salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod and sardines.

  • Vitamin D-rich foods:

    Consuming foods that are rich in D vitamins helps to provide protection against the developing rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the vitamin D food sources include tuna, salmon, shrimp, eggs, sunflower seeds and fortified milk with vitamin D and their products.

  • Fruits and vegetables:

    Fresh vegetables and fruits contain important antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties include vitamin E, vitamin C along with a good amount of fiber. Research has proven that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have taken vegetarian diet have found that their disease symptoms reduces and have even disappeared completely.

  • Olive oil:

    It is the most beneficial oil with many health benefits. The fats in the olive oil are generally used by the body to produce a very powerful anti-inflammatory substance, prostacyclin. Research has also proved that intake of pure olive oil has dramatically reduce the disease symptoms.

  • Yogurt:

    Intake of fresh organic yogurt also has many health benefits. Regular intake of fresh culture organic yogurt helps to increase the beneficial bacteria which in turn kill harmful bacteria and boosts the immune system.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids:

    A good source of omega-3 fatty acids through the diet can help to produce healthy cells, substances which limit the inflammation amount and also helps in a functional immune system. Thus, the body is able to fight against the micro organisms (bacteria, virus, fungi and other harmful invaders) without getting it out of control and attacking it. Some of the omega-3 fatty acids rich food sources include salmon, mackerel, halibut, harrine, tuna, cod, sardines, walnuts and flax seeds.

  • Vitamin C:

    It is one among the main antioxidant inside the body. This vitamin eliminates free radicals from the body which causes joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, intake of plenty of vitamin C can helps to reduce the damage. Some of the excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli, bell peppers, parsley, strawberries, lemons, cauliflower, mustard greens, papaya, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, cabbage, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, chard, raspberries, collard greens, peppermint leaves, celery, asparagus, fennel bulb, watermelon and pine apple.

  • Vitamin E:

    It is another important antioxidant inside the body. Vitamin E also has the same function like vitamin C, which helps eliminate free radicals and to reduce the damage that is caused in rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, increase the intake of vitamin E also helps to reduce the symptoms significantly. Some of the excellent food sources of vitamin E include mustard greens , turnip greens, chard and sunflower seeds.

  • Selenium:

    Selenium is very essential in the body as the antioxidant system id dependent on it. It helps in reactivating the vitamins C and E so that they can eliminate more and more free radicals from the body. Some of the excellent food sources of selenium include mushrooms, snapper, cod, shrimp, salmon, crimini, calf liver and yellow fin tuna.

  • Vitamin A:

    Vitamin A is another essential nutrient which is needed by the body for its proper functioning. This helps the body to produce healthy membranes and maintain them like synovial membranes found in the joints. Adequate amount of A vitamin helps in proper functioning of the immune system. Some of the excellent sources of A vitamin include sweet potatoes, calf liver, carrots, kale, collard greens, winter squash, chard, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, parsley, spinach, cayenne pepper, Brussels sprouts, peppermint leaves, broccoli, tomatoes, apricots and asparagus.

  • Zinc:

    It is also needed for the normal functioning of the immune system and maintenance of the healthy membranes. Including adequate amount of zinc in the diet can help to lower the negative or side effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The two excellent food sources of zinc include crimini mushrooms and liver.

  • Copper:

    It is necessary for the connective tissue production, something which is damaged in the rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps to reduce free radicals. Increasing the intake of copper helps manage and also to prevent the problems associated with this condition. Excellent food sources of copper include crimini mushrooms, calf liver, black strap molasses and turnip greens.

  • Calcium:

    Calcium along with vitamin D work together to build strong and healthy bones. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have bone loss which is a result of this condition and are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. Thus, including both these vitamins help to prevent and reverse this condition. Some of the excellent sources of calcium are mustard greens, spinach, collard greens and turnip greens.

The above listed are some of the foods that must be included in the diet for rheumatoid arthritis. These food sources contain essential nutrient supplements which help to boost the immune system and reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and prevent the the condition.

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