5 Foods That Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research examining the effects of food on rheumatoid arthritis suggested the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil and other foods in the Mediterranean diet may help minimize and prevent joint destruction.

Blueberries were among the foods that help fight rheumatoid arthritis in a recent study.
Nov. 27, 2017
By Mary West
Blueberries were among the foods that help fight rheumatoid arthritis in a recent study.

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A new review of sci­en­tific stud­ies found olive oil, blue­ber­ries, gin­ger, canary seed and green tea are some of the dietary ele­ments that can help alle­vi­ate the symp­toms of rheuma­toid arthri­tis. The authors deter­mined the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) was one of the eat­ing plans that are ben­e­fi­cial for this con­di­tion.

Supporting dis­ease man­age­ment through food and diet does not pose any harm­ful side effects and is rel­a­tively cheap and easy.- Bhawna Gupta, KIIT University, India

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,” says coau­thor Bhawna Gupta from the Disease Biology Lab, School of Biotechnology, KIIT University, India. Incorporating pro­bi­otics into the diet can also reduce the pro­gres­sion and symp­toms of this dis­ease.”

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,” she con­tin­ues.
See Also: Olive Oil Health Benefits
The pain, joint stiff­ness and swelling of rheuma­toid arthri­tis seri­ously impair qual­ity of life. Complications of the dis­ease involve harm­ful effects to other organs of the body, which can reduce life expectancy. Early detec­tion is dif­fi­cult, and when undi­ag­nosed, the con­di­tion wors­ens rapidly dur­ing the first few years after onset. First-line treat­ment is med­ica­tions, but they are costly.

In the review, pub­lished in Frontiers in Medicine, researchers under­took a com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion of stud­ies that inves­ti­gated the effects of diets and foods on rheuma­toid arthri­tis. They only reported dietary ele­ments that revealed a long-term proven ben­e­fit. Because stud­ies increas­ingly show a link between an altered micro­bial com­mu­nity in the gut and the dis­ease, the authors advised rheuma­tol­o­gists to sug­gest diet ther­apy to patients who suf­fer from it.

Supporting dis­ease man­age­ment through food and diet does not pose any harm­ful side effects and is rel­a­tively cheap and easy,” said Gupta. Doctors, physi­cians and dieti­cians can use our study to sum­ma­rize cur­rent proven knowl­edge on the links between cer­tain foods and rheuma­toid arthri­tis. Knowing the nutri­tional and med­i­c­i­nal require­ments of their patients they can then tai­lor this infor­ma­tion for the bet­ter­ment of their health.”

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Most of the foods iden­ti­fied as effec­tive agents for alle­vi­at­ing symp­toms and slow­ing the advance­ment of the dis­ease are part of the MedDiet. These include fruits, such as pome­gran­ates, blue­ber­ries, grape­fruits and dried plums, along with whole grains, such as oats, mil­let, bar­ley, whole wheat and canary seed. Fish oil and olive oil, as well as green tea and the spices of gin­ger and turmeric were also found valu­able. In addi­tion, pro­bi­otics, which are foods that con­tain live microor­gan­isms like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, were ascer­tained to be help­ful.

The researchers hope the results of the review can be used to develop a type of treat­ment for the dis­ease that doesn’t involve adverse reac­tions such as those asso­ci­ated with med­ica­tions.

Pharmaceutical com­pa­nies may use this infor­ma­tion to for­mu­late nutraceu­ti­cals’. Nutraceuticals have an advan­tage over chem­i­cally-tai­lored med­i­cines as they are not asso­ci­ated with any side effects, orig­i­nate from nat­ural sources and are cheaper,” said Gupta.

In an inter­view with Olive Oil Times, bio­chemist Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet book series and pres­i­dent of the Inflammation Research Foundation gives his dietary for­mula for fight­ing the dis­ease. His rec­om­men­da­tions are in total agree­ment with the review’s find­ings.

Rheumatoid arthri­tis is an autoim­mune dis­ease char­ac­ter­ized by inflam­ma­tion caused by an over-pro­duc­tion of inflam­ma­tory pro­teins known as cytokines,” he said. The fol­low­ing are the three clin­i­cally proven way to reduce cytokines: Increase intake of omega‑3 fatty found in fish and fish oils, increase intake of polyphe­nols — the chem­i­cals that give fruits and veg­eta­bles their color, and high intake of veg­eta­bles that pro­vide fer­mentable fiber to reduce inflam­ma­tion in the gut. These are com­po­nents found in the MedDiet.”





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