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Inflammation can be controlled with careful RA diet

Inflammation can be controlled with a careful rheumatoid arthritis diet

March 17, 2017

According to a recently published CreakyJoints guideline, inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be controlled by the consumption of certain foods, especially those found in a Mediterranean diet.

“While there is no special ‘diet’ an arthritis patient should follow — despite what you may have heard or read online — research shows that eating certain foods, particularly those you will find in a Mediterranean diet, can keep inflammation in check,” researchers wrote in the guidelines. “Other diets include going gluten free and following the Autoimmune Protocol. Diets can also be good for heart health and just feeling your best.”

Researchers recommend patients with rheumatoid arthritis should eat more of the following foods:

fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and other cold-water fish. These contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammatory proteins in the body;

fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, kale or broccoli. These contain antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation;

nuts, such as walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds. According to the guideline, these contain mono-unsaturated fat and fiber, which can help fight inflammation;

beans, as these contain antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds;

olive oil, as it contains mono-unsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal, another anti-inflammatory compound;

onions, as these contain many antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, improve heart health and control cholesterol; and

fiber, which is found in beans, whole-grain breads and cereals, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. The guideline noted fiber lowers C-reactive protein, which is found in the blood and is a strong marker of inflammation.

In addition, researchers recommend patients should eat less of the following foods:

alcohol and processed food, such as packaged snack chips, pastries, cookies and other sweets. These contain refined sugar and salt, which can increase body weight and inflammation;

gluten and wheat, which are found in rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and some other grains. According to the researchers, these may irritate the digestive tract and exacerbate autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis; and

nightshades, which include eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. These can trigger arthritis flares. As there is little evidence to support this, researchers recommend an elimination trial period of 2 weeks to test if this helps.

They also recommended that patients avoid fad diets that claim to get rid of arthritis symptoms or cure arthritis. Researchers recommended patients talk with their doctors before any change in diet.

“You can seek council from dieticians, naturopaths and nutritionists, and always make sure to consult your doctor,” the researchers wrote. – by Will Offit