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8 Diet Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

No. 4. Stick With Salmon

Fish is high in vitamin D. You really need this bone-building nutrient in your diet because RA can put you at increased risk for poor bone health. “There is often bone loss around inflamed joints, and steroid medications can be hard on your bones,” Askanase says. Plus, pain might stop you from getting regular exercise, which could also make your bones weaker.

Just 3 ounces of salmon can provide more vitamin D than you need for an entire day. You can also find many brands of milk and orange juice with vitamin D. 

Cold-water fish like salmon also offers omega-3 fatty acids, a good fat that can help keep your heart healthy and lower inflammation, Sandon says.

No. 5. Hit the Walnuts

Walnuts are another good source of omega-3s. Along with vitamins and minerals, nuts are a healthy source of fat in general. How healthy? One study showed that people who ate the most nuts for over 15 years were half as likely to die from inflammatory diseases like RA, compared with those who ate the least. Still, nuts are high in calories, so limit your portion to around an ounce.

No. 6. Make Time for Tea

Sip on some steamy mugs of green tea throughout the day. Not only will you get hydration without calories, but it may also ease your RA symptoms. That’s because green tea has unique antioxidants that zap inflammation compounds.

The brew can also help your heart by improving blood cholesterol numbers. Just be sure to enjoy it straight up. Proteins in milk can bind to the antioxidants in green tea and reduce their power. 

No. 7. Ride the Whole-Grain Train

Swap out white bread and rice for whole grains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa. This can lower levels of compounds in your body that trigger flares. “Whole grains contain levels of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals not found in refined versions that make them more beneficial for those with arthritis,” Sandon says. Whole grains may also help with weight loss.

You might find a gluten-free diet helps RA symptoms. If you want to try it, steer clear of grains like wheat and barley, Askanase says. You can still enjoy plenty of gluten-free whole grains including quinoa, millet, oats, and amaranth.

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