Keri Glassman, Nutritionist
By knowing what foods to incorporate into their diet, people with RA are able to reduce inflammation and improve their overall health.
Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet can help reduce inflammation.
A Mediterranean diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, improve joint pain, and boost your immune system.
Walnuts and cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies, are a great source.
Using oil, such as canola, nut, and flaxseed oils, are also another way to incorporate omega-3s into your diet. Try cooking with them or using them for salad dressings.
These are healthier options than hydrogenated oils or oils that are high in saturated fats.
Along with omega-3s, it's important to have adequate amounts of iron and folic acid to protect against anemia.
Studies show that 60% of the people with RA have anemia. Good sources of folic acid are beets, lentils, and beans, such as garbanzos and black beans.
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are not only high in folic acid,
but are also high in antioxidants, which have been shown to be helpful in minimizing RA symptoms and boosting the immune system.
Another great source of antioxidants are berries. Berries are also high in fiber. Fiber is important to incorporate into an RA diet because fiber helps reduce inflammation.
RA can be different for everyone, so it's important to figure out what works best for you.
But in general, aim for eating a diet that's low in saturated fat, as well as high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.