Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are your best option for great ingredients and health benefits. For example, strawberries, grapes, cherries, and peppers are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants include vitamin C and thiols, which get rid of unhealthy molecules – called “free radicals” – in the body. Free radicals wreak havoc in the body by causing inflammation.
Phytochemicals are another natural ingredient that help combat inflammation, particularly in the joints. Phytochemicals are natural chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and wonderful smells. To get plenty of phytochemicals, add garlic, yams, beets, cabbage, and pumpkin to your diet.
Use this rule to find the healthiest produce: The brighter the better! Next time you’re at the store, pick up some vibrant carrots, spinach, blueberries, and watermelon.
Protein and Omega-3
We all need protein in order to be healthy and strong. Proteins are the building blocks of all of our cells and tissues – especially muscle. But certain proteins may be better than others for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
One such source of protein is salmon. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon packs in tons of protein and added health benefits, with very little fat. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce inflammation all over the body, including in your joints. There are many other types of fish that are high in omega-3s as well, so try them all and find out what you like the best. If you’re not a fan of fish, talk to your doctor about adding an omega-3 supplement to your daily routine.
Another great protein-based source of relief from inflammation is lentils and beans. Black beans and kidney beans are especially powerful at reducing inflammation throughout the body. Packed with protein, lentils and beans are a great way to get natural arthritis-fighting benefits as well as a nutrient-packed meal.
For an anti-inflammatory snack, munch on raw or lightly roasted almonds for a great source of protein and anti-inflammatory properties.
Herbs & Spices
Everyone loves flavorful food. So spice up your meal with some great herbs and seasonings that will also work to fight inflammation for you. Spices such as turmeric and curry have great anti-inflammatory effects, as does ginger root, rosemary, sage, and cinnamon.
For savory meals, add a bit of cayenne pepper, turmeric, or ginger. When cooking with poultry, rub the meat with sage or rosemary before cooking for some extra zest. And for sweet desserts or breakfasts, add some cinnamon or ground cloves. Together these herbs and spices will enliven your palate and help fight rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Before making any changes, talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking and your ideas for eating anti-inflammatory foods. Then get ready to enjoy the delicious path to less pain from rheumatoid arthritis.