While there is no specific diet that people with rheumatoid arthritis should follow, certain foods can help control inflammation. Here’s what you should include in your diet to fight inflammation and boost your immune system…
Omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA found in oily fish (eg salmon, sardines, herrings, mackerel) help to reduce inflammation and to maintain healthy joints. Select organic fish (salmon and trout are currently available) or take an omega-3 fish oil supplement as most are now checked to ensure levels of pollutants are low. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in improving several measures of joint health, and in reducing the long-term need for painkillers in those with joint problems.
Fruit and vegetables are your main dietary source of vitamin C, which is needed for collagen synthesis in cartilage, as well as for its anti-inflammatory antioxidant effects. People with moderate to high intakes of vitamin C are three times less likely to develop knee pain or see their knee osteoarthritis progress than those with low intakes.
It’s also important to obtain adequate amounts of fluid to maintain joint hydration.
A fibre-rich diet is linked to a lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis, finds the first study of its kind, published in 2017 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The health benefits of a fibre-rich diet include reductions in blood pressure, weight, and systemic inflammation, and improved blood glucose control. Analysis of the data has shown that eating more fibre is associated with a lower risk of painful knee osteoarthritis. Additionally, eating more fibre in general, and a high cereal fibre intake, are associated with a significantly lower risk of worsening knee pain.