Doctors may not know what triggers rheumatoid arthritis, but researchers are studying the role that diet plays in inflammation. Consuming foods that combat inflammation has the ability to lower the symptoms, such as pain and swelling, of rheumatoid arthritis.
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of consuming nutritious foods can help reduce the body’s inflammation.
Doctors also identified that certain foods and seasonings could decrease the number of inflammatory compounds in the body. Examples are chocolate, capsaicin in chili peppers, and vitamin D-containing foods.
Making minor but significant improvements to the diet will minimize the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis ( RA) while improving energy and making it much easier for a healthy weight to be achieved and sustained.
We look at a few anti-inflammatory recipes for various times of the day in this article. Most of the recipes, as well as recommended meals below, are also suitable for vegetarians.
People may prefer to try the day with a protein-rich meal to feel satisfied on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Some examples are:
- White egg omelette with fresh vegetables such as spinach and peppers
- Probiotic yogurts with fresh fruits
- whole-wheat toast with either low-sugar fruit, fresh slices of apple with nut butter, or avocado
A warm cup of green tea is an excellent option for an anti-inflammatory morning beverage.
It can help combat inflammation by integrating fruit into your diet at breakfast, as a snack during the day, or a dessert after dinner. With every meal, people should try to consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit.
A handful of fruits to include are:
Seasonal fruits also have their benefits. Mango and pomegranate are two good options when they are available.
Oatmeal rich in fiber
Oatmeal is a food rich in fibre that is easy to include in a RA diet for individuals. It is better to pick slow-cooked oats over instant ones where appropriate because they tend to have lower sugar content.
Including berries to the above list will increase the oatmeal’s nutritional content and improve the taste.
Recipes for Lunch
Individuals should consider including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins for lunch. A few examples of anti-inflammatory options for lunch are listed below.
A great anti-inflammatory choice for lunch is new, green salads. Begin with a base of spinach, kale, or both, then introduce fruit, such as tomatoes, oranges, and apples that are thinly sliced. Following a 2017 study, these fruits may help minimize the production of certain inflammatory compounds.
Soups are an effective way of incorporating foods high in vegetables and protein into the diet. Examples of choices for the soup to try include:
- Soup containing carrots, tomatoes, and lentils
- Apples and onions soup
- Spiced soup sweet potatoes
Many of these soups contain ingredients that can also be used by people for breakfast and dinner meals.
As a basic guideline, lean protein, which is a protein that is also low in fat, should be included in anti-inflammatory recipes for dinner.
An anti-inflammatory diet requires a little extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings to be added to the palate, which may help improve the taste. There are less processing and refining of extra-virgin olive oil than other options for olive oil.
As a result, it could be more nutrient-dense. Compounds, which may have inflammation-fighting qualities include certain seasonings, like ginger and turmeric.
Vegetables can perfectly complement sources of inflammation-fighting protein. Healthy vegetable options include spinach, broccoli, and kale.
Beans are a source of fibre that can improve a person’s general RA nutrient levels. They also consist of vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Consuming at least a single cup of beans twice a week is suggested by the Arthritis Foundation.
A few varieties of beans you can eat are:
- Black beans
- Red kidney beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Pinto beans
A bean medley will make a perfect side dish filled with protein or the main meal.
Creating a tasty stir-fry is another dinner choice for an anti-inflammatory diet. This will include a selection of proteins as well as vegetables in addition to rice or noodles.
One anti-inflammatory food that individuals can include in a stir-fry is onions. Onions contain lots of antioxidants, which can help combat inflammation. Other stir-fry vegetables that include sugar snap peas, carrots, peppers, and green beans, are also well blended.
Red wine contains a compound often referred to as resveratrol, which is known to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Nevertheless, alcohol can interact negatively with certain RA drugs, such as methotrexate.
Thus, individuals taking medicine for RA should always speak to a doctor before using red wine in their diet.
Snack recipe options
A perfect way to stay full during the day and avoid the lure of high-sugar and high-salt foods is to consume snacks. Inflammation in the body can increase with these types of food.
A combination of nuts and seeds is an easy anti-inflammatory snack, which may include:
- Chia seeds
- Pine nuts
Several squares of high-cocoa chocolate, which has a cocoa concentration of 70 per cent or more, is another delicious snack or dessert option.
Flavanols, which are substances that can have anti-inflammatory effects in the diet, are rich in cocoa.
An anti-inflammatory diet is typically a great starting point if a person with RA is trying to lose weight. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins effectively lose weight even while getting enough calories every day.
Following the Arthritis Foundation, about two-thirds of an individual’s diet should come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Low-fat dairy and lean protein sources can compose the remaining one-third. A few of the inflammation-relieving foods that research has shown include cold-water fish containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Some examples of such fish include:
Extra virgin olive oil may also help combat inflammation. Recipes from the Mediterranean diet, which is typically rich in fish, berries, vegetables, and whole grains, are recommended by many physicians.
In addition, vitamin D-rich foods can also aid in reducing inflammation.
Some examples are:
- Cereals enriched with vitamin D
- Fortified bread
- Low-fat milk enriched with vitamin D
Foods you need to avoid
Just as it appears that certain foods combat inflammation, others can increase it. In a person’s blood, fried foods will increase the compound known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
In people with inflammation, the levels of AGEs appear to be high, so it is possible that they play a big role in its growth.
Excess omega-6 fatty acids can also trigger inflammation if an individual doesn’t have sufficient anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in their meal to balance them out. Several cooking oils, like maize, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils, provide sources of omega-6 fatty acids.
People with RA can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet that they follow. Several recipes are available for each form of meal to help individuals adopt this diet.
Anti-inflammatory foods, such as trans-fatty acids, are also balanced diets that encourage healthy digestion and are typically free from unhealthy fat sources. Rather, these diets contain sources of healthy fat, like fish and olive oil.
A person should speak to their doctor prior to beginning a new diet or trying a supplement for the first time. Occasionally, these dietary changes may lead to harmful drug interactions or have an adverse impact on overall health.