Living with Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic and annoying. Two years ago, our world came crumbling down when me and my family got to know about our mother being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). An auto immune disease, but also very common, found in people residing in India and all over the world, this disease has no cure. The treatment for RA is all about steroids, injections and surgeries if uncontrollable. We couldn’t really see her in immense pain and ultimately we all resorted for steroids as the last option keeping in mind, the weather of my hometown which is quite chilly, rainy and cooler for the maximum months of the year. RA has no connection with age or gender. It is an irrevocable occurrence in the immune system which mistakenly attacks our own bodies’ tissues thereby mainly affecting the inner lining of the joints, causing painful swelling, stiffness and severe joint pains
Winters and rainy season is the worst for her always. The moisture in the air results up in uncontrollable swelling and stiffness where as winters causes joints pain all the more. It is so tough to see your parents ageing! That too for women who are married off in a different town, miles apart. I’m sure many of us would be able to relate to this dilemma when you cannot even see your parents when they need us the most.
RA Diet ?
Since getting rid from the condition is not possible, all you can do is getting a relief from the symptoms which can fairly be managed through controllable changes in your lifestyle and diet. The main area of concern should be
- Manage pain relief
- Reducing inflammation and stiffness
- Slow progression of the disease
Although, we did start observing some of the changes in her diet with the guidance of the doctor and experienced people already suffering with RA, we also tried and analysed what kind of diet helps her and what accelerated her pains and swelling. And perhaps, this would be the best platform to reach out the maximum number of people to let you all know too. However, I would even like to mention that I am no medical expert and the following list may not suit all of you or may not cover up what suits the best for you. I would recommend you to take proper medical assistance before charting out a particular diet for any of your family members affected with RA.
- OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS : These fats have been found to reduce the inflammation occurring due to RA. The Omega 3 fatty acids also help in lowering the bad cholesterol or the ‘LDL’ in the bodies. Also it is important to maintain the weight of the body as the more heavier you are the more pressure it would release on the knees causing more difficulty in walking and performing the daily and basic chores for people with RA.
- GINGER : Studies prove ginger to contain anti-inflammatory properties at a cellular level. A good anti-ulcer, anti-oxidant and analgesic properties, it also is a great pain reliever for muscle pain. Adding ginger to your diet via grating some of it into the veggies or boiling it up in some soup or tea helps in boosting the overall immunity as well.
- GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES : Adding green intake to your diet is unquestionably the best. A good intake of dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, brocoli help in providing iron, magnesium and calcium to the body. Also, the green vegetables are a great source of Vitamin E. The presence of phytochemicals in the green vegetables helps in boosting up the immune system, thereby protecting it from free radical damage and reducing the inflammation to a great extent. Brocoli is a great source of calcium which helps in keeping the bones stronger.
- BEETROOTS : Beetroots have been linked with fighting out heart diseases, cancer and even placating the symptoms of RA. Though, not included in our diets quite often, beetroots are rich in antioxidants and fibre present in them which help in proper digestion and help the body function smoothly. Add them to your diet in form of salads or in form of some fresh beetroot juice along with some leafy veggies to make it a part of your diet
- NUTS : If you are not allergic to nuts, it is worth being a part of a rheumatoid-arthritis struggling body. Nuts are rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E. Adding walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and almonds to your diet will help as the best source for omega 3 fatty acids which help in reducing the inflammation.
- CITRUS FRUITS : Oranges, grapefruits , lemons are a great source of Vitamin C which help in vigoring up the immune system. Citrus fruits also help the body to produce collagen, a healthy component for healthy bones.
- POMEGRANATES : Studies show that pomegranates help in decreasing joint tenderness, reducing inflammation and hindering the production of cartilage-destroying enzymes. Intake of pomegranates in their natural form or in form of juice is a great source of Vitamin K, potassium, folate , copper and fibre. They also are a great source of protecting the body cells from any kind of damage. They contain 48% of the recommended daily Vitamin C and have exceptional nutritional values to maintain the haemoglobin levels in the blood stream
- SOYBEANS OR SOY PRODUCTS: Soybeans are rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Soy products are characterized to counteract inflammation and protecting cartilage plus bone health. Cutting off the traditional cow’s milk and adding soy milk to the diet and intake of tofu may help you fight the pains and swelling in RA.
Hope this post was of any use for you or any of your family members/friends/relatives suffering with Rhematoid Arthritis. If you have anymore suggestions on this topic, you may write to me at : ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘ or comment below.
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Good health to all !
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Disclaimer : The content written above belongs to me.The pictures presented above have been taken from Google. The information given above is for awareness purpose only. It is purely based on facts which I do not intend to impose on anyone. I am no medical expert for the same. This information cannot be used to diagnose or treat any health issues without consulting your doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions, queries or concerns you might have regarding your condition.