If you have a condition that results in inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you can help ease the symptoms by eating anti-inflammatory foods. Whilst your diet won’t reverse damage caused by the condition, it can help to slow down the progression, ease pain, stiffness and discomfort and, as a result, limit further permanent damage to the affected area(s).
One study in England looked at how diet affected 130 women with rheumatoid arthritis. Half the women took classes in Mediterranean style cooking learned the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods and were encouraged to increase their intake of these foods in their day to day diet. Although the other half of the women were given information on anti-inflammatory foods found in the Mediterranean diet, they were not encouraged to change their diet. Both groups were encouraged to keep a diary of how they were feeling, reporting on pain, stiffness and other symptoms.
Over the next 6 months, the women who followed a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables, monounsaturated fats and fresh fish reported lower levels of joint pain, less stiffness in the morning and better general health than the women who had not changed their diet.
An RA diet can’t reverse existing damage. However, it can alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and can help to manage the condition following stem cell application.
Here are our top inflammation-fighting foods:
- 1. What: Fish
Why: If someone has rheumatoid arthritis, they have raised levels of cytokines, which cause inflammation in the body. Polyunsaturated fats, in particular omega 3 fatty acids, can help to reduce the levels of cytokines and other chemicals that cause inflammation. They also help to reduce bad cholesterol levels which are known to promote inflammation.
How: All fish contain omega 3 acids but herrings, salmon, sardines and anchovies contain especially high levels. Salmon contains the highest levels of omega 3, especially wild salmon. Don’t overcook it though as this can destroy the omega 3s. grill or bake your salmon instead of frying it to maintain the high “good” fat levels.
- 2. What: Whole Grains
Why: One study showed that people who ate plenty of whole grains (brown rice, barley, oatmeal) saw a reduction in CRP (C-reactive protein), an inflammation marker, in their blood. CRP levels often go up during a flare up of RA and levels can be used to measure the effectiveness of a patient’s response to treatment. Whole wheat products, such as pasta and bread, also contain selenium, an inflammation fighting antioxidant that is often found in lower than normal levels in people with RA.
How: Try eating whole grain and brown products instead of refined food, such as white rice, white bread, white pasta. Not only could this ease RA symptoms but it can help you to manage your weight, which, in turn, will ease pressure on your joints.
- 3. What: A Rainbow of Fruit and Veg
Why: Fruit and veg get their vibrant color from flavonoids and carotenoids, which are strong antioxidants, essential in any anti-inflammation diet. Many fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant.
How: Vary the colors of your fruit and vegetables. If you are cooking your vegetables, lightly steam them instead of boiling them to retain most of the antioxidants.
At Stem Cell Application Mexico we don’t just perform a procedure. We offer the support and advice to facilitate the best possible results for our stem cell application patients. By understanding the mechanisms behind autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, we are able to address some, or even all, of any existing damage caused by the condition, slow future progression and offer our patients support and advice about what they can do to improve their outcome and their future.