Diet won’t cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the right food choices can help by controlling the inflammation that wreaks havoc in the body, delivering nutrients your body needs and helping you maintain a healthy weight. That’s important because excess weight adds to pressure on achy joints and can make certain RA meds less effective. What’s more, body fat produces proteins called cytokines that promote inflammation.
Studies show that a Mediterranean diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats is a good choice for people with RA. Here’s a look at some foods you should be eating.
Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and other cold-water fish are rich in omega -3 fatty acids, which may help control inflammation. Your body needs a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Researchers have found that a greater ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s is associated with an increase in chronic inflammatory diseases like RA. So it’s important to reduce omega-6s – which may provoke inflammation and are found in meats, certain oils and in fried and processed foods that contain those oils – and increase omega-3s.