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Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Ultimate RA Diet Plan

Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Ultimate RA Diet Plan

Apria Editorial |

Arthritis is a complex condition that can be challenging for both patients and loved ones. That is why ApriaHome believes in providing easy-to-follow resources and affordable treatment solutions for all.

Improve joint health with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. In this in-depth RA diet plan, ApriaHome lists the best & worst foods for rheumatoid arthritis.

More than one hundred illnesses and ailments affecting the joints are included under the umbrella term "arthritis", as stated in the CDC's Control and Prevention Fact Sheet - Arthritis. Arthritis is difficult to diagnose, treat, and manage pain for because it often occurs alongside other chronic conditions.

Pain, aching, swelling, and stiffness are just some of the symptoms experienced by those living with arthritis, and it's easy to understand how they may make daily living difficult for those who suffer from it. Arthritis affects over 23% of American adults and is also the leading cause of disability.

Arthritis is a complex condition that can be challenging for both patients and loved ones. That is why ApriaHome believes in providing easy-to-follow resources and affordable treatment solutions for all. Looking for a way to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis? Improve joint health with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. In this in-depth RA diet plan, ApriaHome lists the best and worst foods for rheumatoid arthritis.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful inflammatory disorder caused by the body's immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells.

Joints are the primary targets of RA symptoms, often affecting multiple joints simultaneously. Joint inflammation caused by RA will destroy joint tissue by weakening the joint's lining. This kind of tissue breakdown can result in persistent or chronic pain, loss of balance, and joint deformation.

To learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment solutions for arthritis, click here.

Can You Reverse RA With A Diet?

Although diet alone cannot alleviate the symptoms of RA, it can help manage the disease by reducing inflammation, providing essential nutrients, and promoting a healthy weight. Excessive weight puts extra strain on already painful joints and can reduce the efficacy of certain RA medications. Additionally, fat cells produce cytokines which contribute to the inflammatory process.

Some dietician and rheumatology research suggests that those suffering from RA might benefit from adopting Mediterranean-style diets high in fresh produce, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Diets For Rheumatoid Arthritis ‒ The Free RA Diet Plan From ApriaHome

Rheumatology research has uncovered various strategies for alleviating arthritis's painful symptoms, and balanced diets are often mentioned as a starting point. The Arthritis Foundation suggests the following health benefits of maintaining diets high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and legumes while decreasing consumption of processed foods and saturated fats. Our RA diet plan follows these guidelines:

Best Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Omega 3:
    Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring, help the body reduce inflammation.

  • Fresh Produce:
    Foods high in nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, contain antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals, which are responsible for inflammation and cell damage.

  • Beans & Legumes:
    The high fiber content of these foods has been linked to reduced levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). Protein from legumes helps maintain healthy muscle mass in the area of your joints. Kidney beans, lentils, and pinto beans are rich in heart and immune-healthy nutrients, including iron, zinc, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium,

  • Vitamin C:
    Abundant in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and limes, vitamin C is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and fending off inflammatory disorders like RA.

  • Whole Grains:
    Eating more whole grains will help reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (markers of inflammation). Whole grains are rich in antioxidants and support a healthy appetite and metabolism by supplying the body with adequate fiber.

  • Green Leafy Vegetables:
    Brussels sprouts, spinach, and kale contain the antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C, and K, which protect against tissue-damaging free radicals. These also support healthy bone density with their high calcium content.

Foods To Avoid For Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Omega 6:
    A higher proportion of omega-6s to omega-3s has been linked to an increased risk of chronic inflammatory disorders, including RA. Reduce omega-6s found in meats, saturated fats oils, fried and processed foods, and supplements with inflammatory-reducing omega-3s.

  • Salt:
    In addition to the known effects of excess salt on blood pressure, those with RA who have been diagnosed with corticosteroids may find that their bodies retain salt at an increased rate. Do not exceed 1,500 milligrams daily (0.05 Ounces).

  • Sugar:
    Sugar triggers the production of cytokines, molecules that initiate inflammation. Avoid foods with excess sugars as well as saturated and processed sugars.

  • Gluten:
    Proteins belonging to the gluten family are found in rye, barley, and wheat and are linked to elevated inflammatory markers, suggesting that avoiding gluten may alleviate arthritis symptoms.

  • Processed Foods:
    Examples of ultra-processed foods that contain additional sugar, refined carbohydrates, preservatives, and other inflammatory elements that can aggravate arthritic symptoms include baked goods, cereals, and fast food

  • Trans Fats:
    Increased blood levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are associated with eating meats cooked at a high temperature. Trans fats are produced when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to increase its shelf life. These can be attributed to higher levels of inflammation.

Best Drinks For Rheumatoid Arthritis

What you put into your body, in the form of food and liquid, is delivered to your organs and may have a direct impact on how you feel. For example, soda and other sugary beverages hinder calcium absorption, but these alternatives can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

  • Milk Products:
    Milk and other dairy products help protect the body from gout flare-ups and can also prevent the progression of osteoarthritis, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties and calcium content. Drink low-fat options to avoid saturated and trans fats.

  • Smoothies:
    According to the National Arthritis Foundation, the vibrant produce that goes into the blender is loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Smoothies made with yogurt include probiotics, which are beneficial microorganisms that have been demonstrated to lower inflammation. Choose from your tried-and-true smoothie ingredients, or consult this list of recommended ingredients for smoothies that are safe for people with RA.

  • Water:
    Water should be your primary drink of choice in relieving inflammation. By drinking enough water, you can help your body flush out toxins. Additionally, by maintaining a healthy fluid balance in the body, regular water consumption helps reduce the risk of painful gout flare-ups. Aim to drink eight glasses of water every day to feel the host of health benefits water offers the body.

  • Tea:
    Tea has several health benefits, making it a great option for those with arthritis. Anti-inflammatory properties like polyphenols are abundant in all three types of tea. Green teas are high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is more effective than vitamins C and E in protecting cartilage and bone.

Drinks To Avoid For Rheumatoid Arthritis

For most of their lives, RA patients will be required to take the same prescriptions in the appropriate dosages. However, these medications also come with contraindications and advice on how to take them appropriately. Many popular drinks can significantly alter the efficiency of medications and exacerbate the symptoms and progression of RA. According to the free rheumatoid arthritis diet plan from ApriaHome, ensure you limit or lower your intake of the following:

  • Alcohol:
    Combining alcohol consumption with the use of prescription drugs may raise the risk of liver damage because both put a strain on the liver. Some patients with RA may be able to consume alcohol in moderation, but the risks associated with beer, wine, and spirits may soon exceed any potential advantages.

  • Sodas:
    It's important for those using methotrexate to know that the acid in diet cola can potentially cause health problems. The acidity of cola beverages can make it more difficult for the immunosuppressant medication to be expelled in urine. Patients taking high doses of methotrexate should abstain from consuming any cola beverage for at least 24 hours before administration, during treatment, and until methotrexate has been fully expelled from the body. The caffeine in colas can also counteract the effects of RA medications like prednisone,

  • Grapefruit Juice:
    Grapefruit juice inhibits the protein CYP3A4, which helps the body metabolize pharmaceuticals like oral Sandimmune (cyclosporine) ‒ an immunosuppressant used by patients with RA who suffer from optical issues such as dry eyes. Grapefruit juice impairs the body's capacity to metabolize pharmaceuticals by causing a medication rise, potentially leading to additional adverse effects. Citrus juices, such as those prepared from Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos, may also impact how CYP3A4 functions in the body.

What Supplements Are Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Several dietary supplements have been shown to lower arthritis-related pain and stiffness

Some of the natural items examined include:

  • Glucosamine & chondroitin
  • S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e)
  • Curcumin
  • Vitamins D & K
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Chondroitin & Glucosamine:
When it comes to arthritis supplements, chondroitin and glucosamine are among the most popular choices. These are structural elements of the joint-cushioning tissue known as cartilage. Glucosamine has shown efficacy in reducing discomfort, pain, stiffness, and swelling while increasing mobility. Dietary chondroitin is an important component of cartilage and is used to slow the deterioration of cartilage and promote its own healing processes.

The most common forms of supplements for RA include:

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride
  • Glucosamine sulfate

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e):
Naturally occurring S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e) possesses cartilage-protecting, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. This supplement has proven to be as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at alleviating arthritic pains.

A further advantage of SAM-e exists. It has a slight-to-medium antidepressant function, with a recommended daily allowance of 1,200 milligrams (0.45 ounces).

Turmeric contains the active component curcumin, an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It suppresses the same enzyme responsible for inflammation as the COX-2 inhibitor pill celecoxib.

Vitamins D & K:
These vitamins have been the subject of research into their potential impact on arthritis. Vitamin K is involved in cartilage development, and both vitamins are essential for bone health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
The omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in fish oil have been shown to reduce inflammation and discomfort in people with arthritis. It is also linked to a higher rate of symptom remission, but it's difficult to acquire enough of them from diet alone.

Omega-3s have shown efficiency in reducing morning joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation.

Frequently Asked Questions About RA & Your Lifestyle, Health & Well-Being

Who gets rheumatoid arthritis?

Approximately 1.3 million individuals in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis. Those assigned females at birth are 2.5 times more likely to receive a diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis often manifests itself between the ages of 30 and 60.

Can fasting help reduce inflammation?

Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis report symptom alleviation after engaging in modified fasting (up to 500 kcal daily intake) for 7-10 days. This therapy method has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory benefits in several clinical trials. However, there is currently no standardized approach to maintaining these results over the long term.

Can I exercise with arthritis?

People with arthritis may benefit from physical exercise that takes their condition into account. Regular exercise has the potential to:

  • Help lower discomfort and stiffness associated with arthritis
  • Improve energy, vitality, and well-being
  • Contribute to weight management, reducing strain on joints

Maintain as much physical activity as your condition permits, adjusting your pace as necessary.

Can cracking knuckles cause arthritis?

No direct link between knuckle cracking and the onset of arthritis has been established. However, cartilage damage and eventual degenerative joint disease can result from repetitive joint injury or swelling.

Raising Awareness, Providing Assistance To Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis And Their Loved Ones

Until the advanced stages of the disease in early RA, patients may not exhibit any obvious symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis has a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life, and many people with the disease suffer because their symptoms are misunderstood or their diagnosis is ambiguous. This is why ApriaHome is so dedicated to providing patients with the tools and resources they need to combat the social isolation brought on by the condition. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those affected by autoimmune illnesses like RA through exceptional compassion, comprehensive education, and cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

The ApriaHome Arthritis Pain Management Kit

Topical Pain relief, for use by itself or in combination with oral medications:

The use of an assistive massage therapy device can help promote blood circulation and mobility to the region.

Browse our extensive range of medical equipment treatment solutions available from the comfort of your own home. Order now and receive free nationwide delivery on all purchases over $99.

Need advice or more information? Our friendly and experienced agents are available on call at (800) 780-1508 between 8:00 am - 10:00 pm EST. Get in touch today.


LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Material in this newsletter is only: (1) provided for general health education and informational purposes, and to provide references to other resources; it may not apply to you as an individual. While Apria believes that the information provided through this communication is accurate and reliable, Apria cannot and does not make any such guarantee. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice, evaluation, diagnosis, services or treatment (collectively, "medical treatment"). Please see your healthcare provider for medical treatment related to you and your specific health condition(s). Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on or accessed through this website. Reading this newsletter should not be construed to mean that you have a healthcare provider/patient relationship with Apria.