RA is an autoimmune condition; meaning that the body is attacking itself. It creates inflammation that over time can lead to the progressive destruction of joints. Because of this, RA is associated with large amounts of pain. The pain may never go away, but there are natural ways to diminish it to improve quality of life.
Dietary factors have been known to contribute to RA, so what better way to help improve from this condition than to make dietary modifications? The food rules when it comes to RA are:
1. Identify Food Sensitivities. This is where individualized treatment takes place, as everyone is different in what foods are affecting his or her health. It is important to recognize your food sensitivities and refrain from eating them as much as possible.
2. Adopt a Vegetarian diet as much as possible. Excess consumption of animal products, excluding fish, can contribute significantly to the inflammation process involved with RA. Fish on the other hand has the opposite effect and can reduce the amount of inflammation within the body.
3. Avoid Nightshade Vegetables. It might sound odd that you are being told not to eat your vegetables, but in people who suffer from RA they tend to fare better when they avoid certain ones. The nightshade family consists of: tomatoes, potatoes, chili pepper, bell pepper and eggplant. This list of vegetables can really trigger the inflammation and pain in someone with arthritis.
RA is a condition that can improve with dietary modifications, so it is important to evaluate what you are eating and how it can be improved for an overall better quality of life.
Haugen M, et. al. Diet therapy for the patient with rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatology 1999;38: 1039-1044.
Murray Michael (1996) Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally Prima Publishing