How Diet and Lifestyle Changes Can Help Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Health
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that affects the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. To properly manage the symptoms, it is imperative to make lifestyle and dietary changes. Diet and lifestyle changes for managing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and health may include reducing inflammation, increasing nutrient intake, and exercising regularly.
Anti-inflammatory foods are key to managing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and health. Many plant-based foods can help reduce inflammation and provide essential nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These should be eaten in large quantities whenever possible. For those wanting to avoid inflammation-causing processed foods, there are a plethora of anti-inflammatory options such as:
- Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Olive oil and other healthy fats
- Cherries, blueberries, and other berries
- Herbs such as turmeric and ginger
- Fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut
- Garlic and onions
Increase Nutrient Intake
Due to the chronic nature of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to increase nutrient intake to ensure the body is getting the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals. Foods rich in Vitamin A, C, and E are beneficial, and supplements such as magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids can be taken to ensure the body is receiving enough of these nutrients. Additionally, probiotics are beneficial as they can help to restore the healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system, aiding in better nutrient absorption.
Exercise has numerous benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Regular, low-impact exercises, such as swimming, yoga, and walking, can help to strengthen muscle, improve flexibility, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, weight training can be beneficial, as it can help build up weakened muscles, improving overall strength. It is important to check with a doctor before beginning an exercise routine to ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate for your individual situation.
Making dietary and lifestyle changes can have a lasting, beneficial effect for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, increasing nutrient intake, and exercising regularly can help to reduce pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and maintain overall health. Working with a dietitian and/or doctor is recommended to ensure that the diet and lifestyle changes are tailored to the individual’s specific needs.