Around 1.7 million Australians suffer from chronic, inflammatory forms of arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes stiffness, swelling and pain.
Medication is the usual form of treatment for this form of arthritis, but it doesn’t always work for everybody, and it can be expensive.
Researchers from the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Bhubaneswar, India have reviewed the existing research, looking at foods that help relieve arthritis, and have established a list of 33 foods proven to help ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
The study focused on the foods that were clearly proven to have long-lasting benefits.
The authors list the foods, grouping them under eight categories: fruits, cereals, legumes, whole grains, spices, herbs, oils and miscellaneous.
Fruits include prunes, grapefruits, grapes, blueberries, bananas, pomegranate, mango, peaches and apples.
Cereals include whole oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and whole rice, while the whole grains section adds corn, rye, barley, millets, sorghum and canary seed to the mix.
Spices – including turmeric and ginger – olive oil, fish oil, green tea and yogurt are also among those listed as beneficial. These foods can reduce the level of cytokines, or substances secreted by the immune cells that can cause inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce oxidative stress, thereby improving the body’s ability to fight off toxins.
“Considering that these food are not as expensive as any regular therapeutics, they can be easily incorporated for patients from any societal or economical background,” the researchers explain.
“Although it will be difficult to observe immediate benefits of these dietary manipulations, the long-term benefits are already reported.
“We believe that an ideal meal can include raw or moderately cooked vegetables (lots of greens, legumes), with addition of spices like turmeric and ginger, seasonal fruits, probiotic yogurt; all of which are good sources of natural antioxidants and deliver anti-inflammatory effects.
“The patient should avoid any processed food, high salt, oils, butter, sugar and animal products.
“Dietary supplements like vitamin D, cod liver oil and multivitamins can also help in managing (rheumatoid arthritis).”
Do you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis? Would you consider changing your diet to relieve your pain?
Read the full study.