Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is an autoimmune disorder that results in chronic inflammation. This inflammation is usually first seen in the smaller joints of the body; however, the inflammation can affect and damage all joints and also other parts of the body such as the eyes, lungs, heart, skin, and blood vessels.
The link between diet and rheumatoid arthritis
The main symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation. So, the primary objective of a diet for patients with RA is that the diet should contain anti-inflammatory elements. Eating a well-balanced diet and snacks to manage rheumatoid arthritis pain is as important for patients with RA as those with any other health condition. Eating foods that are known to help reduce inflammation and avoiding those that increase inflammation in the body is important.
Increasing one’s fiber intake has been found to reduce inflammation. More fiber reduces the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) which is an indicator of inflammation in the blood. Studies have also found that fish oil and fatty fish have also provided relief for stiffness in the mornings as well as for tender joints.
Managing rheumatoid arthritis: Healthy snacks to eat
1. Fruits or vegetable salads and smoothies
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which help the body reduce inflammation. They are also full of nutrients that are good for overall health. So, keeping fresh fruit handy to snack on is a good idea for patients with RA. Salads and even a plateful of carrot or celery sticks can satiate hunger pangs. Patients with RA can whip up a fruit or vegetable smoothie to fill the gap between mealtimes. Olive oil has oleocanthal that is a compound that reduces inflammation and pain. So, dressing one’s salad with olive oil adds to the healthfulness of the salad snack.
2. Nuts and chia or flax seeds
The monounsaturated fats in nuts make them a good addition to a diet for rheumatoid arthritis. A handful of nuts such as roasted cashews make a delicious and tasty snack. Flaxseeds are also a very good option as they have anti-inflammatory nutrients as well as fiber. Nuts should be enjoyed in moderation as they are heavy on calories.
3. Green tea
A cup of green tea is just the thing for a patient with RA. It is rich in antioxidants that slow down cartilage destruction and reduces inflammation. It also has epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which is found to actually inhibit joint damage.
4. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is a good source of anti-inflammatory nutrients. For example, a tuna sandwich or wrap makes a filling and nutritious snack, and choosing whole grain-based bread is advisable.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has compounds that are beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. So, a square of dark chocolate makes a quick and yummy snack for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis pain.
6. Low-fat dairy
Low-fat dairy snacks, such as unsweetened yogurt and low-fat cheese, are good choices for a snack.
7. Toast, crackers, canapes, and tortillas
One can always top whole grain-based tortillas, crackers, canapes or toast with ingredients, such as some of the ones listed above, to make a quick wholesome snack. One should ensure to read the labels carefully to ensure that there are no hidden refined flours, sugar, or saturated fats in these. These are some healthy snacks that can help manage rheumatoid arthritis pain. One can check with their doctor to include these foods in the diet if a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis has been made.
These are some healthy snacks that can help manage rheumatoid arthritis pain. One can check with their doctor to include these foods in the diet if a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis has been made. Research shows that RA medications (Xeljanz, Humira, and Olumiant medicine for ra pain relief) can be used in collaboration with these RA-friendly snacks to soothe pain and inflammation. Just be sure to consult with your doctor, for instance when it comes to medications like Xelgans dosage when used in combination with dietary changes.