Many health conditions are characterized by chronic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and stroke. Controlling one's diet is the best way to reduce inflammation and swelling, particularly in those who suffer from severe pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. There may not be a prescribed or recommended diet for reducing inflammation, but there are many foods that are known to be helpful in this condition. By decreasing inflammation and swelling of joints, these foods will help in improving the overall health of the person.
For many autoimmune diseases, the body’s own immune system attacks the body parts causing inflammation, swelling, and pain, like in rheumatoid arthritis. For several years, the Mediterranean diet is found to be effective in reducing inflammation. This diet is rich in anti-oxidants and other substances that are anti-inflammatory in action. The main components in this diet are fruits, vegetables, and monounsaturated fats. Studies show that people who follow this diet have reduced pain, stiffness, and improved health when compared to others who do not follow this diet.
The most important among the components are:
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Fish, like salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies contain good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, the poly unsaturated fatty acids that help to inhibit the action of inflammation-causing chemicals. If you do not prefer fish in your diet, you can add walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans in your diet to get more of this fat in the food. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are also available in the market.
- Colorful fruits and vegetables – Components that give color to fruits and vegetables are good antioxidants, which are chemicals that fight inflammation. Many fruits contain vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant. Some of the produces that can add more antioxidants to our body include carrots, tomatoes, bell pepper, oranges, melons, and broccoli. Include more colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure a healthy diet.
- Whole grains – Whole grains like oats, brown rice, and barley are shown to reduce the inflammation causing chemicals in the body. Have whole grain pasta, breads, and other foods to help reduce your weight and also to improve the anti-inflammatory reactions in the body.
- Olive oil – People who have olive oil are found to have reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that olive oil reduces the production of chemicals that triggers inflammation in the body. Among the different varieties of olive oil, extra virgin olive oil contains the highest amount of nutrients.