Eat plenty of omega-3s
For those of us with RA, inflammation around and inside of the joints is common and debilitating symptom. The treatment of RA inflammation symptoms often incorporates therapies and suggestions to help decrease inflammation, reduce stiffness, and ease the pain that accompanies it. There are many drugs on the market that aim to help with inflammation, but dieticians have recently begun to also suggest the benefits of certain dietary decisions, such as taking in additional omega-3 fatty acids.
Leslie Bonci, RD, owner of Active Eating Advice in Pittsburgh, PA, says that omega-3 fatty acids can suppress the enzymes that cause the inflammation so common in RA patients. There are three primary types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are both found in fish and other seafoods, while ALA can be found in plants, but can then be converted to EPA and DHA in the body. Fatty fish and seafood are the preferred sources of omega-3 fatty acids because the conversion from ALA to EPA and DHA is not very efficient.
Seven simple sources of omega-3 fatty acids include the following:
- Some seafood: Fatty fish such as herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, sablefish, rainbow trout, and halibut, as well as shrimp and crab.
- Nuts and Seeds: Pistachios, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
- Vegetables: Kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and beans.
- Vegetable oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.
- Omega-3 Enriched Eggs: The yolks of eggs that have been enriched with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Homemade Smoothies: Blended fruits, berries, or veggies. Consider dropping in additional source of omega-3 fatty acid in the form of Fish Oil