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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation and pain of one's joints. You may be struggling to figure out how to better manage your symptoms, especially if your symptoms constantly flare up. One way to better manage your symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is by eating a healthier diet, like the Mediterranean diet. Click through this slideshow to learn the different food groups and foods that you should eat if you have rheumatoid arthritis. 

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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

What is a Mediterranean Diet?

What is a Mediterranean Diet?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints, which is what causes chronic inflammation, stiffness, and pain. The Mediterranean diet consists of different foods that help hinder inflammation, and help to reduce any painful symptoms significantly. 

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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Eat More Fish

Eat More Fish

Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the presence of higher levels of cytokines in your blood. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acids, diminish levels of cytokines and other inflammatory substances in your body. 

Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

Try to incorporate any of these fish in your diet about twice a week.

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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Colorful produce, such as fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are a vital component of any anti-inflammatory diet.

Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants include:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Melons
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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Incorporate Whole Grains

Incorporate Whole Grains

Oatmeal, brown rice, and barley have low levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation in the body. The levels of CRP increase considerably during a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis. Levels of CRP are measured to track the progress of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Eating more whole grains can help counteract the levels of CRP and prevent future flare-ups.

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How Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Me if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Always Use Olive Oil

Always Use Olive Oil

Olive oil has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil contains compounds that prevent the production of chemicals that induce inflammation. Olive oil creates a reaction in the body similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. 

Extra-virgin olive oil is found to be more effective when trying to manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, as it contains high amounts of healthy nutrients. Moreover, it is a good substitute for saturated fats and trans fats.