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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Summary
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease in which the lining of the joints becomes
inflammed to such an extent that pain and inability to function are the result.
Because the cells of the immune system play an important role in this chronic
inflammatory process, rheumatoid arthritis is typically classified as an
autoimmune disease.
The disease begins in cycles as symptoms first come and go, but eventually they
become constant. Over time, the joints may become deformed and unable to
move. In addition to causing a great deal of pain, rheumatoid arthritis also causes
significant disability and interferes with normal living.
The good news is that dietary changes can help reduce the pain and may
prevent much of the disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Eat more:

Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and halibut for
their beneficial omega 3 fatty acids
Salmon, tuna, shrimp, sunflower seeds, eggs and (provided no dairy
allergy is present) vitamin-D fortified milk products for their vitamin D
Organically grown fruits and vegetables
Extra virgin olive oil
Eat less:

dairy, if allergy is suspected or confirmed


wheat, if allergy is suspected or confirmed
meat, particularly high-fat cuts
saturated fat, including partially hydrogenated oils

Description
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease that affects approximately 2-3% of the


world's population, usually starts between the ages of 20-40 years. However,

some forms of the disease can occur in children. Around three times as many
women as men are afflicted. As many as 70% of sufferers show signs of joint
damage on X-ray within three years of developing the condition.
Though symptoms start out mild and may go unnoticed for some time, the
disease eventually progresses, causing joint damage and disability. Standard
treatments, including pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications, have not
been shown to halt the damage.
At least half of rheumatoid arthritis patients are disabled to the point of being
unable to continue in their jobs within ten years of the start of the disease. Some
studies even indicate that the disease may reduce life expectancy by a few
years, though it is not clear why. Fortunately, studies have also shown that
certain eating habits and nutrients may be able to reduce the pain and disability
that come with this debilitating condition.
Symptoms

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to start out very mild and may go
unnoticed for months. As time goes by, however, the symptoms become more
and more uncomfortable. For some patients, the pain and discomfort may come
and go, with only mild symptoms between flare-ups.
Joint symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

Redness and swelling of one or more joints, especially of the hands,


wrists, elbows, shoulders, feet, or ankles, typically on both sides of the
body at once
Morning stiffness in affected joints
Pain or tenderness on movement of the joints, especially pain that has
lasted more than three weeks
Nodules or bumps located under the skin near affected joints (typically
appear later in the disease)
Deformity of the affected joints (often occurs later in the disease)

Other symptoms that may also occur include:

Fatigue
General weakness
Weight loss
Low-grade fever
Anemia

Rheumatoid arthritis patients usually take pain-killers, like aspirin, ibuprofen,


acetaminophen, or similar medications to help reduce symptoms. Unfortunately,
many of these medications can cause side-effects, ranging from mild stomach
upset to more severe problems like ulcers. Long-term use of these medications
can lead to bleeding of the stomach or other parts of the digestive tract. These
symptoms add to an already uncomfortable condition.
Anyone taking pain-killers who begins to experience severe stomach pain or
vomiting or whose stools have become very dark in color or are tinged with blood
should report this to their doctor. Although dietary changes may not completely
eliminate all symptoms for all patients, they may be able to help people reduce
the amount of potentially harmful medications they take. This alone may have a
great impact in the lives of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

The Disease Process


How does a normal, functioning joint become painful and debilitated? It's a slow
process that may take many years to fully develop.
A healthy joint consists of several different parts. Since joints are places where
two bones meet, the joint consists primarily of the ends of the two bones being
connected by the joint. The ends of these bones are coated by cartilage, which is
softer and more flexible than bone.
Like the rubber pads on a car's brakes, cartilage keeps the bones from grinding
together and damaging each other. Since it is somewhat springy, it acts as a
cushion and keeps the bones from smashing into each other during movement.
The joint is held together by connective tissue, which is a bit like white tissue
paper, but much, much stronger. This connective tissue, which is also made up
of tendons and ligaments, holds the end of the bone together so that the joint is
stable and strong.
Lining the inside of the joint is something called the synovial membrane, which
produces synovial fluid. Synovial fluid not only lubricates the joint so that it glides
and moves better, it also supplies the joint cartilage with nutrients and oxygen.
In rheumatoid arthritis, this efficient system falls apart. Rheumatoid arthritis is an
autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system, which is supposed
to protect the body from infection, instead turns on certain cells of its own body.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the cells of the immune system begin to
produce antibodies which target and bind to the cells of the synovial membrane.

When immune cells see antibodies bound to these cells, they rush over and
attack them, causing great amounts of inflammation and free radicals. The
synovial membrane becomes very swollen and the joint itself becomes red,
painful, and enlarged.
The free radicals then start to damage the cartilage and the ends of the bones,
leading to reduced joint mobility. Eventually the damage spreads to the
connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments, causing joint deformity.
This process may occur very rapidly, leading to severe joint deformity and
dysfunction in a very short amount of time, or the process may come and go,
slowly causing joint problems over many years. In this situation, patients may
have mild or even no symptoms between attacks. The attacks start to get closer
and closer together, though, eventually becoming constant.

Causes
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown. Genetics may make some
people more prone to the disease than others, but does not thoroughly explain
why some people develop it while others do not.
Fortunately, researchers have identified certain factors that seem to be linked to
the condition. Surprisingly, many of these are related to food and the digestive
tract. Food allergies, adverse food reactions, intestinal inflammation, certain
eating habits, and harmful bacteria in the digestive tract have all been associated
with rheumatoid arthritis.
The digestive tract is the part of the body responsible for the break down and
absorption of food. Normally, the lining of the intestines, which is where
absorption takes place, is very specific about what it allows into the bloodstream
and what must stay in the digestive tract for further digestion or elimination.
Typically, only very tiny particles that have been thoroughly broken down are
permitted to pass. When the lining of the intestines becomes inflamed, however,
larger particles leak through and enter the body. The immune system mistakes
these particles for foreign invaders and attacks them, leading to general
inflammation in the body. Sometimes these particles confuse the immune system
and cause it to attack normal body cells by accident. This can contribute to, or
even cause, rheumatoid arthritis in the joints.
Several things can cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Some people react
to certain proteins in foods. The cells of their immune system produce antibodies

against these proteins and attack them when they are eaten, leading to
inflammation.
Some of the main proteins targeted are gluten, which is found in many different
grains including wheat, oats, barley, and rye, and milk proteins. Since most
people eat grains and dairy on a daily basis, the intestines are always inflamed,
leading to a state of perpetual inflammation.
Harmful bacteria also contribute to problems in the gut. Normally, the intestines
contain a number of beneficial bacteria that live on the fiber in our diets and
protect us from harmful bacteria.
If harmful bacteria get a foothold, for example during an infection or after a
course of antibiotics, which can kill the beneficial bacteria, they can start to grow
and produce toxins. These toxins can also cause intestinal inflammation. As a
matter of fact, a majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients have been shown to
have Clostridium perfringens, a very harmful bacteria, in their digestive tract.
Many others have evidence of another toxic bacteria, called Proteus.
The use of certain medications can also lead to inflammation in the intestines.
Unfortunately, these are commonly the same pain-killers that patients take to
reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Medications like aspirin,
acetaminophen, and ibuprofen may do wonders for joint pain, but they are much
less kind to the digestive tract. They tend to be very irritating to the cells of the
stomach and intestines and may cause inflammation and even damage to the
lining of the gut.
This may be the reason why these medications have not been shown to prevent
the progression of damage and dysfunction that occurs in this condition, even
though they may help to temporarily reduce pain.
Fortunately, some fairly simple dietary changes can help reduce inflammation in
the digestive tract that may be contributing to joint problems. Eliminating foods
that are activating the immune system or causing the overgrowth of harmful
bacteria can be helpful. In addition, certain foods can support the growth of the
beneficial bacteria and reduce inflammation in general.

Dietary Causes
Diet may be your friend or foe in the fight against rheumatoid arthritis. Diets that
seem to be linked to rheumatoid arthritis are high in saturated fats, meat, dairy,
and omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in animal products, refined vegetable
oils, such as corn oil, safflower oil, and margarines made from these oils. With

respect to dairy, it's the risk of allergy and the presence of contaminants in nonorganic milk that are most likely connected to rheumatoid arthritis. Provided that
no dairy allergy is present, organic milk products may sometimes be beneficial
for persons with rheumatoid arthritis, partly because of their vitamin D content.
Some patients also find that certain artificial food additives, like yellow dye #5
(tartrazine), make their symptoms worse. Diets low in fruits, vegetables, and
other good sources of fiber can encourage the growth of the more harmful
bacteria that may be contributing to symptoms.
Adverse food reactions may also play a big role in rheumatoid arthritis
symptoms. Some patients find that eating specific foods can cause a flare-up of
their condition. Researchers have even found that many patients are actually
allergic to certain proteins. The proteins found in wheat and cow's milk are
included in this group of proteins. By eliminating or greatly reducing intake of
these foods, individuals may significantly reduce their levels of inflammation.
In contrast, many dietary habits can actually help reduce the effects of
rheumatoid arthritis. Diets high in cold water fish have been associated with
lower rates of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, many patients have experienced a
significant relief in their symptoms by switching to a high fruit and vegetable
vegetarian or vegan diet. Certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc,
selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, and copper, may also be helpful for
reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutrient Needs
Foods That May Help Include
Cold Water Fish
A nice, juicy piece of baked halibut fillet is not only tasty, it may be one of the
best foods for helping out the sore joints of rheumatoid arthritis. Populations who
enjoy a good amount of fish in their diets also enjoy fairly low rates of rheumatoid
arthritis.
People with rheumatoid arthritis who start consuming the beneficial omega-3
fatty acids found in fish report a great improvement in their symptoms. Studies
have shown that eating fish regularly can elevate the levels of the antiinflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Researchers recommend eating 46 servings of fish per week as a great way to get those good fats as well as a
healthy amount of protein in your diet. Cold water fish include salmon, halibut,
mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, and cod.

Vitamin D-rich Foods


Consuming foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, sunflower
seeds, eggs and vitamin D-fortified milk products, provides protection against
developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggests a study published in the January
2004 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism. The data was drawn from a prospective
study of 29,368 women who were followed for 11 years and ranged in age from
55 to 69 when the study began in 1986. Women consuming the most foods
naturally rich in vitamin D were found to have a 27% lower risk of RA. Those
consuming the most foods fortified with vitamin D, i.e., milk products, had a 34%
lower risk of developing RA. Researchers speculate that vitamin D is not only a
potent regulator of calcium use in the body but may also have positive affects on
maintaining normal immune function. It's important to remember that dairy foods while high in vitamin D - contain proteins that are commonly involved in food
allergy. If dairy allergy is suspected or confirmed in a person's health history,
dairy foods should be avoided in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, and vitamin D
should be obtained from other food sources. Non-organic cow's milk may also
contain a variety of substances that increase inflammation and would be
problematic for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason, organic dairy
products are especially recommended for any person with rheumatoid arthritis
who is considering dairy as a regular part of his or her meal plan.

Fruits and Vegetables


Steamed, baked, stir-fried, roasted, grilled, or even shish-kabob, vegetables can
be a colorful and flavorful part of any healthy diet plan. Fruits make sweet
desserts and between-meal snacks, or can be added to cooked meals for a
delightful change of pace.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain important anti-inflammatory antioxidants like
vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as fiber. The fiber found in fruits and vegetables
can help to restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby reducing
the general inflammation in the body.
Studies have shown that many rheumatoid arthritis patients who start following a
produce-rich vegetarian diet find their symptoms improve or even disappear
completely. They're often able to reduce or stop their use of pain-killers.
Spending time in the produce section of the grocery store may reduce the
amount of time and money you have to spend in the pain-medicine section.

Olive Oil

In parts of the world, including Greece, Italy, Sicily, and other Mediterranean
countries, the traditional cuisine is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, robust
spices, and pure, extra-virgin olive oil. These areas of the world also tend to have
much lower rates of rheumatoid arthritis than other areas, as much as 75% less.
The fats in olive oil are used by the body to produce prostacyclin, a very powerful
anti-inflammatory substance. Research studies have shown that rheumatoid
arthritis patients who increase their intake of olive oil experience a dramatic
reduction in symptoms.
Replacing the pro-inflammatory fats found in vegetable oils like corn oil, safflower
oil, and sunflower oil and margarine with pure olive oil can help switch your body
from a state of general inflammation to one of general good health.

Yogurt
Provided that no dairy allergy is suspected or confirmed, and provided that
certified organic products are selected, yogurt can be a helpful addition to a
rheumatoid arthritis meal plan. Be sure to look for organic yogurt that specifically
says it contains live, active cultures, since some yogurts are heat-treated to kill
the bacteria before being sold. A variety of soy-based yogurts are available for
those who are allergic to, or choose not to consume dairy.

Fasting
Fasting refers to a time period during which no food is eaten. This naturally
happens during sleeping, which is why the first meal of the day, which ends the
nighttime fast, is called break fast, or breakfast. While the true definition of fasting
means that only water is consumed, the term has been modified over time to
apply to periods of time where only certain foods are eaten. Modified food fasts
are worth consideration as a supportive step in rheumatoid arthritis, but we
recommend pursuing any fast-related food modifications with the help of a
licensed healthcare practitioner.

Nutrients From Food That May Help Include


Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The balance of fatty acids in the body can be a strong determinate of health
versus illness. When the body has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from a good diet
to work with, it can produce healthy cells, a functional immune system, and
substances that limit the amount of inflammation that occurs. The body is then

able to more readily fight off bacteria, viruses, and other harmful invaders,
without getting out of control and attacking itself.
Fortunately, the right dietary choices can ensure that you get all of the omega-3
fatty acids that your body needs. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, halibut,
mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, and cod, are rich sources of these fats and
have been shown to increase the levels of omega-3 fats in the body.
Researchers recommend around 4-6 servings of these fish every week in order
to significantly help with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It may, however, take a
few weeks for the fatty acid balance to be altered enough to see a big difference.
Some concentrated food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flax seeds, walnuts
and cold water fish, like salmon, cod, and halibut.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants in the body. Its job is to scour the body
looking for free radicals. When it comes into contact with a free radical, it
eliminates it so that it can't do any more harm. Since free radicals are responsible
for the joint damage that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis, it is important that there
be plenty of vitamin C available to reduce damage.
Unfortunately, studies show that many rheumatoid arthritis patients have very low
levels of vitamin C in their bodies because it is being used up so quickly.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients, therefore, need to get extra vitamin C in their diets.
Excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli, parsley, bell peppers,
strawberries, cauliflower, lemons, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, papaya,
kale, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes,
chard, collard greens, raspberries, peppermint leaves, asparagus, celery, fennel
bulb, pineapple, and watermelon.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant in the body. Like vitamin C, it acts to
eliminate free radicals and reduce the damage caused in rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies show that rheumatoid arthritis patients also have very low levels of
vitamin E in their bodies, and thus need extra amounts. Increasing their intake of
vitamin E may help to significantly reduce symptoms. Mustard greens, chard,
turnip greens, and sunflower seeds are a few excellent sources of vitamin E.

Selenium

The antioxidant system of the body is especially dependent on selenium for


normal function. When antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E attack free
radicals, they become inactive. Selenium is needed to reactivate them so they
can go out and eliminate more free radicals.
Like vitamin C and vitamin E, selenium levels tend to be low in rheumatoid
arthritis patients. Studies have shown that the combination of selenium and
vitamin E is especially potent in reducing free radicals and rheumatoid arthritis
symptoms.
Some excellent sources of selenium include crimini mushrooms, cod, shrimp,
salmon, snapper, yellowfin tuna, and calf liver.

Vitamin A
Low levels of vitamin A are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin A is
needed by the body for many things. It helps the body to produce and maintain
healthy membranes, like the synovial membrane found in joints. It's also
necessary for the proper function of the immune system.
When vitamin A levels are low, we may wind up with an immune system that is
weak, leaving us more susceptible to infection, or one that is overactive, leading
to auto-immune disease. Adequate amounts of vitamin A in the diet may help to
restore the healthy function of the immune system.
Excellent food sources of vitamin A/beta-carotene include sweet potatoes,
carrots, calf liver, kale, winter squash, collard greens, chard, cantaloupe, mustard
greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cayenne pepper, peppermint leaves,
Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and apricots.

Zinc
Like vitamin A, zinc is also needed for the maintenance of healthy membranes
and a normal immune system. It's a vital part of the antioxidant system of the
body. Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis patients tend to be low in this important
nutrient. Increasing the amount of zinc in your diet may help to reduce the
negative effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Calf liver and crimini mushrooms are two
excellent sources of zinc.

Copper
The age-old folk remedy of wearing copper bracelets for rheumatoid arthritis has
been studied lately and found to be valid. Researchers found that rheumatoid

arthritis patients who wear copper bracelets absorb some of the copper through
their skin and tend to have less joint pain when they are using the bracelets.
Copper is necessary for the production of connective tissue, something that is
damaged in rheumatoid arthritis. It also plays a role in the antioxidant system to
reduce free radicals. Some researchers believe that copper deficiency may be a
cause of some cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Increasing your intake of copper
may help to manage or even prevent the problems of this condition.
Excellent food sources of copper include calf liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip
greens, and blackstrap molasses.

Calcium and Vitamin D


People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to have bone loss as a result of their
condition and are at an increased risk of ending up with osteoporosis. This may
be a result of the excessive inflammation or it may be a result of certain antiinflammatory medications. Whatever the cause, research has shown that getting
adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D in the diet can help to prevent or
even reverse this bone loss.
Calcium and vitamin D work together as a team to build healthy and strong
bones. Increasing your intake of both of these nutrients may protect you from the
debilitating long-term consequences of this bone loss. Mustard greens, collard
greens, turnip greens and spinach are some excellent food sources of calcium.
Shrimp and fortified milk are two very good sources of vitamin D. In the case of
dairy products, it's important to make sure that no cow's milk allergy is present,
and that certified organic products are selected to avoid exposure to
contaminants in milk that might trigger increased inflammation.

Nutrient Excesses
Substances To Avoid
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Excess intake of omega-6 fatty acids can make your rheumatoid arthritis worse,
because too many of these substances will be converted into messaging
substances that increase inflammation. You'll want to balance your intake of fats
that contain these omega 6s with other types of fat including omega 3 and
omega 9 varities.

The best way to do this is by limiting your consumption of feeddlot beef, refined
cooking oils, and margarines, and increasing your intake of cold water fish like
salmon, halibut and cod, nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds and walnuts, and
oils such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil.

Saturated Fats
Most saturated fats are associated with increased production of pro-inflammatory
substances in the body. Saturated fats are found mainly in whole dairy products
like whole milk and cheese, and in animal products such as red meats and
poultry. It's easy to replace these fatty foods with low-fat dairy products, lean
meats, and omega-3-rich cold water fish.

Wheat
Some rheumatoid arthritis patients have been determined to have antibodies
against proteins found in wheat. For these individuals, it's important to eliminate
or greatly reduce intake of wheat products. Oats and rye can sometimes be
tolerated under these circumstances, though not always. Spelt - a grain ancestor
of wheat - can also sometimes be tolerated. Millet, quinoa, and buckwheat
almost always make good wheat substitutes from an allergy perspective.

Dairy
Some rheumatoid arthritis patients have antibodies against milk proteins. For
these individuals, it's important to eliminate or greatly reduce intake of cow's milk
products. Cow's milk proteins are found mainly in dairy products such as milk,
cheese, yogurt, and sour cream. Milk proteins may exist in some processed
foods in the form of whey, powdered milk, and caseine or sodium caseinate,
which appears in many "non-dairy" foods, like coffee creamers and whipped
toppings.
Dairy proteins may also appear in many baked goods, breakfast drink mixes, and
even non-Kosher lunch meats. People who suspect a milk protein allergy must
be very careful about reading labels to avoid a worsening of their symptoms from
these products.
If a person is not allergic to cow's milk, and if organic dairy products are selected,
these products may actually make a helpful contribution to a rheumatoid arthritis
diet, partly because of their vitamin D content.

Meat

A high intake of meat may worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This
connection between meat intake and rheumatoid arthritis involves some unique
aspects of meat digestion, particularly the production of bile acids by the liver in
response to high levels of meat intake. Under certain circumstances, bacteria in
the digestive tract can get hold of these bile acids and convert them into
inflammation-increasing substances. Shaping the diet in a more vegetarian
direction may often be helpful in decreasing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
for this reason.
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, fish should not be placed in the same
general category as most meats. Cold-water fish like salmon, halibut, and cod
may help decrease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms because of their omega-3 fatty
acids.

Adverse Food Reactions


Besides the foods mentioned above, some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have
found that their symptoms are worse after they eat certain foods. Adverse food
reactions vary, meaning that different people may have problems with completely
different foods. A food and symptom diary or allergy elimination diet may help to
reveal if adverse food reactions are contributing to rheumatoid arthritis
symptoms.

Recommended Diet
The study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, involved 130
female patients (aged 30 to 70) from different hospitals in Glasgow, UK, who had
suffered from RA for eight years. Half the womenthe intervention group
attended weekly two-hour sessions for six weeks, including hands-on cooking
classes backed up with written dietary information. The control group received
written dietary information only. Both groups completed food frequency
questionnaires (FFQs), and clinical and laboratory measures were taken at
baseline, 3 and 6 months.
Analysis of the FFQs showed significant increases in weekly total fruit, vegetable
and legume consumption and improvement in the ratio of
monounsaturated:saturated fat intake and systolic blood pressure in the
intervention group only. Correspondingly, women in the intervention group, but
not controls, experienced significant benefit as shown in the Health Assessment
Questionnaire score at 3 months, pain score at 3 and 6 months, early morning
stiffness at 6 months, and patient global assessment at 6 months. As an added
benefit, women in the intervention group lost an average of 2 pounds over the 6

month period, while the control group gained 6.6 pounds.(McKellar G, Morrison
E, et al., Ann Rheum Dis.)
The best place to start your healthy diet is at the fresh fish counter of your local
grocery store. Skip the red meat and poultry. Instead reach for the fresh salmon
steaks or halibut fillets. Four to six servings of these or mackerel, tuna, sardines,
herring, or cod may help those sore joints.
Vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, and safflower oils may taste heavy and bland,
and margarine can taste greasy and salty. Pure extra-virgin olive oil on the other
hand, can have a wonderful delicate flavor that mixes well with spices or
balsamic vinegar and goes great on a mixed-green salad or with warm, freshbaked, gluten-free bread.
Olive oil and spices can also add flavor to a hot plate of freshly steamed
vegetables. Maybe the vegetables are just fine all by themselves. Either way,
including plenty of fresh, lightly cooked vegetables in your diet can be a real help
with symptoms. With the number of vegetables commonly available these days,
you can really add excellent variety to meal plans.
Instead of snacking on sugary cookies or candy bars, delight in the aroma and
taste of fresh ripe melon, a juicy peach, or a beautiful red strawberry? You could
also try the delicate blend of an organic, live culture yogurt with fresh fruit
(provided, of course, that no dairy allergy is present or suspected).
Experimenting with a vegetarian or vegan diet may be an interesting experience
that winds up having a dramatic effect on your joint symptoms. If you want to
solicit the help of a licensed healthcare practitioner and set up a modified food
fast, that step might also turn out to be very helpful.
Diet may be your best friend in the battle against rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
A diet filled with vegetables, fresh fruit, fish, olive oil, and other supportive foods
may really help you put away the pain-killers and start living a functional, healthy
life again.

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