What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which your body starts destroying itself. It can be a devastating disease that can limit your health and life.
RA is usually characterized by stiffness, throbbing, and swelling of the joints and muscles. If not addressed appropriately, it can also set the stage for a host of other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms including depression, fatigue, and irritability.
Many people with arthritis automatically reach for pain medication, but it is not always necessary to do so. There are other solutions that work just as well, or even better, for this condition.
For instance, a variety of supplements – including bromelain, essential fatty acids, and glucosamine — can be beneficial for arthritis. But the best supplement of all is a healthful diet. Proper, nutritious food has yielded health effects that surpass any supplement.
The Crucial Role of Eating Right
As with any treatment protocol, the importance of diet is very vital for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. More and more studies are showing evidence that consuming or avoiding certain foods can alleviate the pain of numerous RA symptoms.
Here are some important dietary pointers:
- Eliminate sugar, starches, and grains.
- Eat as close to raw as much as possible.
- Go for unprocessed, high-quality foods that are organic and locally grown.
- Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats.
- Load up on beneficial antioxidants by eating colorful fruits and vegetables.
Following these general guidelines alone will go a long way to dramatically reduce your risk of developing not only rheumatoid arthritis, but any kind of problem with chronic inflammation as well.
Power up your joints with this sumptuous salad recipe packed with a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and other nutritious components.
Asian Salmon Sala
A cool summer salad
Ingredients (Yields 4-5 servings):
2 pounds salmon, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
1 cucumber, sliced
½ red onion, sliced
½ cup fresh mint, lightly chopped
Salad greens for 4-5 servings
½cup lime juice
4 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ cup olive oil or walnut oil
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 tablespoons of chopped almonds
- Baste salmon with oil. Place on grill or in preheated 400-degree oven. Grill or broil until tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Let it cool.
- Combine all dressing ingredients.
- Toss salad greens in a small amount of the dressing and arrange on plates.
- Throw in remaining ingredients in the dressing and arrange on top of lettuce.
- Sprinkle four tablespoons of chopped almond over salad.
Note: Fish sauce is an Asian sauce made from anchovies that can be found in Asian grocery stores and in the ethnic section of many supermarkets.
Beat Rheumatoid Arthritis with Exercise
Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful, and you may think it is next to impossible to exercise when your joints are inflamed. However, if you stop moving, your joints will become more stiff and painful, and you will gradually lose your mobility.
Exercises, including activities that engage your whole body, are highly recommended for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, as it:
- Helps joint mobility
- Prevents loss of lean muscle tissue
- Maintains strength
- Reduces pain and stiffness
- Mobilizes stiff or contracted joints
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to keep your body moving, but it does take some creativity to do so in a way that minimizes stress to your joints. You can do light exercises and activities such as:
- Power walking
On the contrary, you should generally avoid high-impact exercises like running, as they can cause permanent joint damage due to the excessive amount of inflammation present.
Tip: A simple key to follow is that if you have pain two hours after exercise, your exercise was likely too aggressive for your joints in their current state of inflammation.
Sarah Boulder is a writer and a firm believer of the teachings and principles of Dr. Mercola. She is currently doing research about the useful alternative strategies to lessen the debilitating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.