Have rheumatoid arthritis? Treat yourself to some blueberries and a cup of green tea.
They’re among the foods that could ease the pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints and even slow progression of the disease, researchers say.
Dried plums, pomegranates, whole grains, the spices ginger and turmeric, and olive oil may also help.
These foods appear to reduce inflammation, as well as joint stiffness and pain, according to the authors of a paper published Nov. 8 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
“Regular consumption of specific dietary fibers, vegetables, fruits and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis,” study author Bhawna Gupta said in a journal news release.
Gupta is an assistant professor in the School of Biotechnology at KIIT University in Odisha, India.
“Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietitian,” Gupta said. An omnivorous diet includes foods from both plant and animal sources.
Incorporating probiotics—foods like yogurt and dietary supplements that contain beneficial microorganisms—can also help, she said.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes anti-rheumatic drugs, which can be costly.
“Supporting disease management through food and diet does not pose any harmful side effects and is relatively cheap and easy,” Gupta said.