Often shortened to “RA”, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which means the body mistakenly attacks itself by attacking joint linings which causes joint pain and swelling.
This inflammation could be the result of an autoimmune attack response to foreign animal protein. Some researchers have proposed a “Leaky Gut Theory,” where the saturated fats in animal products contribute to the breakdown of the intestinal barrier, causing our own gut bacteria to leak into our bloodstream, thus triggering an inflammatory response.
Growing older is also a risk factor, although arthritis can strike at any age. Other known factors are obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – all of which are profoundly impacted by your diet and lifestyle choices.
And did you know that women are two to three times as likely to be affected as men?
can a diet cure rheumatoid arthritis?
Diet won’t cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the right food choices can help by controlling the inflammation that wreaks havoc in the body, delivering nutrients your body needs, and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight adds to pressure on achy joints and can make certain RA meds less effective. Also, body fat produces proteins called cytokines that promote inflammation.
Can a whole food plant-based diet help?
A whole food plant-based diet can help with the inflammation and get your body to a healthy weight.
A diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is a good choice for people with RA.
If you don't want the hassle of thinking what meals to have you can try my plant-based bone health support program. This meal plan is high in key nutrients that support bone health including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A, all from plant-based sources. The meals are fun, colorful, and nutrient-dense.
You can also download your 5 Drool-worthy deserts that support healthy bones here!
There are certain food triggers to avoid that can aggravate the inflammation and some foods to add to your diet to ease the inflammation.
Foods to avoid
Meats and dairy
Nightshades (these foods contain solanine, a chemical which some people believe may aggravate arthritis pain or inflammation although there has not been any scientific evidence on this. So it's best to avoid for 3 weeks and then slowly introduce them to see if they cause any effect on your pain) These include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, white and red potatoes,
Best foods to add
Foods high in omega 3 fat (such as walnuts, chia, hemp and flax seeds)