3 Foods That Help Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Look no further than your pantry or supermarket for a trio of tasty foods that can help tame RA inflammation.

Rita Ross
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We don’t have to tell you that if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammation can be one of the most painful accompanying symptoms. While there’s no set RA diet, certain foods and spices may play a role in easing inflammation and help you feel better overall.

Pineapple: This popular tropical fruit contains immune-boosting vitamin C. It also provides a key enzyme called bromelain, which is chock-full of anti-inflammatory substances that can help reduce joint swelling linked to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It’s easy to add pineapple to your diet. Try for a serving a day, sliced or cubed on cereal, or as a snack mixed with plain yogurt. Opt for fresh pineapple or fresh pineapple juice when possible; the processing of canned pineapple destroys some of its health-boosting enzyme.

Ginger: This root-like portion of a tall, reed-like plant has been used for centuries as a folk-medicine inflammation-fighter. Over the past several decades, researchers have confirmed that ginger possesses chemical qualities similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and appears to curb inflammation. Sliced or chopped ginger adds zest to a variety of foods and beverages, including stews, soups, pancakes and tea. And, of course, it’s great with sushi made from healthful tuna, salmon, etc. Fresh ginger packs the most punch, but it’s also available in bottled and powdered form.

Turmeric: This golden-colored spice has been popular since ancient times, especially in Indian cooking. It’s also been an ingredient of a form of Eastern medicine known as Ayurveda. Turmeric’s secret ingredient is curcumin. This component of the spice helps shut down certain proteins in the body that trigger inflammation. Try sprinkling ¼-½ teaspoon into soups, stews or rice during cooking. 

April 2013