It was perhaps around 1500 BC that the medical Papyrus also known as Ebers Papyrus first recorded what is today known as rheumatoid arthritis. Today this autoimmune disease affects around 1.3 million Americans. It is also classified as one of the most aggressive forms of joint disease due to its dilapidating nature.
Due to it being an autoimmune disease, whereby the antibodies seemingly attack healthy tissue, it presents within it a dilemma. The problem lies in the fact that there are no known triggers, which can explain why the body reacts in this way. Medical research continues to be baffled, but subcategories of the overall disease are being addressed, namely, inflammation and pain.
However, even while the statistics may appear dire, there are ways that it can be managed to ensure a better quality of life for the sufferer. Food plays an essential role, along with medicines to alleviate the inflammation and aggressive pain associated with it.
Here are 15 foods to include in your diet to assist with your rheumatoid arthritis to assist in living a better life with this condition.
Fruit typical of the bushy undergrowth, the blueberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) has ancient traditions and is used to treat various diseases. According to recent research conducted in the US, these small berries, are equipped with a huge amount of antioxidants, thus able to relieve inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis and skin inflammation.
This delicious fruit, in addition to being a painkiller and preventing cardiovascular disease, can protect against tumors and is even able to delay the natural aging process. So they have a dual purpose, as, on the one hand, they represent a source of food, on the other hand, they are used as a medicine. In fact, it contains natural sugars and many acids, in particular, citric acid, which protects cells, but also oxalic acid.
But that’s not all, blueberry is particularly rich in folic acid, a very important vitamin for the many different functions it performs. The anthocyanins found in blueberries, present in large quantities, strengthen the connective tissue that supports the blood vessels and improve their elasticity and tone.
2. Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccoli along with sprouts and cauliflowers contain valuable substances for our health. This is confirmed by new scientific research, which took into consideration their potential in the prevention and treatment of arthritis and arthrosis.
The merit goes to the sulforaphane, as researchers who worked on a study found that enriching participant’s diet with broccoli and cauliflower can help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and might even have the capability to prevent them.
According to experts from the University of East Anglia published in the journal ‘Arthritis & Rheumatism’, sulforaphane is able to slow down the destruction of joint cartilage, following which rheumatoid arthritis may appear. This vegetable is a natural anti-inflammatory agent against joint and muscular pains.
An ancient remedy recommends using broccoli or cauliflower and creating a watery broth. This is then drunk at regular intervals and the leaves are applied to the painful parts. Take the leaves, flatten them with a rolling pin to let the liquid out, apply them to the affected area by sealing with a film.
Garlic is a food highly recognized for its anti-inflammatory, purifying and detoxifying properties. It was already used since the time of the Egyptians as a drug. The effect on the skeletal muscle is an excellent remedy for arthritis, rheumatism, and thanks to allyl sulfate, can improve the functionality of the joints.
Recent research seems to show that the nutritive principles contained in garlic have an anti degenerative action. To treat arthritis with garlic, you can choose different methods. You can eat 3 cloves of raw garlic a day or prepare a simple but effective natural home remedy to get some relief during the acute phase when the pain is gnawing. You only need garlic, pure alcohol, and some time. You just have to macerate eleven cloves of garlic in half a liter of alcohol for a whole month. Then take some gauze and impregnated with garlic alcohol in the painful points, it seems that the relief is immediate.
4. Green Tea
The talk about the huge properties of green tea is constant. There are really many of them and the scientist is always adding new ones. This infusion has some remarkable chemical characteristics in its composition to favor anyone who drinks it.
A study carried out by Dr. Tariq Haqqi, of the Case Western Reserve University, has obtained interesting revelations. Although it was carried out on rodents that received arthritis through collagen, similar to what is formed in humans, the results were satisfactory.
Rodents who routinely drank green tea extract, on a scale, equivalent to four cups a day for a person, had shown a remarkable reaction. Most of these were immune to arthritis. This clearly shows that polyphenols, the common antioxidant in green tea, plays an important role in helping to prevent rheumatoid arthritis. The recommendation is that the consumption of green tea is continuous, in the long term, with three or four cups a day to enjoy its antioxidant effects.
A widespread ingredient in the East, ginger is a very special spice. Not only because of its culinary virtues but because it also has beneficial properties and its anti-inflammatory action is ideal when you have to act on the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
In a recent study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, published in the scientific journal Arthritis, ginger extract has been shown as effective as cortisone in performing its anti-inflammatory action. This is important evidence, as cortisone has serious side effects that should not be underestimated. On the contrary, the ginger extract proved to be completely safe.
To enjoy the effects, you can prepare a herbal tea by grating a little root in half a liter of water. Cook for about twenty minutes, filter, and then drink once or twice a day. You can also act on sore joints using the essential ginger oil for local massages: two to three drops diluted in grapeseed oil to be distributed on the affected area. Remember to massage until absorbed.
6. Flax Seeds
The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activity of linseed oil have been known since ancient times. Rich in omega 3 fats, alpha-linolenic acid, taking 20g of seeds to gives you 3.5g of linolenic acid which regulates the immune response and relieves inflammation and considered, especially, useful in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
It is necessary to chew them very carefully so that they do not pass whole in the intestine, where they would not be digested, but the eliminated whole, alternatively they could be crushed in a mortar. They can be added to yogurt or any other dish, as long as they are not cooked or heated above 60 degrees. It’s best to avoid flaxseed oil, which is often extracted with methods that do not allow for the preservation of its nutritional characteristics.
In the past, the flaxseed wrap was prepared in rheumatic pains, once boiled and reduced to a creamy mixture, still warm, they spread on the bandages that were wrapped around the painful part and kept until cooling.
7. Hemp Seeds
Hemp is a plant known for centuries as being used as a painkiller and scientific studies have confirmed its efficiency against neuropathic, spastic, and tumor pain, as well as in the pain syndromes of multiple sclerosis.
Evidence from laboratory research and human testing suggests that CBD and the entire cannabis Phyto complex perform a therapeutic action in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation.
An important clue came from a 2007 study, where the researchers indicated that our nerves in charge of carrying pain signals from the joints to the brain are full of cannabinoid receptors. The study concludes by observing that peripheral CB1 receptors could be important elements in pain control in osteoarthritis.
Hemp seeds are indicated to successfully treat pains resulting from bone inflammation such as arthritis or rheumatism. They can be consumed as a normal cereal, added to yogurt, soups, or adding them to sauces or pesto. Hemp seeds can also be minced to be added to flours for cakes or for bread making.
Less joint pain thanks to turmeric. More praise to curcumin, the extract of the root that gives the bright yellow-orange color to the spice, which has proved capable of fighting various diseases. There are about 1,500 references on curcumin in Medline, the online research system of the United States National Library of Medicine.
A review of studies conducted in the United States and South Korea published in the Journal of Medicinal Food confirms that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory useful in the case of arthritis, in combination with ginger. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant, and is able to lower the levels of enzymes that can cause inflammation.
To prepare a tea to drink turmeric every day you will need, 500 ml of water, ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Bring the water to a boil and add the spices. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drain and drink a cup of herbal tea twice a day. The indicated doses allow for a two cup preparation.
The antioxidant levels contained in this fruit are shown as a natural and pleasant solution to combat the pains caused by arthritis, due to wear and tear on the joints which are often the cause of even very strong injuries and pains. Cherries, with a high content of anti-inflammatory substances, can be very useful in fighting the inflammation of the body and the associated rheumatoid arthritis and arthrosis pain.
A study by the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine suggested how cherries were functional food with many beneficial properties. In particular, they can offer benefits such as reducing risk factors for heart disease and inflammation. In addition, Dr. Kerry Kuehl of Oregon Health and Science University says: “Cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, a way to naturally manage pain, without the side effects often associated with arthritis medications. ” The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity of cherries has been compared to the effects of well-known painkillers.
10. Nettle Tea
Infesting, harassing, and nagging is synonyms associated with the nettle plant that everyone knows, but most avoid. But since ancient times its therapeutic properties have been known as in recent decades science has also been confirming. Rich in vitamins, iron, flavonoids, and carotenoids in the form of herbal tea or juice can be of great help in a natural way.
The nettle, in fact, in its various preparations, tincture, infusion, fresh juice, oily extract, is indicated for anemic states, disorders related to kidneys and bladder, prostatic hypertrophy, rheumatic diseases, arthritis, arthrosis, and dermatitis.
To placate the symptoms related to the clinical picture of arthritis and rheumatic pains it is recommended to take an infusion based on fresh nettle leaves to drink on a fast basis twice a day. Alternatively, you can resort to a folk remedy of Greek origin that recommends rubbing the fresh plant directly on the joints where you feel pain and stiffness until you feel a burning sensation on the skin, but perhaps it’s best to wear gloves when opting for this solution.