I have been looking forward to sharing this post with you for a few months and it is finally here!
I have been conducting my own case study and research on top nutritional tips for RA patients. I have been working on some of this information for almost a year because I wanted to really test some things out. Previously, I shared with you my top fitness tips for staying in shape even with health issues. Nutrition also plays a very important role with this.
Articles are read everyday talking about natural remedies for inflammation, diseases and general health. Most of these articles discuss the scientific facts of how certain nutrition can help health issues. I have been trying many of these ideas for nearly 20 years now. There have been stages in my life where I would try just about anything that mentioned it helped with pain or swelling.
As a scientist, I wanted to bring you the best researched and experimented information. If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, an Auto-immune disease, or are just interested in things good for your body, then this is definitely for you!
1. Green Tea
You’ve probably heard for years now how good green tea is for you! Benefits of green tea are endless, but for the purpose of this we will stick to how it works with inflammation.
I personally love green tea and have been actively drinking it for about 12 years.
Hypothesis: Green Tea relieves inflammation.
Results: Green Tea has never noticeably reduced inflammation or pain for me, but it does promote energy and I feel good when I drink it. I will have an iced green tea (20 oz) in the afternoon and it keeps my energy higher to finish up the day. I have even gone through spurts where I will drink 4-6 glasses a day especially when I was trying ANYTHING that could possibly reduce pain and inflammation. This intense method did not make a difference, so now I try to drink it daily in the afternoon to feel energized.
I have literally tried every single spice and herb that has made headlines for “relieving arthritic pain.” I started doing this about 15 years ago out of desperation, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I tried Tumeric.
Hypothesis: Tumeric reduces inflammation and pain.
Results: It does not reduce pain, but after adding it to just about everything I cooked for almost a year, I do see lower inflammation levels. Notably, the swelling in my fingers is less than normal. It is not a miracle, but it does make a difference.
Tips: Tumeric had a terrible taste in my opinion when I first began using it, it is an acquired taste! I enjoy it more now and don’t find it quit as pungent.
Coconut oil is all the rage these days. I have even heard rumors that it aids in weight loss. It is good for the immune system overall, which is good for auto immune diseases, but I was curious if it did anything for weight loss. I have been using it for years on my face and hair, but I never have been religious about eating it. About 4 months ago I decided to switch it out where I normally used olive oil.
Many of the medicines used to treat RA or other immune diseases, cause puffiness and weight gain. I have gone through this off and on for 20 years, but recently, I saw some weight fluctuation from some new medicine I was taking.
Hypothesis: Coconut oil aides in weight loss.
Results: Since using this regularly, I have noticed less water retention, and my stomach is tighter too. It doesn’t miraculously make you loose weight, but it does help aide in it, especially water weight! Plus, healthy fats are good for auto immune diseases, so it is good for you no matter what.
I did research years ago on what can trigger an auto immune disease to show up for the first time or cause it to flare. Many scientific articles I read said dairy was a big factor in triggering a flare. There are specific proteins found in dairy that you can form an antibody too if you have a milk intolerance. The problem is these antibodies can also attack other areas of your body, which can trigger a flare.
Giving up dairy was tough because I love yogurt, cheese, and milk! But, I was having so many issues I decided about five years ago to give it up completely.
Hypothesis: Cutting out dairy can help Rheumatic symptoms.
Results: I noticed a world of difference in my number of flares and in my digestive system too. Flares were less intense, and less in number each month. It also really helped with my stomach issues too.
Notes: I started adding back in some diary about a year ago (greek yogurt mainly). As long as I keep it to just yogurt a few times a month, It doesn’t effect me too much. I continue to use almond milk for everything and try to use coconut yogurt when I can.
Obviously, this is a big thing for everyone’s health in general, but this is even more true when you suffer from a disease. I got serious about cutting out processed foods about four years ago.
Hypothesis: Limiting processed foods helps RA.
Results: It helped in many ways. I just felt better overall which in turned helped Rheumatic Pain. I still treat myself to some of my favorite things, but I limit it as much as I can. If I go on vacation or eat too many processed foods, I usually have a flare shortly after.
Living a healthy lifestyle has definitely been a learning experience, but the results make it worth it. For those of struggling with certain diseases, it makes it even more important.
Let me know if you have any questions! I would love to connect 🙂
Next up, I will be talking about my researched and proven supplements. I am currently working on that post and hope it share it soon!