A healthy gut microbiome can support inflammation prevention, according to Morin, and people who eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods may experience less arthritis-induced pain. Foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir and kimchi, can also contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet, which consists of large amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds and nuts and moderate amounts of dairy products, eggs, poultry, red wine and olive oil, may help relieve arthritis pain. thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. .
For people who prefer not to adhere to a specific type of diet, adding certain supplements to a daily health regimen can likewise help reduce arthritis symptoms.
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids have anti-inflammatory benefits and may help suppress the number of swollen joints or tendons and help reduce a person’s perceived pain related to rheumatoid arthritis, research suggests.
High-quality olive oil is one of the best dietary sources of monounsaturated fatty acids, says Morin, as one tablespoon of olive oil contains about 10 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids. To incorporate olive oil into your daily diet, Morin suggests consuming at least two tablespoons of it a day in the form of salad dressing, bread dip, or as a substitute for butter in recipes. For people interested in taking a monounsaturated fatty acid supplement, he recommends 2 to 4 tablespoons per day, or 20 to 40 grams.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone strength. Alternatively, research shows that vitamin D deficiency can affect the severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. A 2012 study in Therapeutic advances in endocrinology and metabolism noted that rheumatoid arthritis appeared to be more prevalent in participants with vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, research suggests that vitamin D inadequacies in a person’s diet may increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis.
Vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for the prevention of osteoporosis and for pain relief in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The most bioavailable form of vitamin D is sunlight, although it is also present in foods such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and vitamin D-fortified products, such as orange juice and dairy products. People who need additional vitamin D may consider using supplements, which can be purchased at pharmacies or prescribed by a primary care physician.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a dietary allowance of 600 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D. For seniors, the NIH suggests between 400 IU and 800 IU supplementation for seniors.
“In many cases, larger quantities [of vitamin D] it may be safe and effective,” says Morin. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin D dose, as providers may check your blood tests to determine the appropriate amount of vitamin D for your needs. adds.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential unsaturated fatty acids that help produce hormones that regulate inflammation in the body, potentially helping control conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. More specifically, studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help control the autoimmune response and reduce swelling and tenderness in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Oily, cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna is also an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, but may contain more mercury content than other fish. Morin suggests consuming two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish per week and supplementing with flax, chia and walnuts for additional plant-based omega-3s.
When consuming omega-3s in supplement form, Morin suggests starting with 1 to 2 grams per day. The National Academy of Medicine recommends 1.6 grams for adult males and 1.1 grams for adult females.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate most commonly found in whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables that helps regulate the body’s blood sugar, normalize bowel movements and lower cholesterol levels. People with high-fiber diets may have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation often linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
“Whole grains, beans and lentils are wonderful for their fiber content,” says Morin. “They help feed gut microbes like probiotics in the digestive system. Different varieties of fibers help the [microbes] thrive and grow in diversity and total population, which can reduce the amount of inflammatory compounds that [enter] the system.”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 38 grams of fiber for adult males and 25 grams for females.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can ease arthritis pain, says Morin. Research also finds curcumin beneficial for pain management and joint function in people with knee osteoarthritis.
However, to get enough curcumin for its health benefits, a person needs to consume excessive amounts of turmeric, Morin says. Instead, he recommends trying a curcumin supplement.
“The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, so ideally we’re looking for this active compound,” Morin explains. “It doesn’t matter whether it says ‘turmeric’ or ‘curcumin’ on the packaging, as long as the company has identified the active ingredients. If it just says turmeric on the side, I’d keep looking.
Many people experience benefits when they take 1,500 milligrams of curcuminoids per day, divided into doses of about 500 milligrams per meal, it adds.