The hallmark of the autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is chronic inflammation. This inflammation begins in synovial fluid and can spread throughout different areas of the body.
Although there are certain genes and gut bacteria associated with RA, the exact cause is unknown. An ebb and flow in regard to the symptoms of RA is common, this is the experience of flare-ups and then remission. (1)
There is no Arthritis Diet
There is much continued research and interest in how diet can impact the ebb and flow of RA, throughout the years there have been a variety of possible diet that are considered the right diet for RA, however we know that there is just not enough evidence to say that one diet is the right diet for RA. (2)
High protein or fasting during flair ups? You decide what works for your body.
Nutritional needs can vary, increasing protein during flair-ups may prevent the muscle wasting sometimes associated with inflammation, then again for some people fasting during this time can help with symptoms by reducing the inflammatory response. (3)
Be sure to include the anti-inflammatory diet components.
Whether, increasing protein or fasting, choosing to make an anti-inflammatory diet the foundation of the normal day-to-day intake has proven to be wise for chronic disease prevention. (4) This is important to understand because there are a variety of good diets that are already anti-inflammatory, such as the Mediterranean and DASH.
There is no specific version of an anti-inflammatory diet you must follow. However, along with an anti-inflammatory diet be sure to include enough folate, calcium and vitamins E, D, B6, B12. These nutrients are important to replenish potential loss related to medication and essential to joint and bone health. (1)
- Mahan, L. K., & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krauses food & the nutrition care process. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
- Martin, R. H. (n.d.). The role of nutrition and diet in rheumatoid arthritis . Nutrition and Arthritis, 237-244. doi:10.1002/9780470775011.app4
- Valter D. Longo, Mark P. Mattson, Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications, Cell Metabolism, Volume 19, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 181-192, ISSN 1550-4131, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2013.12.008.
- Shivappa, N., Steck, S., Hurley, T., Hussey, J., & Hébert, J. (2014). Designing and developing a literature-derived, population-based dietary inflammatory index. Public Health Nutrition, 17(8), 1689-1696. doi:10.1017/S1368980013002115
- Boeing, H., Bechthold, A., Bub, A., Ellinger, S., Haller, D., Kroke, A., … Watzl, B. (2012). Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European Journal of Nutrition, 51(6), 637–663. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0380-y