Have you ever seen some elderly with deformed fingers and toes? Ever thought about how this must have happened? Well, it is caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that can affect more than just your joints. It can damage organs like the eyes, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and skin. Read on to know about the Indian diet plan for rheumatoid arthritis. How to manage rheumatoid arthritis? and a complete list of foods to eat and avoid in rheumatoid arthritis.
An autoimmune disorder manifests when the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes immense pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. This happens when the body starts attacking the healthy joint tissues and ends up with inflammation of that region. It can occur at any age. It is a chronic disorder that increases and worsens with time. The only way to manage rheumatoid arthritis is through early detection and treatment.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Joint pain and stiffness throughout the day
- Tenderness and swelling around the joints
- Joint deformity
- Difficulty in performing day-to-day activities
- Low-grade fatigue
- Constant low-grade fever
The symptoms seen are identical on both sides of the body. It does not affect any single joint. For example, it will affect both the knees or fingers and toes of both limbs at the same time.
Risk factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Gender: Females are three times more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis than males.
- Genes: People born with a specific kind of HLA gene are more prone to rheumatoid arthritis. Such people with obesity have two times more chances of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Birth History: Females who have never given birth are more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis.
- Smoke exposure: Smoking increases inflammation in the body and might trigger an autoimmune response.
- Obesity: Obesity in itself might trigger the autoimmune response leading to rheumatoid arthritis.
- Diet: High intake of refined foods, junk foods, high sodium, high sugar foods, and red meat worsens rheumatoid arthritis.
How to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Daily Workout: Regular cardio activity will help you to keep the muscles and joints flexible and minimize pressure and inflammation. A subtle cardio workout like walking, swimming, aerobic exercises, dance, cycling, or yoga helps to keep the joints healthy. You can consult a certified professional to determine appropriate physical activity. Sitting exercises for the elderly.
- Rest: With active rheumatoid arthritis it gets difficult to do day-to-day activities. At such times you need complete rest to get down the inflammation.
- Hot or cold compress: With active inflammation try and use a cold compress to reduce the pain as well as stiffness. But if it’s chronic, a hot compress will work wonders. With excess stiffness, you can try to alternate between hot compress and cold compress but strictly under professional supervision.
- Being self-dependent: Try using splints, bands, or tapes that will help joints not change position. It will also help in reducing inflammation. Use crutches or canes to move about to reduce the stiffness in the joints.
- Food: Anti-inflammatory diet helps.Research.
Indian diet plan for rheumatoid arthritis:
Foods List for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They help in reducing oxidative stress in the body. Whole grains also aid in weight loss which is a boon for rheumatoid arthritis. Opt for whole wheat, oats, quinoa, millets, foxtail, and varai as well as other grains.
- Fiber: Fiber-rich foods help in reducing inflammation, weight, and also water retention in the body. Include whole-grain cereals, whole fruits, vegetables, millets, nuts, seeds, dals, pulses, and sprouts.
- Protein-rich foods: With long-standing inflammation, there is a lot of muscle loss. Good quality adequate protein will help compensate for this muscle loss. Include low-fat dairy, lean meats, dals, pulses, and sprouts.
- Omega 3-rich foods: Foods rich in omega 3 have anti-inflammatory properties. Include fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts in your daily diet.
- Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidant-rich foods help fight inflammation and reduce swelling. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, sprouts, spices, and condiments in your daily diet.
- Flavonoids-rich foods: Flavonoids are the substance present in foods that fight inflammation. They help to reduce oxidative stress and also alleviate swelling and pain. Include all colorful foods like fruits, vegetables, green tea, spice teas as well as different berries.
- Spices: Certain Indian spices have anti-inflammatory properties that also help boost immunity.
- Turmeric: Turmeric reduces inflammation in the body. Curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Black pepper: The piperine in black pepper helps reduce inflammation. Black pepper along with turmeric works well to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Chilli: As weird as it sounds the capsaicin in chili has anti-inflammatory property that helps reduce inflammation.
Foods to avoid in Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Try and avoid all trigger-causing foods that can worsen the inflammation.
- Refined foods: Avoid the consumption of refined carbohydrates like maida as well as processed carbohydrates like white sugar.
- Unhealthy fats: Limit consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid saturated, and trans fats, fried foods, rich creamy gravies, and full-fat milk products.
- Red meat: Red meats tend to inflammation and obesity.
- Eggs: Eggs can be allergy-causing foods. They can trigger the autoimmune response of the body which might worsen rheumatoid arthritis.
Indian diet plan for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Here is a 1-day sample of the Indian diet plan for rheumatoid arthritis.
Empty Stomach: 1 cup of turmeric tea +
Soaked nuts with 1 cup water (2 Almonds, 2 walnut halves, ¼ th teaspoon chia seeds, 2 pine nuts, 1 dry fig)
Breakfast: 1 cup Green Tea + 1 medium size Paneer chili in ragi wrap OR Mung dal chilla OR Ragi Dosa
Mid-morning: 1 Fruit (100 – 150 gms)
Lunch: 1 cup Green Salad with flaxseed, lemon, and black pepper dressing + 2 Jowar / bajra roti OR 1 cup Brown Rice + 1 cup Vegetables + 1 cup Dal + 1 cup Low fat Curd
Snacks: 1 cup Almond milk + 1 medium Bajra Khakra or 1 cup Jowar Puffs or Sukha bhel
Dinner: 1 Cup Stir fry Veggies + 1 cup Vegetable Khichdi (green split mung dal + rice )+ ½ cup kadhi
Bed – Time: 1 cup low-fat Turmeric Milk
Various factors lead to rheumatoid arthritis. A correct approach is to follow mild exercises, the right food, and proper medicines. Stay active and maintain a normal weight to fight rheumatoid arthritis. Hope this Indian diet plan for rheumatoid arthritis as well as the information on how to manage rheumatoid arthritis helps you.