Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting about 1% of people around the world. This debilitating condition drastically reduces the quality and length of life. Researchers hypothesize about a “gut-joint axis,” whereby conditions in the gastrointestinal tract impact the onset and progress of RA. Studies indicate certain changes in gut microbiota are responsible for RA. People who want to prevent or treat the symptoms of the disease may benefit from consuming foods that promote gut health. While there is no official arthritis diet, most clinicians agree these foods are especially helpful for fighting the disease.
Some seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation. In a 2017 study in Arthritis Care and Research, researchers observed an inverse correlation between fish consumption and RA disease activity. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming three to four ounces of fish twice weekly. Several studies also suggest that fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and swelling, morning stiffness, and disease progression among individuals with RA. The best seafood sources for an arthritis diet are cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, fresh tuna, anchovies, and scallops. Consuming 600 to 1,000 mg of fish oil every day appears to alleviate RA symptoms.
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