Yesterday, we put to rest some persistent, unfounded myths about managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
So, today, let’s discuss some science-backed, safe, and effective approaches that DO work to alleviate the symptoms of this debilitating disease. And, as an added bonus—these approaches are good for your overall health, too!
Lower the inflammation associated with RA pain
As I explained yesterday, the pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with RA stem from chronic inflammation. So—reducing inflammation is a major key to feeling more like yourself.
Here are six steps that can help do just that…
1.) Eat more fish (and supplement too!). Eating more fish tops my list of science-backed methods to help tame the pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with RA. That’s because the powerful, essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help reduce the inflammation that causes RA symptoms.
Of course, as I explained last week, unless you’re like the old man in the sea and eat fish every single day of the week, you probably still need to take a high-quality fish oil supplement to get the optimal dosage of omega-3s.
In fact, in a recent study, some RA patients who took a daily fish oil supplement exhibited “significant” improvements in their symptoms…and they also found they could reduce their pain medication too, without experiencing a disease flare-up!
I updated my personal fish oil recommendations, based on the amount of fish in your diet, in the April 2021 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Getting to the heart of the omega-3 ‘controversy’”). And you can learn how to find a high-quality fish oil supplement—rather than low-quality, low-cost, mass-produced supplements that can contain mercury and other harmful substances, and that quickly become rancid—in the October 2013 issue (“What you REALLY need to know about fish, omega-3s, and prostate cancer risk”). If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here to get started.
2.) Pick the right kind of fiber. As I often report, you have to be careful and choosey about fiber. And the natural fiber found in fruits and vegetables is far healthier for you than any “added” fiber found in ultra-processed food products. It’s an important distinction that most mainstream doctors and “natural-know-it-alls” don’t talk about (or understand).
In fact, the natural fiber found in fruits and vegetables helps lower an inflammatory biochemical called C-reactive protein (CRP) that lurks behind chronic diseases like RA, heart disease, and others.
Also note that beans are a particularly good, high-fiber choice if you suffer from RA, as they contain protein to support your muscles and joints too. They also contain important micronutrients that support a healthy immune system, including iron (which should only come from foods and not supplements), folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
So, skip the artificial fiber supplements and “high-fiber” granola candy bars. Instead, try to fill your plate at each meal with fruits (including citrus), vegetables (including nightshades), and especially beans. (I’ll report in more detail about the confusion regarding dietary fiber in the upcoming October 2021 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter.)
3.) Pass on the ultra-processed foods. As I often report, recent strongly links ultra-processed foods with an increased risk of developing any number of chronic diseases as well as a higher all-cause mortality risk. (Which means a higher risk of death from ANY and ALL causes.)
In particular, ultra-processed food products often contain high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which counterbalance the healthy omega-3s that help alleviate inflammation and joint pain.
You find these unhealthy omega-6s in vegetable oils—like corn, peanut, and safflower oil—as well as in packaged snack foods, like chips, crackers, and cookies. These packaged snack foods also contain sugars and refined carbohydrates, which can also contribute to inflammation.
So, here are some healthy alternatives:
- Rely on olive oil in your cooking and salad dressings.
- Strive to make healthy choices for snacks—like raw vegetables, organic popcorn, nuts, or hummus (made from chickpeas or garbanzo beans).
- Aim to make your own desserts with whole-grain flour and natural sweeteners like honey or agave. Better yet, substitute fresh fruit (including citrus) for dessert—perhaps with some dark chocolate (made with 70 to 85 percent cocoa)!
4.) Rethink your beverages. If you suffer from RA, strictly avoid sweetened beverages, which increase inflammation, such as colas and energy drinks. Instead, reach for spring water (preferably bottled at the source) or some 100 percent fruit juice (without added sugars). Studies show the antioxidants found in 100 percent fruit juice, such as orange juice, may help reduce the inflammation associated with RA. Of course, this is good dietary advice for everyone to follow.
Plus, drinking freshly squeezed OJ may even help prevent you from developing the condition in the first place. In fact, according to a 2005 study, men and women who drank the equivalent of one glass of freshly squeezed OJ per day had a lower risk of developing RA and other inflammatory disorders.
Beer and wine (in moderation) also make good choices—since both contain beneficial, natural compounds that reduce inflammation. In fact, I report on the many health benefits of beer, specifically, in this month’s Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“America’s favorite brew offers significant health benefits”).
5.) Soothe aching joints with this ancient trio. I always recommend beginning treatment of arthritis with my botanical ABCs of joint health: ashwagandha, boswellia, and curcumin.
These ancient extracts reduce inflammation, which is the first step in achieving long-term relief from joint pain, as it allows your body to rebuild and maintain healthy cartilage. Plus, when you take these ingredients together, you magnify their individual benefits, due to their synergistic effects.
They work so well in combination, I’ve even heard from readers who’ve canceled their joint surgeries after using my ABCs. I recommend taking 400 to 500 mg of each supplement, once daily.
6.) Try some mind-body approaches. If you have RA or any other “autoimmune disorder,” you should consider making some lifestyle modifications that help reduce inflammation—such as practicing yoga or meditation or getting acupuncture. These approaches can also help manage pain and swelling on a daily basis.
To determine which mind-body approach will work best for you, take this short quiz or refer to my classic book, Your Emotional Type, and my new book, Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain: Keys to Treatment Based on Your Emotional Type.
Of course, in addition to the six natural remedies I covered today, there are many other natural approaches to combatting the pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with arthritis. You can learn more about them in my Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Effects of high-dose fish oil on rheumatoid arthritis after stopping nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Clinical and immune correlates.” Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Aug;38(8):1107-14. doi.org/10.1002/art.1780380813. PMID: 7639807.
“Beverages in Rheumatoid Arthritis: What to Prefer or to Avoid.” Nutrients 2020, 12, 3155. doi.org/10.3390/nu12103155