Ginger, blueberries, olive oil and green tea are among the ‘superfoods’ that help fight rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research.Scientists have compiled a definitive list of foods proven to combat the symptoms of the crippling condition.
They suggest sufferers incorporate the foods into their diet to slow down the progressive, debilitating autoimmune disease.Other foods listed as having an anti-inflammatory effect range from fruits – such as dried plums, grapefruit and pomegranates – to whole grains, the spice turmeric, as well as specific oils such as fish oil.
The experts – following their review of scientific research papers – also recommended switching from a meat diet to a plant-based one. They said such foods reduce joint stiffness and pain by lowering inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system called cytokines.The foods also lower oxidative stress – the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify harmful chemicals.
The team also advised taking probiotics and quitting alcohol and smoking. There’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, severely impacting quality of life.
Study author Dr Bhawna Gupta, from KIIT University in India, said: “Regular consumption of specific dietary fibres, vegetables, fruits and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
“Incorporating probiotics into the diet can also reduce the progression and symptoms of this disease.“Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietician.”
Various dietary plans for rheumatoid arthritis – such as vegan, seven to 10 days fasting and Mediterranean – have long been recommended.But the research team said their new study – only the second overall assessment of diet and food regarding the disease – provides a thorough evaluation of current scientific knowledge and makes a point of only reporting dietary interventions and specific foods that clearly show proven long-term effects.
They hope the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, can also be used as a reference for the development of new medicines.Also, pregnant women should eat more fish to boost the development of their children, new research suggests.They are usually advised to steer clear of oily fish amid fears the build-up of mercury can damage the brain of babies in the womb.
But Swedish scientists, using data from nearly 39,000 mothers and their children, have found eating seafood during pregnancy only benefits children.Children born to mothers who consumed 400g of oily fish each week while they were expecting had higher language and communication skills.
However, the researchers warned pregnant women should avoid eating anymore than this amount due to the potential effects of mercury.For the new study, researchers obtained blood samples from a small group of 2,239 women in week 17 of gestation.Prenatal mercury exposure was also calculated by asking all of the 38,581 women to report what they consumed halfway through their pregnancy.
Mothers then reported children’s language and communications skills at age five by filling out a questionnaire.The scientists at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, then performed a statistical analysis to assess the impact of mercury.For mothers who ate less than 400g of seafood a week there were clear benefits, they reported in the journal Environment International.(Guardian)