Eating right can not only help you to stay healthy and physically fit, but it's also important to be aware of certain foods that can aggravate existing conditions.
For those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, it's especially important to be conscious of which foods can cause and combat inflammation.
Inflammation in the body, which is an over-activity in the immune system, can also cause other problems such as pain, fatigue, and contribute to obesity, heart disease or even cancer.
Foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat can cause inflammation and should be avoided or consumed in small amounts.
However, proteins such as fatty fish, chock-full of Omega 3’s are a great choice. Recommended fish include salmon, mackerel and tuna - at least three servings a week. Try them baked or steamed, as opposed to fried.
Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, are also inflammation-fighters because they contain high amounts of fibre, anti-oxidants and a type of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Foods that are high in fibre can also help to reduce inflammation. In place of processed pasta and white rice side dishes, try fibre-rech chick peas, other beans and lentils, or whole grain foods such as brown breads and pastas. Make sure your breads and pastas have no added sugar, which can spur inflammation.
There are a number of vegetables that you can add to your diet that fight inflammation. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and rapini contain iron, calcium and high amounts of disease-fighting phytochemicals that help bring down inflammation.
Other veggies known to to reduce inflammation include beets and hot peppers, which contain capsaicin - an active agent that helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Spices you can add to your food include ginger and turmeric, which help inhibit the triggers in the body that cause inflammation.
In the fruit category, raspberries have great anti-inflammatory properties, as do blueberries, which fight against inflammation in the intestines. Tart cherries are your best option and have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.