The symptoms of certain diseases can be treated with natural foods. This is actually the case with rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis). Although there is currently no cure, fish can be helpful in relieving the symptoms.
The main symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Interestingly, aquatic animals have a component with anti-inflammatory properties: omega-3.
Those who suffer from this condition can see improvement by including fish in their daily diet.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
This disorder involves chronic inflammation in many joints, especially those in the hands and feet. The inflammation is a result of the immune system going into high gear.
In some cases , it can even affect vital organs such as the heart. In fact, this disorder may be linked to the cardiovascular system.
Over time, it can lead to wear and tear on the bones, as well as deformities in the joints and stiffness.
Omega-3 as an anti-inflammatory agent
Inflammation is a normal function of the immune system that is activated by specialized white blood cells. Omega-3 activates the receptor that blocks this inflammatory response.
This is good for patients with rheumatoid arthritis because this inflammatory response is continuous and painful.
Unfortunately , omega-3 cannot be synthesized naturally by the human body and must be obtained externally. Fish is the food with the highest concentration.
Effects of omega-3 on rheumatoid arthritis
Taking 0.21 grams of fatty acids a day can reduce the chance of suffering from any form of rheumatoid arthritis by over 50%.
The anti-inflammatory effect of polyunsaturated fats is due to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In addition, it can relieve pain and help general joint flexibility.
To see improvements, however, you need to ensure a steady intake of this type of fatty acid. It takes at least two to six months to begin observing improvements for cases of rheumatism.
Be careful with omega-6
Usually, diet contains a large amount of omega-6. This is a bad thing for those with rheumatoid arthritis, since this fatty acid is inflammatory.
As such , it is best to follow a diet with similar amounts of omega-3 and -6.
However, cutting out omega-6 is not an option, as it reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
Not all spices are the same
It is important to choose fish that have a higher content of omega-3 than omega-6. As such, mackerel and tuna may be the best.
Other options include anchovies, shrimp and cod. Shellfish such as squid are good sources of omega-3.
In addition , salmon and sardines also have a high concentration, but the omega-6 content is much higher. Therefore, they are less recommended for an anti-inflammatory diet and should be eaten in moderation.
Polyunsaturated fats also protect your heart
Eating fish three times a week can also help prevent arrhythmia, heart disease and sudden death from heart failure.
This is due to polyunsaturated fats that prevent excess calcium from ending up in your heart and lead to changes in a person’s normal heart rhythm.
Anti-inflammatory diet for rheumatoid arthritis
A fish’s fatty acids are best preserved when fresh or frozen. Canned fish can lose a good deal of the fatty acids, which affects its anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, frying fish is not a good alternative, as it adds saturated fat that has the opposite effect. The best option for cooking fish is to steam it.
However , sushi can also be a good option as it offers all the benefits of eating fish along with quick and healthy cooking methods.
More than just fish
Fish is not the only source you can get polyunsaturated fat from. Vegetable oils such as olive, almond and soybean oil are good sources of this useful fat.
Lentils, seaweed, chickpeas, nuts and chia seeds also contain significant amounts of omega-3.
When it comes to fruits, strawberries and avocados are the only ones that have this nutrient.
The best indicator of omega-3s’ effectiveness is that there are supplements and even medications that contain it. Adding them to your daily diet is good for your health.