Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis to affect women. It can occur in all stages of life, especially in the later years. Scientists are still trying to understand the reasons behind the ailment, along with ways to cure it.
Trying to prevent rheumatoid arthritis isn’t always easy. In fact, there is very little that you can do to stop it from happening completely. You can, however, take steps to slow down the progression and avoid it from taking over your life.
The diet is one of the most common ways to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis from becoming a major issue in life. It’s food, after all, that can lead to inflammation within the body. This causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain and stiffness within them.
So, here’s a look at 12 of the best snacks to eat. They will help to prevent arthritis from occurring and getting worse over time.
Opt for Oily Fish for a Small and Filling Snack
When we think about snacks, we often reach for small bars of chocolate or pieces of fruit. While some snacks are powerful, it’s time to reach for more protein. This is especially the case when it comes to oily fish. Opt for some tuna, salmon, or even mackerel for your next healthy snack.
The fishes are full of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which help to keep your body’s natural immune system response to a minimum. While inflammation is part of the healing process, it occurs when it shouldn’t. It is especially problematic in the gut, but it can also lead to problems within the joints.
Fish is also good for brain health, making it one of those snacks that you want to eat before an exam.
Studies show that fish oil, which is where the omega 3 is, will help to ease stiffness on a morning and any tenderness in the joints. There are patients who have been able to reduce the medication they take daily for their rheumatoid arthritis, suggesting that it reverses the issue. If you get omega 3 when young, you can even avoid arthritis from causing issues later in life.
Doctors recommend that you get two portions of fish a week. Any more than that and you can cause some health problems due to the levels of mercury in oily fish.
If you’re not a fish fan, there are fish oils that you can take instead. You should talk to your doctor about this, as you may be able to take more fish oil supplements if you currently have rheumatoid arthritis than you would if you were a normal healthy person.
Increase the Amount of Fibre You Eat
Fiber is another powerful way to keep the inflammation in the body to a minimum. Did you know that 80% of your immune system lives in your gut? If you can keep that healthy, you will find that the natural responses like inflammation are kept to a minimum.
As I’ve said above, inflammation is a major issue for the body, and it occurs a lot in the gut. Digestive inflammation leads to a lack of nutrient absorption and causes various chronic illnesses, including arthritis. If you can keep that inflammation to a minimum, you stand a better chance to reduce the number of health problems you have.
Fiber can be gained through all types of snacks. Fruit and vegetables are among the healthiest of forms. Consider cutting up some fruit and vegetable slices and enjoy them with a healthy dip. You can even have a bag at work, which you can dip into on a regular basis.
Bran flakes are another option for adding fiber to the diet. This is usually insoluble fiber, so you want to watch the amount that you eat. The body reacts better with soluble fiber from fruit and vegetables.
Opt for Salads with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There’s a reason the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest. It’s not only full of omega 3 fatty acids from the fish but also full of olive oil – and the healthiest kind. Extra virgin olive oil is one of those healthy fats that your body needs and has anti-inflammatory properties. It works in the same way as aspirin and ibuprofen, helping to create a natural anti-inflammatory medication.
The oil blocks all the enzymes that cause inflammation, putting pressure on the joints. This is through oleocanthal, a compound within the oil.
Pour olive oil over your salads to improve your natural anti-inflammatory properties and fiber at the same time. You can also use olive oil in place of butter and vegetable oils for your cooking – it’s a much healthier alternative overall and will help with weight loss.
Now that you have a few basic foods, here are a few simple recipes to put together for your easy and rheumatoid arthritis prevention snacks.
Coconut and Cherry Porridge
Remember that it’s all about getting more fiber. This is one of the quickest ways to do so. Porridge oats will make a filling breakfast, but you can also make the portions smaller for a snack in the middle of the day.
- 1 ½ cups of oats
- 4tbsp chia seeds
- 3-4 cups of coconut milk
- 3tbsp raw cacao
- Pinch of coconut shavings, chocolate shavings, and stevia
- Fresh/frozen cherries
- Drizzle of maple syrup
- In a saucepan, mix the oats with the coconut milk, raw cacao, chia seeds, and stevia, bringing to a boil before simmering until the oats are cooked through
- Pour the porridge into a bowl and top with the rest of the ingredients to taste
You can also make this as an overnight oats snack. Place the oats at the bottom with some Greek yogurt on top instead of the coconut milk. You can add the rest of the ingredients in layers between the oats and the yogurt. Mix when you are ready to eat. Mixing before will just make the oats soggy.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
As said, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest options out there. It’s not exactly vegan-friendly, but it is certainly paleo and gluten-free friendly for the most part – there are some very simple omissions and substitutions to create the perfect Paleo-Mediterranean diet.
This snack is like a light meal. It’s delicious for everyone in the family to keep rheumatoid arthritis at bay.
- 2 cans of tuna, drained
- ¼ cup of mayo
- ¼ cup of olives, chopped
- 2tbsp red onion, chopped lightly
- 2tbsp red peppers, chopped
- 2tbsp basil, chopped
- 1tbsp capers
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tomatoes, cut part way and pried open gently
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Add everything except the tomatoes into a large bowl and combine fully
- Place the salad onto plates and pop your opened tomato in the middle of each plate
You can also turn this into a tuna sandwich, whether with bread, a wrap, or pita bread. The choice is completely up to you.
Chilled Chicken Wrap with Kale Salad
This snack is one for on the go, as you can put it all into the wrap. However, you can also choose to have it in a tub for work.
- 8oz chicken, grilled and sliced
- 6 cups of kale, chopped
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ a boiled egg
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2tsp Dijon mustard
- 1tsp honey
- 1/8 cup of lemon juice
- 1/8 cup of oil of choice
- 2 large tortilla wraps
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Mix the half egg with the garlic, honey, mustard, juice, and oil in a bowl, whisking to create a dressing and seasoning with some salt and black pepper
- Add in the chicken, kale, and tomatoes, coating fully
- Add in half the parmesan cheese and toss to coat
- Spread across your tortilla wraps evenly, sprinkling some of the remaining cheese over the top and enjoy
The wraps are best eaten immediately. If you want to eat as a wrap later, take the wraps in a tub separately and compile when you’re out.
Apple, Rhubarb, Ginger Muffins
These muffins are both dairy free and gluten free, so you’re cutting out two of the reasons for most inflammation in the gut. If you can buy linseed meal (ground flaxseeds), that will be best, but you can grind your own in a coffee grinder if you can just get the seeds.
- ½ cup of ground almonds
- ¼ cup of raw sugar
- 2tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1tbsp linseed meal
- ½ cup of buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup of brown rice flour
- 2tbsp cornflour/arrowroot
- 2tsp baking powder, gluten free
- 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of rhubarb, sliced
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup of almond milk +1tbsp
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F and add paper cases to your muffin tin
- Mix the ground almond, linseed meal, crystallized ginger, and sugar into a bowl
- Sieve the flours, spices, and baking powder into the ground almond mix and whisk to combine fully
- Stir in the apple and rhubarb, coating fully
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk, extract, and oil together and then pour into the dry ingredients, combining fully
- Divide the batter between the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes
- Allow cooling for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack
These are best eaten warm, but they can also be enjoyed as a quick snack if you need something on the go. Store them in an airtight container for a few days.
You’ll know the muffins are done by putting a toothpick into the middle. It should come out clean.
Cottage Cheese Bagels
Bagels are sometimes good for rheumatoid arthritis. Make sure you get whole wheat bagels, as they have the extra fiber to help prevent the carbs from sugaring quickly.
- ¼ cup of dried apricots, chopped
- 2tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 1tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 whole wheat bagel
- Mix all the ingredients together and combine fully
- Toast your bagel and serve the cottage cheese over the top
If you’re going to take this snack to work, make sure you keep the cottage cheese mix in a tub, away from the bagel. Top the bagel with the cottage cheese when you’re ready to eat. Otherwise, the liquid in the cottage cheese will make the bagel soggy.
Healthy Waffle Sandwich
I know the sound of this snack isn’t healthy. The truth is that it’s all in how you make it. It’s one of those that the whole family will love.
- 2 high fiber waffles
- 2tbsp peanut butter, divided
- 1 glass of almond milk
- Spread the waffles with your peanut butter and put them together as a sandwich
- Pour the milk into a glass and enjoy with your sandwich
You get a range of healthy fats with this recipe, as well as protein and fiber. All of these will work together to keep inflammation at a minimum. By choosing almond or coconut milk, you can reduce the amount of dairy that you eat to prevent any lactose issues in the gut.
Crackers with Salmon
Remember when I said that oily fish was food for preventing rheumatoid arthritis? Well, here’s a way to eat it as a quick snack. You can play around with the measurements in this to get just the right balance for your tastes.
- Cooked salmon
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Whole wheat crackers
- Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together to create a vinaigrette
- Add in the salmon and combine fully
- Place on top of your crackers and enjoy!
It’s not just the salmon that helps. Using the olive oil will help to add more anti-inflammatory compounds to your body.
Make Some Kale Chips
Kale chips are extremely healthy and tasty. They don’t sound it initially, but people just can’t get enough of them the first time they try them. Your kids will love their new snack, while you love no rheumatoid arthritis flare ups.
- 1tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2tbsp salt
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Tear the kale leaves from the stem and chop into pieces
- Add the kale pieces to a bowl and put to one side
- Mix together the oil, vinegar, and salt (you may want to use less) in a cup and then drizzle over the kale
- Mix everything by hand and then place on baking sheets
- Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy and flip for another 10 minutes
You’ll want to keep an eye on the kale. It’s easy to burn if you leave in the oven for too long! The leafy green is full of antioxidants that will help to fight off cell damage and inflammation, preventing your rheumatoid arthritis of getting worse or starting in the first place.
Make Your Own Hummus
Why bother buying hummus from the store when you can make your own? This is delicious with some chopped vegetables, so you get plenty of fiber and anti-inflammatory properties into your diet.
- 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2tsp salt
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 2tbsp tahini
- 2tbsp olive oil
- Add the garlic cloves to a blender and pulse
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, blending into a smooth paste
Taste the hummus and add extra of the various ingredients as you see fit. Don’t forget to add some olives on the top when serving with your vegetable sticks to get more healthy oils into your diet.
Banish Rheumatoid Arthritis for Good
There’s no need o suffer from rheumatoid again. The recipes and snack ideas will help you create delicious go to options to help banish your rheumatoid arthritis for good. All these options are excellent for both preventing it from starting and from getting worse. You may be one of the lucky ones that get to stop taking medication because your diet is working in your favor.