Smoothies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is well known that diet is an important factor of your overall health, but it can be even more critical when you have a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis. There are even certain foods with inflammatory properties that can worsen your RA symptoms or trigger a flare-up. You can read more about what foods you should avoid when you have RA. But aside from foods you should avoid, there are also foods you can eat that will actually help improve your rheumatoid arthritis! Doesn’t this sound like a good idea? I mean, really, why continue eating and drinking foods and beverages that are damaging to your health? Imagine how good you could feel if you started drinking smoothies for rheumatoid arthritis that were full of great, fresh ingredients.
5 Smoothie Ingredients to Help Decrease Pain
Here are five ingredients that could make a difference in your symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
Pineapple contains bromelain and enzymes that can help "clean up" the inflammation in the joints. There’s only one precaution about pineapple: don’t overdo the serving size because it is high in natural sugar. The natural sugar can raise blood sugar levels if it’s not complemented by enough protein or fat in the meal; raised blood sugar levels may cause your symptoms to worsen, so make sure to check the serving size. A good amount is one to two pineapple rings, about ½ inch thick.
Chlorophyll is the body-cleanup ingredient in smoothies. It has properties that will help clean up joints and detoxify the body. When adding this ingredient, avoid adding too much too soon. Otherwise you will end up with detox reactions, which are flu-like symptoms that come on fast and may last a while. Don’t let this scare you, as you’ll make better health progress by having it in your diet than not having it. Plus, you can easily avoid this detox effect by slowly introducing it to your body. The first week you begin adding chlorophyll to your smoothies, add only ¼ of a teaspoon. After a week, add another ¼ teaspoon, totaling ½ teaspoon. Then stay at this level for a few weeks. Increase by another ¼ teaspoon and when you get to 1 teaspoon daily in a smoothie, you have made great progress. Chlorophyll will give your smoothies a fresh taste and won’t be overwhelming in any way. However, be aware that chlorophyll has some risks and potential side effects, and chlorophyll supplements that you can buy at drugstores are not regulated. Therefore, make sure to consult with your doctor before taking chlorophyll supplements, for official recommendations and dosage guidelines. If you don't want to take liquid chlorophyll supplements, you can always use leafy greens (such as wheat-grass, parsley and spinach) in your smoothies instead; these vegetables are good natural sources of chlorophyll.
There are various sources of antioxidants, but the best ones come largely from plants (fruits and vegetables). However, berries in particular go very well in smoothies. The antioxidants in berries (such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) are exceptional because they neutralize free radicals. This is beneficial for those with RA as an imbalance of free radicals can cause the body damage and you more joint pain. Therefore, it is a good idea to frequently add these kinds of berries to your smoothie recipes.
Herbs have a powerful influence on the body and they rarely come with negative side effects. Adding ½ teaspoon of ginger to your recipes can assist you in decreasing inflammation in the body, which will help with your joint inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis.
Turmeric is another strong anti-inflammatory herb that may not only help reduce the pain associated with RA, but could also help slow the damage caused by RA. However, modern studies on turmeric are still in their infancy, so its best to consult your physician before taking this herb regularly. Turmeric powder can easily be added into most smoothie recipes. You can read more about turmeric and its potential uses in treating RA here.
Time to Get Blending
If you like all five of these ingredients, you may even decide to add them all together to help conquer your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms! If not, you can always pick and choose to see which ones have the most positive effect on your body. Simply start with a protein powder or 1 cup of yogurt as your base and add any of the above ingredients. Then, see how you feel for the rest of the day. Give it a few hours to start reducing your pain. As with any home remedy, it may take a bit of experimentation to see which smoothies for rheumatoid arthritis work best for you. Let us know what happens!