Switching To Mediterranean Diet To Reduce The Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Mediterranean diet can be a useful option source for the well-being of a person. Generally, dieticians recommend it for treating illnesses. Moreover, the studies have proved its benefits for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Science Daily shares the study focusing on the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation and swelling in your joints. Sometimes the immune system of your body attacks the healthy cells by mistake, which develops rheumatoid arthritis. 

It usually affects the joints, specifically wrist joints, knees, and elbows. Since it damages the tissues of the affected part, therefore there will be severe pain and inflammation. 

Hence it will cause immobility, stiffness, and imbalance in your joints. And usually, it attacks many of the joints at a time.

As the CDC suggests, it can cause damage to your organs as well since it attacks tissues all over the body.


The signs and symptoms of RA include;

  • Pain, stiffness, swelling, and inflammation in more than one joint at the same time
  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Weakness without any particular reason

The signs may appear in both parts of the body, like both hands, legs, etc.


The immune system is the defense mechanism of a human body that keeps making antibodies to attack viruses and bacterias. Since the immune system mistakenly sends antibodies to the joints and tissues, it is difficult to find any particular reason.

Risk Factors

  • Being overweight can lead you to rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • It can attack the bones and joints irrespective of age.
  • Women are the easier target than men. Hence, gender can be a factor.
  • There is another factor that is inheritance. 
  • Women who never gave birth to anyone are at risk.
  • Smoking is a significant factor studied.
  • Children whose mothers smoke can become adults with rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosis and Treatments

Its diagnosis is pretty hard at an early stage. Besides, the signs and symptoms are similar to the indications of many other diseases. However, blood tests, MRI, and ultrasound can help a doctor to diagnose RA.

1) The medication treatments include

  • Steroids 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Biological agents
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

2) Therapies

3) Surgeries that include:

  • Tendon repair
  • Total joint replacement
  • Joint fusion
  • Synovectomy 

Role Of Diet In Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is considerable research to find the association of diet with rheumatoid arthritis. Hence, the studies suggest that intake of a  low-sodium diet can help prevent and treat this issue.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet consists of olive oil, fish, fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, herbs, and whole grains. Furthermore, a limited amount of dairy products may also feature in this diet plan. The idea is the inspiration from ancient Greece.

Since it is based on unrefined food, it is rich in nutrients usually washed away while processing food. Moreover, it has countless health benefits and helps lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, hypertension, etc. It helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

Effects Of Mediterranean Diet On Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is a study performed to estimate the reduction of the risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. Willey provided the materials for the analysis. With the help of a questionnaire, the researchers collected information from more than 62,000 French women. 

The information was all about the dietary intake of the participants from 1990. Out of the total, around 500 women developed rheumatoid arthritis. 

Amazingly, the women who are highly committed to the Mediterranean diet have lesser chances of developing RA. 

  • Out of 1 million, 340 RA cases are used to smoke and are associated with the Mediterranean diet. 
  • 360 RA cases are those who don’t smoke and are highly committed to a Mediterranean diet.
  • Around 520 chances are those who are less attached to a Mediterranean diet.

These figures show an apparent connection between the Mediterranean diet and the development of RA. However, intake of this diet cannot prevent or treat RA all alone.

Reduced Inflammation

Since RA, a patient feels chronic pain in more than one joint. It is essential to reduce inflammation to relieve pain. There are foods available that are counted in the Mediterranean diet. Moreover, these foods provide relief from inflammation and swelling in tissues and joints.

Besides, the foods include berries, fish, and olive oil that are anti-inflammatory and are preferable to protect from RA.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is not a targeted task for a Mediterranean diet. Yet, it plays a vital role in losing weight. It is lower in calories. Hence, you don’t have to make portions of your meal to avoid putting on the weight associated with this diet. 

Those who are overweight have a higher chance of developing RA. Therefore, switching on to a Mediterranean diet can facilitate them in losing weight and improve their well-being.

Slowed Development Of Disease

The diet can also modify the expression of immune cells that can develop RA. It slows down the procedure. Whole grains and green plants have a significant impact on the pace of the disease.

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Some Mediterranean Diet Foods 

The variety of food in this diet varies concerning countries and regions. Here are some typical foods featured in the Mediterranean diet across the globe.

  • Starchy foods like potato, bread, pasta, etc
  • Beans included baked beans, kidney beans, butter beans, runner beans, broad beans, etc.
  • Pulses and red, green, yellow, brown lentils
  • Soya drinks and other low-fat drinks
  • Unsaturated oils and spreads
  • Eight glasses of liquid, whether it is water or any other low sugar drink

Some people believe that the intake of a Mediterranean diet is only possible for the rich. However, you can grow many green vegetables and fruits in your home to alter your daily food.

Bottom Line

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition, and it is dangerous for your bones and joint’s health. Since it is not clear what triggers the immune system to do the damage and when and who will be the target, you must start taking care of yourself from today.

Switching on to a Mediterranean diet is a feasible option, and it is suitable for arthritis and the overall well-being of yourself.

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