The Arthritis Diet: Amla And Other Powerful Antioxidants
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
How To Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes joint pain throughout your body.
Unlike other forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis, which is caused by age, lack of key nutrients, previous injuries, or overwork, rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a miscommunication that mistakenly causes your immune system to attack the linings of your joints.
Though there is currently no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, scientists continue to discover new ways to treat the pain and symptoms caused by this disease.
In this article, we’ll explore the research behind a number of different remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, and explain why your diet (and especially superfoods like amla) can be so powerful in combating this chronic condition.
Do Natural Remedies Work?
The short answer is yes, at least when dealing with trying to prevent flare-ups of RA.
One of the chronic challenges rheumatoid arthritis patients deal with are flare-ups, which can happen for three main reasons:
- The first is suddenly overdoing physical activity, which can strain the already-thin protective tissues around your joints and cause swelling and joint pain.
- The second reason stems from overexertion, stress, poor sleep, or an infection like the flu, all of which can set off symptoms.
- Finally, the third cause of flare-ups is seemingly random or ‘untriggered’ flare-ups, which are the hardest to control.
Since experts are still trying to understand the reasons behind random, ‘untriggered’ flare-ups, the best bet in these more rare cases is to consult your physician for medical help.
However, in the case of flare-ups related to overall health and physical activity, there are a number of different natural remedies that can make a significant difference.
Weight loss and regular, low-impact physical activity can help keep your body in top condition and help avoid flare-ups as a result of sudden exercise or exertion.
And for flare-ups caused by flu or sickness, changes like dietary adjustments, getting more sleep, and home remedies (like the plant-based remedies found in Ayurvedic medicine) can all help lower the stress on your body and boost your immunity to help fight disease.
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Why Diet Is Important For Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis | The Science
In addition to helping prevent flare-ups in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, research has shown that weight loss and a proper diet may actually help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Recent studies have shown that obesity, a high-fat diet, high blood sugar, and high sugar foods all increased the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, which means that a healthier diet higher in plants and whole carbohydrates may reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Other studies have also shown that a ‘poor’ diet (high in red meat, salt, andspecific fatty acids) can increase the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis once it has developed, meaning that an improved diet may be a key part of effective treatment no matter your current health situation.
Many of the pain relief medications prescribed to deal with chronic arthritis flare-ups can have uncomfortable or inconvenient side effects, which means that any alternative treatment that helps reduce or prevent this pain is a big plus.
Always make sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you’re feeling intense discomfort due to rheumatoid arthritis. These lifestyle changes can likely improve your health, but they are not a perfect replacement for personalized, expert medical advice.
The Benefits Of Antioxidants
Apart from avoiding high-risk foods like red meats, lots of salt, and processed foods high in sugar, we heavily recommend adding more antioxidants to your diet.
Antioxidants are helpful compounds found primarily in fruits and vegetables and provide two major benefits to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
First, they move through circulation scavenging free radicals, compounds that cause oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic inflammation in many tissues. Reducing this oxidative stress can significantly prevent inflammation.
Second, reducing oxidative stress also helps your immune system function more effectively, which can help reduce your risk of flare-ups due to disease.
In summary, antioxidants help prevent extra inflammation on top of RA, and can also help reduce the frequency with which RA symptoms flare-up.
Amla For Arthritis Pain
To improve your overall health to combat arthritis pain (along with dozens of other chronic conditions), there’s little better than a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet.
But for a quick, easy, and immediate improvement to your immunity and inflammation, there’s one answer: amla.
Also known as the Indian Gooseberry, amla is the most powerful antioxidant on the planet and is packed with dozens of other key nutrients that also give it a natural anti-inflammatory effect, along with dozens of other evidence-based health benefits.
The Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Amla
As we mentioned above, amla is the most powerful antioxidant on the planet, which is excellent for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s also the fruit with the second-highest density of vitamin-c on the planet (only surpassed by the Barbados cherry), and packed with key nutrients like calcium that all contribute to amla’s proclaimed health benefits.
Among them is, you guessed it, a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Apart from millennia of ‘common knowledge’ evidence from traditional medicine, recent studies have shown tremendous promise in this area, both in human cells and animal studies.
Though you can’t draw a complete scientific conclusion from these initial stages of research, this promise combined with the documented antioxidant power of amla and its benefits to your overall health (like weight loss!) makes it a no-brainer for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
Side Effects of Taking Amla
One of the other reasons it’s an easy choice to take amla is due to the berry’s limited side effects (especially when compared to over-the-counter medications).
Amla currently has no clinical side effects, and should only be carefully monitored in two cases:
- In individuals with low blood glucose, amla’s blood-glucose-lowering effect can cause hypoglycemia. This is easy to combat by simply stopping taking amla
- For people with bleeding disorders, amla’s anti-inflammatory effects can cause bruising. Again, this can be prevented by stopping the consumption of amla.
Try Amla For Yourself Risk-Free
With so many evidence-based benefits to amla, it’s easy to be a little wary. After all, why hasn’t this superfood made it everywhere by now?
Two reasons. First, it’s very hard to get fresh, organic amla anywhere outside of India and Southeast Asia (where it is everywhere). And second, amla by itself has a very tart and bitter taste that few people enjoy.
We’ve solved both problems with Amla Green, which takes organic, 20x concentrated amla powder and mixes it with tasty flavors like green tea and hibiscus (adding to the health benefits too!)
If you’re curious, and especially if you’re hesitant, you can try Amla Green entirely risk-free. If you don’t enjoy it and its powerful benefits, we’ll refund your entire purchase.
But we think you’ll like it. Click here to try Amla Green in your diet today.
Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Add To Your Diet
Almost any foods that are high in antioxidants will be a positive addition to your diet if you’re currently suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This includes almost all fruits, berries, and many vegetables (which are also high in vitamin-c, calcium, and numerous other nutrients).
Spices like turmeric, allspice, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, oregano, thyme, and rosemary are also known to be high in antioxidants and have a documented anti-inflammatory effect, making them easy additions to your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also shown tremendous promise as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and can be found commonly in walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, seaweed, and leafy green vegetables.
Each of these foods also adds a great deal of dietary nutrition and contributes to the weight-loss benefits of a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet, which makes them a win-win for people with RA.
4 Types of Foods To Avoid
The research is still somewhat unclear on exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but there are some foods that have been documented to increase your risk for developing RA or increasing your symptoms.
- Foods high in saturated fat
- Processed foods with high levels of synthetic ingredients
- Foods with high levels of added fructose or artificial sugars
- And foods that have high levels of salt
This is not a comprehensive list, and there is still a great deal of research to be done on the causes and prevention of RA.
But since each of the items on this list also have a number of other documented health risks, we feel relatively comfortable recommending that you reduce your consumption of these items or remove them from your diet completely.
Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
“Bullock, Jacqueline, Syed A.A. Rizvi, Ayman M. Saleh, Sultan S. Ahmed, Duc P. Do, Rais A. Ansari, and Jasmin Ahmed. “Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Brief Overview of the Treatment.” Medical Principles and Practice 27, no. 6 (March 2019): 501–7.” ”https://doi.org/10.1159/000493390"
“Easy-to-Follow Guidelines to Reverse Insulin Resistance.” ”https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/diabetes-nutrition-guidelines/"
“Gioia, Chiara, Bruno Lucchino, Maria Grazia Tarsitano, Cristina Iannuccelli, and Manuela Di Franco. “Dietary Habits and Nutrition in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Can Diet Influence Disease Development and Clinical Manifestations?” Nutrients 12, no. 5 (May 18, 2020).” ”https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051456"
“Golechha, Mahaveer, Vikas Sarangal, Shreesh Ojha, Jagriti Bhatia, and Dharmveer S. Arya. “Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Emblica Officinalis in Rodent Models of Acute and Chronic Inflammation: Involvement of Possible Mechanisms.” International Journal of Inflammation 2014 (2014).” ”https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/178408"
“Kostoglou-Athanassiou, Ifigenia, Lambros Athanassiou, and Panagiotis Athanassiou. “The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology 31, no. 2 (June 30, 2020): 190–94.” ”https://doi.org/10.31138/mjr.31.2.190"
“Rao, Theertham Pradyumna, Takayuki Okamoto, Nobuyuki Akita, Tatsuya Hayashi, Naomi Kato-Yasuda, and Koji Suzuki. “Amla (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.) Extract Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Procoagulant and pro-Inflammatory Factors in Cultured Vascular Endothelial Cells.” The British Journal of Nutrition 110, no. 12 (December 2013): 2201–6.” ”https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114513001669"
“Skoczyńska, Marta, and Jerzy Świerkot. “The Role of Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Reumatologia 56, no. 4 (2018): 259–67.” ”https://doi.org/10.5114/reum.2018.77979"
“Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares | Arthritis Foundation.” ”https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/more-about/understanding-rheumatoid-arthritis-flares"
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Cyrus Khambatta