A “plum” solution for fighting RA
Break out your nutcracker — the holiday party season is in full gear!
And whether you put out a bowl of walnuts, pistachios, or almonds for your guests, cracking open those suckers can sure take some elbow grease.
Unfortunately, if you’ve got rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the pain and swelling in your joints may make it impossible for you to partake in the tradition.
As a consolation, you might want to indulge those “visions of sugar plums” dancing in your head — but, of course, the sugar load in these and other Christmas candies may WORSEN your RA symptoms.
But according to a new study, REAL plums may actually lessen the misery of RA — because plums, specifically dried plums, are among the foods that help ease this excruciating autoimmune disease.
The review published in Frontiers in Nutrition analyzed dozens of previous studies that looked at the impact of the food you eat on the symptoms and development of RA.
And one of them found that dried plums — which are even richer than their fresh counterparts in plant compounds called polyphenols — can tamp down something common in RA patients known as “osteoclastogenesis,” which is the destruction of bone.
You see, in RA, your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues — and the inflammation that brings not only lights a fire in your joints, but also activates cells called “osteoclasts” that break down your bones.
The polyphenols in dried plums suppress these osteoclasts and also reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation that stimulate them in the first place.
Translation: These tasty morsels will make you feel a heck of a lot better!
But if plums aren’t your cup of tea, you might try a cup of green tea — because the review also found that a compound found in green tea I’ve told you about before, called EGCG, blocks a key protein that can cause runaway inflammation.
In fact, the review listed a whole pantry-full of anti-inflammatory foods that quell RA, including blueberries, pomegranates, the spices ginger and turmeric, probiotic (a.k.a. fermented) foods, and olive oil.
And if you can’t handle the nutcracker, eat some unshelled nuts — because nuts are also on the list of healthy foods that can slash your risk of RA.
The real kicker is that these healthy foods don’t just relieve the SYMPTOMS of RA — they actually help slow the PROGRESSION of the disease as a whole.
So, if you’re suffering from RA, skip the plum pudding and go straight for the plums! Can’t find dried plums at your local shop? Look for them by their more common name, a.k.a. “prunes.”