Making Healthy Food Choices for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus

Make Healthy Food Choices

Make Healthy Food Choices

Recently, I got a call from my niece, Heather, who just learned that the overwhelming fatigue she feels, the butterfly mark on her face, the lesions in her mouth, and the rashes on her body are due to Lupus. She feels terrible knowing that she has this disease, but she said, “At least I know what it is now.”

From reading medical studies, books by respected and well-known Doctors, and from my own personal experience, I know that the way a patient responds to illness can greatly influence their recovery. People who are more positive are more likely to have a positive outcome with their illness, while people who tend to be negative are more likely not to show much improvement, or may even spiral down. I also know that food plays an important part in the recovery process. Eating healthy food is important for anyone, but it’s especially important for someone who is ill, and certain foods can either exacerbate the problem, or help to improve it. Taking a stand to eat healthy foods is a positive action.

On the phone with Heather, I told her there are certain foods she should choose to eat, and there are other foods that it’s wise to avoid. It’s about thinking any time you reach for something to eat, “Will this food harm me, or help me?” For me these choices mean the difference of having pain, or little to no pain with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Like RA, lupus is an autoimmune related illness and many of the treatments used for RA can be used for lupus, and visa versa. It’s no different with food. It’s all about choice for both illnesses. It’s possible to go into more depth on the subject of food as medicine, but the following are some basics to get started, and it should be complemented with walking, low-impact yoga, or some other low-impact exercise. Also one should avoid smoking and stress. You will find that most of the recipes on use the better food choices.

Better food choices:
Fish, Turkey, tofu, tempeh
Whole grain brown rice, quinoa
Fresh vegetables
Soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk
Olive oil, cold-pressed olive oil, or avocado oil
100% whole wheat bread, or gluten-free
Natural sweeteners, dried fruit
Toasted raw nuts, and nut butters
Herbal tea
Lemon and olive oil dressings

Foods to avoid, or severely limit
Sodas, alcohol, most bottled juice (high in sugar)
Beef, Pork, and meat products
All fried foods
White rice
Can vegetables
Cow’s milk, cheese
White breads, rolls and pastries
Roasted and salted nuts
Potato chips and corn chips