Whole grains fight inflammation. Unfortunately, we don't eat enough whole grains. Despite recommendations to eat three or more servings a day, most Americans eat less than one. That could be a big loss for people with arthritis and inflammation.
Whole grains lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, a marker of inflammation associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes – and rheumatoid arthritis. CRP levels often spike during a flare.
Researchers at Penn State had a group of 50 obese people receive all their grain servings from either whole grains or refined grains for 12 weeks. Both groups followed a weight-loss plan that included fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meat, fish or poultry. People in both groups lost weight, but the whole-grain group also saw a 38 percent drop in CRP levels. They also lost more abdominal fat (the most dangerous kind).
To get more good grains in your diet, try eating oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain cereal and whole-wheat crackers – all foods where the majority of the grain comes from whole grain.
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