cooked swordfish steak with greens fish seafood diet, omega-3 fats, fat from fish

Should you eat a sardine sandwich or tuna salad for lunch if you have rheumatoid arthritis? Surprisingly, fish on the menu might ease RA pain and joint inflammation.

Fighting RA Pain with Fish:

Researchers nicknamed a recent study, Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA, as ESCAPE-RA. The 176 volunteers in the study filled out a dietary questionnaire at the start of the study. 

The investigators analyzed these dietary data. As a result, they concluded that volunteers who ate fish at least twice a week had lower levels of inflammation. The scientists compared the fish-eaters to participants who ate fish less than once a month.

Eating Fish Makes a Difference for RA Pain:

People don’t always appreciate the power of dietary choices. The lead researcher told The New York Times that “the magnitude of the effect is large-about one third of the expected magnitude of the standard drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate.” (People with RA pain often manage their disease by taking methotrexate.)

The participants garnered significant anti-inflammatory benefit from each additional serving of fish.  The scientists don’t claim a cause-and-effect relationship based on this cross-sectional analysis. Nevertheless, they conclude, “Our findings suggest that higher intake of fish may be associated with lower disease activity in RA patients.”

Tedeschi et al, Arthritis Care & Research, online June 21, 2017 

Recipes for Fish:

Some people feel intimidated by the prospect of eating fish because they don’t know how to cook it. You’ll find several delicious recipes with clear instructions in our book, Recipes & Remedies From the People’s Pharmacy

In it, you’ll can read about our Favorite Fish Platter, which is super-easy. There are also recipes for Fish Tacos with Radish and Lime and Horseradish Crusted Salmon with Cranberry Catsup. Does Pescado al Cilantro sound enticing? If you like cilantro, you’ll love it. You could also choose Salmon with Fava Bean and Spring Pea Mash or Spicy Fresh Tuna Salad. The nutrition superstars who have spoken with us over the years contributed many of these tasty recipes.

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  1. Charles P

    Should there be cautionary advice not to fry the fish?

    • Terry Graedon

      Probably; we know for heart health broiled or poached fish is best. That is likely to be true for RA as well.

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