Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 9 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis (2022)

Introduction

Eating the right kind of food can help alleviate any condition, includingrheumatoid arthritispain. Food that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties reduce your distress with arthritis-related pain and inflammation.

Together with your prescribed medicine and treatment plan, changes in your diet can also ease stiffness in your joints. But before you make any changes in what you eat, it is best to consult with your doctor.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 9 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis (1)
Rheumatoid arthritis(RA) is an autoimmune condition that causes joint damage and pain in both sides of your body. It usually occurs in both of your hands, knees, or wrists. The way that it happens on both sides of your body is one way for doctors to distinguish RA from other types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA).

Rheumatoid arthritistakes place when something goes wrong in your immune system and begins to attack its tissues. As a result of this, the lining of your joints swells up and gets red and painful. After some time, when you don’t treat it, RA can affect other systems of your body, such as your eyes, lungs, blood vessels, and heart, among others.

When you start to feel the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as joint swelling, joint stiffness, and joint pain, it is imperative to go to your doctor and get diagnosed. Treatments for RA work best when identified early.

Does diet cure rheumatoid arthritis?

No, it doesn’t. There is no such thing as a “rheumatoid arthritis diet.” A certain diet won’t treat your condition. However, some kinds of food may help lessen the inflammation in your body.

It is believed that a Mediterranean diet can help lessen your joint pain and stiffness and improve your overall health. This diet includes olive oil, greens, and fish. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t make drastic changes to your diet right away. Make sure to check in with your doctor before taking up anyrheumatoid arthritis diet plan. It may interfere with their prescription or other supplements you’re taking.

Best Foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 9 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis (2)
Since there is yet to be a cure forrheumatoid arthritis, the first line of treatment is taking antirheumatic drugs. However, there is a chance that you won’t respond well to these drugs.

The next option would be taking “biologicals” or biological response modifiers. However, these substances can cause serious side effects and cost you a huge amount of money, according to astudyby the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT).

(Video) 7 Foods You Should NEVER Eat If You Have Arthritis (R.A)/Fibromyalgia - REAL Patient

With this, researchers from the same study recommend that you explore dietary alternatives. A specialist in Internal Medicine, Dr. Bhawna Gupta, clarifies, “Supporting disease management through food and diet does not pose any harmful side effects and is relatively cheap and easy.”

In this study, they have found 33 different foods that can help ease symptoms ofrheumatoid arthritis. The researchers have thoroughly picked out each food in the list after investigating, which ones are proven to have long-term benefits.

Here are the top 9 best foods researchers recommend to help you ease your arthritis pain:

1. Tuna, sardines, and salmon

These types of fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Be careful about how you cook them, especially the salmon. When you overcook this fish, it can destroy more than half of its omega 3s.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found to help decrease inflammation, which are compounds that should be integrated into a rheumatoid arthritisdiet. According toone study, fish oil contains high amounts of omega 3s. It can also reduce morning stiffness and increase grip strength among RA patients.

2. Olive oil

Olive oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 acids, and it also has a natural component that stops chemical production that causes inflammation. Inone study, it is found that incorporating olive oil in yourrheumatoid arthritis dietcan decrease the risk of developing RA.

3. Whole grains

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 9 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis (3)
Compared to processed grains, whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats have antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. A study from theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutritionstates that whole grains are also rich in vitamin E, phytic acid, and selenium, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Beans

Beans are packed with fiber that helps reduce signs of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. They also give you protein, which can help strengthen your joints. A1994 studyfound that soybean oil and black currant seed oil produced positive effects on RA patients in terms of joint tenderness and pain relief.

(Video) 10 Foods To Avoid If You Have Arthritis

5. Citrus fruits

Delicious and sweet, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are great sources of vitamin C. With this, you can have a better immune system to combat different inflammatory diseases like RA.Some studies[1]report that orange juice contains high doses of beta-cryptoxanthin, which helps reduce the risks of RA.

6. Green tea

Green tea has many health-promoting benefits. It has a lot of antioxidants and polyphenols, which can reduce inflammation and delay the decline of cartilage.

Research[2]suggests that the protective effects of green tea have been proven in multiple kinds of conditions like inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease, among others.

7. Vegetables

Different kinds of vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, and other green leafy vegetables. Moreover, they also contain calcium, which can help keep your bones healthy.

Many reviewssuggest that taking a vegetarian diet can be useful for disease remission in RA patients.

8. Ginger and turmeric

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 9 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis (4)
Compounds found in ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Both are usually found in Indian and Chinese dishes.One studyconcludes that a blend of ginger and turmeric can help lower the signs and symptoms of RA. However, this study is done on arthritic male Wistar albino rats.

9. Grapes

White and dark-colored grapes contain antioxidants, polyphenols, and resveratrol. Additionally, resveratrol can be found in red wine. Aside from improving blood vessel functions, resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties as well. A study published inPharmaceutical Biologyjournal found that resveratrol from black grapes can have protective effects on RA patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no concrete research that proves diets can stop RA. However, many researchers have identified differentrheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoidso that you can help your body reduce joint pain and inflammation.

(Video) Top 6 foods to AVOID if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis Foods

You should limit or completely prevent eating food with sugars, refined carbohydrates, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and grilled or fried food. When you are on arheumatoid arthritis diet, eating these kinds of food may be counterproductive in avoiding inflammation, so it is best to skip them.

There arerecent studiesthat suggest how probiotics like Lactobacillus casei can help lessen RA inflammation. Fermented foods contain these good bacteria, which means that eating them can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.

Some examples of fermented food are kefir (Turkish milk drink), kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables), sauerkraut, miso, pickles, tempeh, and kombucha. These foods can be incorporated into yourrheumatoid arthritis diet plan.

There arerheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoidand foods to include. The right food will fight inflammation, boost your immune system, and strengthen your bones. Some foods that fight RA are omega-3-rich fish, soybeans, extra virgin olive oil, and green tea.

Arheumatoid arthritis diet planis not enough to combat RA; you must still undergo RA management treatment. A healthy diet will only lessen the amount of medication you need and reduce its side effects.

Some vitamins and minerals can be essential to your treatment plan. Supplements with calcium, fish oil, folic acid, and vitamin D may help with your pain relief.

(Video) Can Diet Help Reduce Arthritis Pain? 9 Types of Foods You Should Avoid if You Have Arthritis.

Before taking any supplements, you should first do your research and read through clinical data, testimonials, and reviews likeInstaflex review. This joint formula may help repair joint damage, improve joint flexion, and promote a full range of motion.

Finally, consult with your doctor as well to know if these supplements are right for you and whichrheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid.

Conclusion

The perfect meal plan for RA does not exist. The best you can do to lessen your joint stiffness, swelling, and pain is to follow your doctor’s orders and eat different nutritious food.Rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoidinclude sugary snacks, oily and grilled foods, and refined carbohydrates.

According to other people with RA, sticking to a Mediterranean diet may help lower the inflammation caused by RA. Thisrheumatoid arthritis dietplan includes everything above mentioned: whole grains, veggies, fish, and fruit.

Also, natural joint support supplements may be beneficial. But most importantly, speak to your doctor regarding your treatment plans.

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(Video) 10 Best Foods to Eat If you have Arthritis

FAQs

What are good snacks for arthritis? ›

To ease your arthritis pain, try these types of food:
  • Fatty Fish. Salmon, mackerel and tuna have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. ...
  • Dark Leafy Greens. Spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens are great sources for vitamins E and C. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Garlic and Onions. ...
  • Green Tea.
May 30, 2018

Which foods make rheumatoid arthritis worse? ›

Foods You Should Avoid with Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Grilled, broiled, or fried meats (and other fried foods). ...
  • Fatty foods full of omega-6 fatty acids. ...
  • Sugars and refined carbohydrates. ...
  • Gluten. ...
  • Preservatives and flavor enhancers. ...
  • Alcohol.
Sep 26, 2018

What type of bread is good for arthritis? ›

Instead of white bread, choose whole grains

Research shows that fiber-rich foods, such as whole grain breads, cereals, and rice, can lower serum levels of C-reactive protein, decreasing inflammation.

What cereal is best for arthritis? ›

Go With the Grain

CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.

What is the number 1 vegetable to avoid? ›

Strawberries top the list, followed by spinach. (The full 2019 Dirty Dozen list, ranked from most contaminated to least, include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.)

What fruit is not good for arthritis? ›

Citrus fruits cause inflammation

Grapefruit juice can, however, interact with some medicines that doctors use to treat arthritis. People who are undergoing treatment should check with a doctor before incorporating it into their diet.

What can I drink to reduce inflammation? ›

Here are five research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
  • Baking soda + water. A recent study in the Journal of Immunologyfound drinking a tonic of baking soda and water may help reduce inflammation. ...
  • Parsley + ginger green juice. ...
  • Lemon + turmeric tonic. ...
  • Bone broth. ...
  • Functional food smoothie.
Jun 20, 2018

What is the fastest way to get rid of inflammation in the body? ›

To reduce inflammation fast, limit your intake of sugar and processed foods. Perhaps, more importantly, though, pursue exercise, stress-reducing behaviors, a good night's sleep, and a diet full of colorful, anti-inflammatory foods.

Is peanut butter good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

7. Peanut Butter - Vitamin B3, found in peanut butter, is a supplement that may help people with osteoarthritis by improving flexibility and reducing inflammation.

Is banana good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Bananas: This humble fruit can be very helpful for those dealing with arthritis. A banana is a powerhouse of potassium that plays an important role in reducing sodium retention and the calcification process of bones which accelerate bone loss. Bananas can help alleviate cartilage damage of the joints.

Is cheese good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Myth: Dairy Makes RA Worse

You don't have to cut milk, cheese, or yogurt from your diet. There's not much evidence that your joints will feel better if you skip those foods. And keep in mind that some RA meds put you at greater risk for osteoporosis, so you don't want to miss out on dairy's bone-building benefits.

Which fruit is good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Citrus foods, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes, are rich in vitamin C, and are also good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which are beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

How do I lubricate my joints? ›

Get them from salmon, trout, olive oil, nuts, avocados and supplements high in the DHA form of omega-3s. Take these joint preservers. Supplements with a combo of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin may help on two fronts: They increase lubrication and decrease inflammation (and thus pain).

How many times can you get gel shots in your knee? ›

This medicine is given as a shot into your knee joint. It may take more than one injection for the pain to go away. You will receive a series of shots of this medicine one week apart for a total of three or four injections.

What painkiller is best for joint pain? ›

For swelling, the best solutions are general pain relievers that reduce inflammation and don't contain steroids. These pain medications are extremely common and include ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) and aspirin.

What drinks help body aches? ›

The 10 Best Muscle Recovery Foods and Drinks
  • Tart cherry juice. Drinking tart cherry juice may benefit both trained athletes and novice gym-goers alike. ...
  • Watermelon and watermelon juice. Watermelon is sweet, hydrating, and loaded with nutrients. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Beet juice. ...
  • Whey protein shakes. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Dairy.
Aug 19, 2021

Does apple cider vinegar reduce inflammation? ›

There is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar is an effective anti-inflammatory agent in humans or that it can help treat arthritis symptoms.

What is a natural anti-inflammatory? ›

Garlic, like ginger, pineapple, and fatty fish, is a common food that's rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is especially high in a compound called allicin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent that may also help strengthen the immune system to better ward off disease-causing pathogens ( 52 ).

Are grapes good for arthritis? ›

Eating grapes regularly can help mobility and reduce pain from arthritis, according to research. The study showed that organic chemicals found in grapes known as polyphenols helped alleviate pain from osteoarthritis of the knee and improved joint flexibility and overall mobility.

Is Crackers good for arthritis? ›

Wheat products — like pasta, bread, crackers, and bagels — may spell trouble for your joints, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis. The reason? Wheat contains gluten, a protein that can irritate and aggravate arthritic joints.

Is yogurt good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

PROBIOTICS FOUND IN GREEK YOGURT SHOWN TO DECREASE INFLAMMATION OF ARTHRITIS. Probiotic supplementation was found to reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and inflammation in a recent randomized controlled study.

Is Sweet Potato good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Red Peppers and Squash

Some research suggests eating more foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin could reduce your risk of developing RA and other inflammatory conditions.

What is the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means it's caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. However, it's not yet known what triggers this. Your immune system normally makes antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses, helping to fight infection.

Is broccoli good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Rich in vitamins K and C, broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found may help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.

What milk is best for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Cut dairy products from your diet to see if that reduces your RA symptoms. "Try rice, cashew, or almond milk as anti-inflammatory alternatives," says Ulka Agarwal, MD, a staff psychiatrist at George Washington University in Washington, DC, who advocates a vegan diet.

Does chocolate affect arthritis? ›

Chocolate and Arthritis

Phytochemicals have been linked to reducing inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of phytochemicals may reduce the severity of symptoms associated with chronic disease, such as arthritis. The key is consuming foods with a high cocoa content, ideally 70 percent or higher.

Is drinking milk good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

But milk — along with beef products — may not be good for people living with the painful and sometimes disabling autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis. In a new study, researchers concluded that a strain of bacteria typically found in milk and beef may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Is pineapple good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Pineapple. Pineapple also helps relieve joint pain because it has a compound called bromelain. Bromelain is an effective pain reliever for people who have osteoarthritis. It can also reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Is honey good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

The use of Honey for Arthritis has proven to be miraculous. Honey is known for its antibacterial traits and is gaining popularity in reducing joint inflammation and provides a natural form of relief. People globally have been using honey for Arthritis cure and the success rate is incredible.

Are eggs good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Eggs and inflammation

On the contrary, eggs have been shown to contain compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, eating two eggs per week as a part of a well-balanced diet is recommended for most adults, including those with arthritis ( 9 ).

Are bananas good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Magnesium may also alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Is oatmeal good for RA? ›

Go With the Grain. Whole grains lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.

What fruit and vegetables are good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Citrus foods, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes, are rich in vitamin C, and are also good sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which are beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

What is the number 1 vegetable to avoid? ›

Strawberries top the list, followed by spinach. (The full 2019 Dirty Dozen list, ranked from most contaminated to least, include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.)

Does chocolate affect arthritis? ›

Chocolate and Arthritis

Phytochemicals have been linked to reducing inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of phytochemicals may reduce the severity of symptoms associated with chronic disease, such as arthritis. The key is consuming foods with a high cocoa content, ideally 70 percent or higher.

Is pasta good for arthritis? ›

Wheat products — like pasta, bread, crackers, and bagels — may spell trouble for your joints, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis. The reason? Wheat contains gluten, a protein that can irritate and aggravate arthritic joints.

Is cheese good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Myth: Dairy Makes RA Worse

You don't have to cut milk, cheese, or yogurt from your diet. There's not much evidence that your joints will feel better if you skip those foods. And keep in mind that some RA meds put you at greater risk for osteoporosis, so you don't want to miss out on dairy's bone-building benefits.

Is Grapes good for arthritis? ›

Eating grapes regularly can help mobility and reduce pain from arthritis, according to research. The study showed that organic chemicals found in grapes known as polyphenols helped alleviate pain from osteoarthritis of the knee and improved joint flexibility and overall mobility.

What is the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means it's caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. However, it's not yet known what triggers this. Your immune system normally makes antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses, helping to fight infection.

What fruit is not good for arthritis? ›

Citrus fruits cause inflammation

Grapefruit juice can, however, interact with some medicines that doctors use to treat arthritis. People who are undergoing treatment should check with a doctor before incorporating it into their diet.

Is Sweet Potato good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Red Peppers and Squash

Some research suggests eating more foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin could reduce your risk of developing RA and other inflammatory conditions.

Is pineapple good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Pineapple. Pineapple also helps relieve joint pain because it has a compound called bromelain. Bromelain is an effective pain reliever for people who have osteoarthritis. It can also reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

What is the fastest way to get rid of inflammation in the body? ›

To reduce inflammation fast, limit your intake of sugar and processed foods. Perhaps, more importantly, though, pursue exercise, stress-reducing behaviors, a good night's sleep, and a diet full of colorful, anti-inflammatory foods.

Is honey good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

The use of Honey for Arthritis has proven to be miraculous. Honey is known for its antibacterial traits and is gaining popularity in reducing joint inflammation and provides a natural form of relief. People globally have been using honey for Arthritis cure and the success rate is incredible.

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