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Top 9 Best Foods That Can Help from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Food for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Food for Rheumatoid Arthritis - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second Summary
  • Foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help with arthritis-related pain and inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that causes joint damage and pain in both sides of your body.
  • A certain diet won’t treat rheumatoid arthritis. But, some kinds of food may help lessen the inflammation in your body.
  • Some foods that help ease RA are omega-3 rich fish, soybeans, extra virgin olive oil, and green tea, which may be added to a beneficial rheumatoid arthritis diet plan.
  • Sugars, refined carbohydrates, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and grilled or fried food are some rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid.
  • Fermented foods are good for RA because they contain probiotics that can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body, making them useful for a rheumatoid arthritis diet.
  • Supplements with calcium, fish oil, folic acid, and vitamin D may help relieve pain.


Eating the right kind of food can help alleviate any condition, including rheumatoid arthritis pain. 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?

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis
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 arthritis takes 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 any rheumatoid arthritis diet plan. It may interfere with their prescription or other supplements you’re taking.

Best Foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Best Foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Since there is yet to be a cure for rheumatoid 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 a study by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT). 

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 of rheumatoid 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 arthritis diet. According to one 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. In one study, it is found that incorporating olive oil in your rheumatoid arthritis diet can decrease the risk of developing RA.

3. Whole grains

Whole grains
Compared to processed grains, whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats have antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states 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. A 1994 study found that soybean oil and black currant seed oil produced positive effects on RA patients in terms of joint tenderness and pain relief.

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 reviews suggest that taking a vegetarian diet can be useful for disease remission in RA patients.

8. Ginger and turmeric

Ginger and turmeric
Compounds found in ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Both are usually found in Indian and Chinese dishes. One study concludes 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 in Pharmaceutical Biology journal 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 different rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid so that you can help your body reduce joint pain and inflammation.

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

There are recent studies that 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 your rheumatoid arthritis diet plan.

There are rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid and 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.

A rheumatoid arthritis diet plan is 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.

Before taking any supplements, you should first do your research and read through clinical data, testimonials, and reviews like Instaflex 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 which rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid.


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 avoid include 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. This rheumatoid arthritis diet plan 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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