Fact Checked

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet image - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Story At-A-Glance
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative autoimmune condition that affects different body tissues.
  • While there are pharmaceuticals for Rheumatoid arthritis, they do not completely treat or cure it.
  • To live with it, physical therapies, home remedies, and a diet change can be beneficial.
  • Many foods contain compounds known to lessen and fight off inflammation and these should be a part of any rheumatoid arthritis diet plan.
  • Combined with exercises and a more active lifestyle, people with RA will notice improvements in their health and overall wellbeing.
  • Even with a rheumatoid arthritis diet, pharmaceuticals still have their place. Before starting any new diet, it is best to consult with your health professional for guidance and opinion, especially, if any diet you choose advocates eliminating a particular type of food.

Introduction

Like many other degenerative conditions, living with RA can be a constant challenge, and this is something many with this disorder will agree with. It is no surprise, therefore, that sufferers seek relief in any way possible.

These treatments can be in the form of pharmaceuticals, home remedies, physical therapies, and diet. While none of these practices completely cures the condition, they often provide a ton of relief for sufferers. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the rheumatoid arthritis diet and the roles it can play in this joint disorder. We’ll also discuss RA and some of its common symptoms to help you better understand the condition. Don’t forget to share any questions or thoughts you may have in the comment section below.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes and Symptoms

A chronic inflammatory disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system wrongly attacks the body tissues.

Contrary to popular belief, rheumatoid arthritis does more than affect the joints. It can affect several areas of the body and cause a wide range of damages in places like the eyes, lungs, skin, and blood vessels. It can also affect the heart in some cases. 
 
More commonly though, the condition affects the lining of the joints causing severe damage to joint tissues.

And this results in painful swelling that progresses into bone erosion and joint deformity, especially when diagnosed late or poorly treated. However, even with the improved joint pain treatment options available today, sufferers may still experience physical disabilities with severe rheumatoid arthritis. 

Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Joint stiffness that worsens in the morning or after long periods of inactivity
  • Tender, warm, and swollen joints
  • Fever, appetite loss, and exhaustion
  • Spreading of symptoms to the knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and hips and often on the same side of the body as the disease progresses
  • Sufferers may also notice some of the above symptoms and signs in non-joint areas such as the salivary glands, eyes, skin, bone marrow, nerve tissue, and kidneys

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Does Diet Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Diet may impact joint health. While there is no diet specifically designed to treat or cure rheumatoid arthritis, an anti-inflammatory diet may play a huge role in fighting the condition.

These foods contain healthy compounds that help to reduce inflammation and inflammatory compounds in the body and slow down the progression of the disease. So, yes, while not a cure, a rheumatoid arthritis diet can go a long way in managing the disorder. 

Thankfully, the best food for rheumatoid arthritis is cheap, easy to prepare, and often free of adverse effects. These foods are also generally healthy and promote overall well being. 

In this section, we will look at some of the 9 best anti-inflammatory foods and spices that are not only proven to lessen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms but also significantly reduce disease progression while providing other long-lasting and far-reaching health benefits.

If you have other meal suggestions or had any experience with an anti-inflammatory food or spice not mentioned here, feel free to share in the comment section below.

Healthy Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Any rheumatoid arthritis diet you settle for should boast foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits. This diet should also consist of lean proteins, low-fat or minimal dairy, as little processed sugar as possible, restricted alcohol intake, and a small amount of saturated and trans fats. 

That said, here are the top nine helpful foods and spices for rheumatoid arthritis, summing the list of the best food for rheumatoid arthritis. They are cheap, easy to prepare, and tasty, and can be combined with other food items or even consumed alone.

1. Garlic

A common food ingredient, garlic is packed with several nutritional qualities aside from its anti-cancer[1] and heart-friendly qualities.

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from using garlic as it has been shown to hold anti-inflammatory properties that could lessen the symptoms of the disorder. Also, in some studies, garlic was shown to aid the immune system and improve health. 

foods for rheumatoid arthritis

More specifically, garlic was found to reduce the risk of hip osteoarthritis in people who ate more garlic in an analysis of 1,086 twins thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. This makes garlic a key ingredient in an anti-inflammatory diet plan.

2. Whole Grains

Unlike refined grains, whole grains[2] are rich in nutrients and compounds required for a stronger immune system. Whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice, and oats are higher in nutrients and fiber.

They are also free of added sugars and saturated fats. And all of these qualities are needed to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease, a condition that commonly occurs in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Fruits

Many fruits are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds that could be beneficial to people with rheumatoid arthritis. 

A rheumatoid arthritis diet should include fruits at breakfast, snacks, and dinner to fight off inflammation and reduce the symptoms of this condition.

Some common nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory fruits include blueberries, cherries, strawberries, apples, pomegranates, and papayas. Eat as many of these as you can in season and include others that are not mentioned here.

4. Fatty Fish

Unless otherwise advised by your nutritionist or health professional for any reason, your rheumatoid arthritis diet plan should consist of fatty fish. Salmon, herring, tuna, sardines are great examples. These fish types are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. And your body needs a balance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids (found in meats, processed foods, and certain oils) to lessen and fight off inflammation common in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. 

And this fact is even backed by science, so fatty fish must be part of any anti-inflammatory diet plan. In some of these studies, participants who were fed with fatty fish, lean fish, or lean meat weekly had reduced levels of the inflammation-related compound after just eight weeks.

Also, fish is a rich source of vitamin D, and in some studies, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions were linked to low vitamin D levels.

5. Broccoli

One of the most nutritious foods available, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, has been found to contain anti-inflammatory qualities[3]. In some studies, these vegetables were discovered to reduce inflammatory level markers. 

Sulforaphane, a compound in these crucifers, has also been found in studies to block the formation of a cell type connected to the development of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce some inflammatory markers of rheumatoid arthritis. Broccoli should be added to your anti-inflammatory diet plan.

Broccoli and Fish

6. Grapes

Another nutrient-rich food, grapes remain the best food for rheumatoid arthritis. It is rich in antioxidants needed for overall wellbeing and contains several anti-inflammatory qualities.

In a study, inflammatory markers significantly decreased in the blood of 24 men given about 252 grams of concentrated grape powder for three weeks. 

In another study, resveratrol (contained in grapes and certain other seeds and plants) was found to be potent for preventing joint thickening, a condition linked with arthritis by blocking the formation of RA cells.

7. Peas And Beans

Like many other legumes[4], peas and beans deserve a place in any rheumatoid arthritis diet. They are amazing sources of protein that people with RA can benefit from. As people with rheumatoid arthritis are prone to muscle wasting, these plant proteins support and boost muscle health. 

Legumes like peas and beans are also rich in antioxidants, fat-free, rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, all of which are essential for their immune-boosting and heart-friendly qualities.

8. Olive Oil

No anti-inflammatory diet plan can be complete without olive oil. It contains beneficial compounds such as tocopherols known to decrease the levels of inflammatory chemicals.

In some studies, participants who consumed olive or fish oil had significantly lesser inflammatory marker levels by the end of the 24 weeks. 

In another study of participants without rheumatoid arthritis, olive oil consumption was found to be connected with a lower risk of the condition. 

Also, olive oil (especially extra-virgin olive oil) is safer and more beneficial for the heart than many other cooking oils and contains some of the healthiest nutrients for heart health.

While more studies are needed on the effects of olive oil on arthritis, making olive oil and other healthy fats a part of your rheumatoid arthritis diet plan will massively improve your health and lessen the accompanying symptoms.

9. Turmeric

A widely-studied medicinal spice, turmeric holds several health-boosting properties. One of them is its anti-inflammatory qualities. Even non-RA sufferers or those prone to developing the condition can benefit from using turmeric as the compound is known to prevent inflammation. 

Turmeric is also known to lessen the level of cytokines, a compound secreted by the immune system, and known to cause inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric also reduces oxidative stress, consequently boosting the body’s ability to fight toxins[5]. The best part? It can be enjoyed in your rheumatoid arthritis diet as a tea, a topping, or cooked with meals with many of its benefits still intact.

Turmeric

Final Words

While rheumatoid arthritis cannot be treated or cured with a diet, an anti-inflammatory diet plan can go a long way in reducing the severity of symptoms commonly associated with the condition.

Foods in this diet like the ones discussed here are rich in compounds that fight off inflammation, prevent muscle wasting while also supporting overall health. They are also cheap, easy to prepare, and incredibly tasty when prepared right.

Along with conventional rheumatoid arthritis treatments, sufferers should see a significant improvement in their condition from starting the anti-inflammatory diet plan.

However, ensure that you consult with your health practitioner before following any rheumatoid arthritis diet plan or any diet that strictly requires you to eliminate certain food types.

Also, ensure that you’re not allergic to any of the foods you include in your RA diet plan. Eliminate any potential allergy-triggering food and replace it with a safer alternative for you.

Finally, an overall lifestyle change may be required especially in the areas of exercise and fitness.

As you implement a rheumatoid arthritis diet plan, complement it with an active lifestyle. Go jogging, running, use the treadmill, and any other activity that gets your body moving and helps you stay in good shape.

View More

0 Reviews for Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods Reviewer Rating
3 / 5.0
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: Inflammation-Fighting Foods
Write a Review Please review the Guidelines before posting
X

Hints on how to write a helpful review

A great review should have the following qualities:

  • A helpful review should connect and engage with the readers using personal experience.
  • An excellent review provides the readers with cogent and unbiased information necessary to help them make the best choice.
  • A review must be well-formatted to make reading easier by using multiple paragraphs and avoiding caps.
  • The primary goal of your review must remain to provide accurate and non-salesy information.
  • Above all, let your review be fair and honest.

We have high level of professional editorial section with zero tolerance policy on fake reviews.

To maintain the genuineness of our brand, we ensure all customer reviews submitted to us are verified and confirmed before publishing. Though we might not be a 100% accurate, however, we try our best to ensure being next to best. For a thorough verification of submitted reviews, we spend close to 7 working days before allowing any customer review to be published since we also work on the earliest submissions first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

100 characters remaining.

Your Rating:05

Submitting this review means that you agree to our Review Guidelines, confirming that you are a verified customer who has purchased the product and may have used the merchandise or experienced the service, and providing only a real interaction and experience without ulterior motives or has an affiliate or business with the company in any way. By ticking this box and submitting this review, you also accept that submitting fake reviews is a violation of Health Web Magazine Terms of Use and such conduct will not be tolerated.

5000 characters remaining.

Thanks for submitting your comment!

SUBSCRIBE TO HEALTH WEB MAGAZINE

Get the latest in healthy living, nutrition & fitness, mental wellbeing, beauty & skincare, and more, straight to your inbox!

Loading

Your Privacy is important to us

Medical Disclaimer: The content published on our website, Health Web Magazine, is to inform and educate the reader only and not a substitute for professional medical advice from your doctor or other health care provider. If you have a specific health question or concern you must consult with a qualified medical professional and in the case of an emergency, immediately contact your local emergency services. Health Web Magazine and the publisher of this content take NO responsibility for any detrimental health issues or injuries that result from following advice found in articles, reports/overviews, or other content on our website. All visitors to Health Web Magazine, particularly pregnant and nursing women and individuals taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication, must consult with their physician before starting a new supplement or making any changes to their diet or exercise plan.

All trademarks, registered trademarks and service-marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners. © 2021. All Rights Reserved. All opinions expressed on this website are the opinion of and were written by Admark LLC, owners/operators of this website. Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these websites published terms of use and all site policies.

X

All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.