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Learn how weight loss can decrease the effects of arthritis and help you live a better, more comfortable, life.

Can What You Eat Reduce the Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Whether nutritious or not, your diet's totality affects the entire body and can act as the best medicine. And when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, foods that help joint pain may be a valuable line of treatment. Let our team of experts be your guide!

Can What You Eat Reduce the Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Whether nutritious or not, the diet's totality affects the entire body and can act as the best medicine. Though the consequences of certain foods may result to weight gain and further chronic diseases, a well-balance diet has the potential to combat other health conditions. Additionally, disease-specific diets can reduce signs and symptoms while increasing life quality. And when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, foods that help joint pain may be a valuable line of treatment.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder - an immune disease in which the body decides to attack normally healthy cells - primarily affecting the joints. When the joints are essentially attacked and inflamed, individuals may experience mild to severe pain, stiffness, and swelling. The discomfort may result to a declined capability for completing day-to-day functions and a lower quality of life. The goal of treatment is to reduce associated pain and inflammation and improve overall functioning. Individuals may be prescribed with medications, use a splint or brace, or undergo surgery. Additionally, natural remedies and foods for rheumatoid arthritis may further alleviate signs and symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

When exploring an RA diet, it generally is an anti-inflammatory meal plan to reduce inflammation within the joints. Consume more...

Whole Grains
Whole grains are the real deal compared to stripped down white flours and sugars. Unlike refined products, whole grains such as oats and wheat offer fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Diets rich in fiber may reduce the opportunity for inflammatory responses to surface. If diagnosed with Celiac disease, stray away from gluten, as its intake can ignite further inflammation.

Green, Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, and other vegetable greens contain vitamin E and K and offer anti-inflammatory properties. Evidence has also shown adequate intake of vitamin K can reduce inflammatory markers in the body.

Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C found in oranges and other citrus fruits can help combat inflammation within the body. Additionally, vitamin C has a vital role in the production of collagen which may promote stronger joints.

Fatty Fish
Fish such as anchovy, tuna, herring, and halibut provide substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's is a type of a polyunsaturated fat known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Oils, Seeds, and Nuts
Not a big fish fan? Sources such as olive oil, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, walnuts and walnut oil, and pumpkin seeds also offer high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

While the foods listed above have shown to reduce inflammation, the consumption of the following may trigger inflammatory responses and worsen pain. Consume less...

Refined Carbohydrates
As mentioned above, refined carbs are essentially whole grains stripped away from fiber and nutrients. Low-fiber diets may trigger inflammation within the body, thus initiating further discomfort in the joints. Reduce white flour products and desserts loaded with sugar.

To fulfill that sweet tooth when ridding refined carbs and desserts, alternative sweeteners may come to mind. Unfortunately, choosing aspartame to sweeten products may trigger an inflammatory response. Choose naturally sweetened fruits that satisfies that sweet tooth while increasing fiber and nutrient intake.

Saturated Fat
Though saturated fat can fit into a healthy diet, its intake in modest amounts may induce inflammation. Saturated fat is found in most animal products - bacon, steak, milk, etc. The American Heart Association recommends no more than seven percent of total calories should come from saturated fat sources.

Trans Fat
Unlike saturated fat fitting into a healthful diet, trans fat should be avoided. Trans fats are commonly found in desserts, prepackaged snacks, and margarines - also disguised as "hydrogenated oils" and "hydrogenation" products. Until trans fat make their way out of the food supply by 2018, eliminate their intake to reduce the risk of weight gain and inflammation.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Experts suggest if omega-6 fatty acids exceed the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, there is an increased risk of inflammation. Omega-6 sources include corn, sunflower, and soybean oils and several fried foods.

MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) often enhances the flavor of Chinese dishes and cuisines. Though sensitivities to MSG do vary among individuals, its use may intensify arthritic symptoms.

Though salt and sodium is needed for critical body processes, individuals should be cautious of its intake, especially if prescribed a corticosteroid. The medication can magnify the effects of salt such as water retention and increased blood pressure.

Let bistroMD Help!

Though bistroMD does not offer a specific diet for rheumatoid arthritis, it offers the best ingredients for a better you! Like mentioned above, whole grains, fresh produce, and healthy fats should be consumed more. bistroMD consistently offers the balance of those ingredients while eliminating foods that should be consumed less - NO MSG, NO trans fat, and NO aspartame. Find more information on program offers at

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Written By bistroMD Team. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on October 29, 2020.


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