Skip to content
    woman roasting vegetables

    Eat a Healthy Diet

    There's no perfect meal plan to help you feel better if you've got RA, but go for a variety of nutritious foods. It's good for your overall well-being and weight. You might try the Mediterranean diet, which features fish, whole grains, and fruits and veggies that can lower the inflammation caused by your disease.

    seared salmon on salad

    Get Fishy

    Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, tuna, trout, and other cold-water fish can fight inflammation, which helps aching joints and morning stiffness. Eat about two 3-ounce servings of fish each week.

    woman looking at supplements

    Think About Supplements

    If fish isn't your thing, omega-3 supplements might be an option for you. They could even help you cut back on anti-inflammatory medication. Borage seed oil may also relieve pain along with your RA meds. Just make sure you always tell your doctor before you take any supplements.

    avocado

    Switch to Healthy Fats

    Saturated fats, which are in foods like butter and red meat, are linked with inflammation. Limit those and get your fats from healthier choices, like nuts and avocados. Instead of butter, try olive oil, which may lower pain and inflammation.

    whole grain baked goods

    Work In Whole Grains

    Fiber is good for your digestion, and it can also ease your inflammation. Look for breads, crackers, and cereals that list "whole grain" or "whole wheat" as part of the first ingredient.

    woman eating strawberry

    Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

    Most of them are full of antioxidants, which boost your immune system and may fight inflammation. Try fruits like prunes, raisins, and berries. Go for veggies like kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. And don't forget fresh, leafy greens. They're a great source of fiber and folic acid. If you take methotrexate, folic acid can help ease some of the drug's side effects.

    cooked red beans

    Cook Up Some Beans

    They're another tasty way for you to get fiber and protein. Fiber can ease inflammation caused by your RA, and protein can help keep the muscles that support your joints strong. Beans are an excellent, meat-free source of protein. Enjoy them in chili, as a side dish, or whipped into a healthy dip like hummus.

    woman drinking milk

    Don't Forget Calcium and Vitamin D

    They may help prevent the bone loss that can come with using corticosteroids for your RA. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are good sources.

    You can also eat beef liver and egg yolks for vitamin D, leafy greens for calcium, and fatty fish and fortified items like cereal and orange juice for both. Supplements may be an easier way to get the recommended amounts, though.

    woman picking tomatoes with granddaughter

    Consider Nightshades

    Some people think that this family of veggies -- tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and some peppers -- makes RA symptoms worse. But there's no proof that they do.

    If you think a specific food causes you problems, don't eat it for at least 2 weeks, and see what happens when you add it back.

    spice jars

    Spice Things Up

    Try turmeric and ginger to help ease your inflammation. You can add them when you're cooking. If you take blood thinner medication, talk to your doctor first. The spices may make bleeding more likely.

    cup of hot green tea

    Drink Green Tea

    It may lessen inflammation and joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis. And tea -- whether it's green, black, white, or oolong -- has antioxidants called polyphenols that boost your immune system.

    nutritionist with apple

    Work With an Expert

    Talk to your doctor or a dietitian. They can help you fine-tune your diet and tell you if you need supplements.

    A dietitian can also create a meal plan that takes into account your medications and your lifestyle, so you'll be more likely to stick with it.