Skip to content
Select An Article

4 Foods to Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation

Font Size

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) know all too well the inflammation and pain that comes with the disease. Although there's no "RA diet" that treats the condition, some foods can lower inflammation in your body. And because they're good for you, these foods -- including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish -- may help you feel better overall.

Go Mediterranean

People with RA have immune systems that harm the lining of their joints. This damage causes chronic inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

Research shows the Mediterranean diet's tasty fare -- like olive oil, fish, greens, and other vegetables -- can lower inflammation, which is good for your whole body.

In one study of women with RA, those who took a cooking class on Mediterranean-style foods (and ate that way for 2 months) had less joint pain and morning stiffness and better overall health compared to those who didn’t take the class.

For starters, add these foods to your menu.

Favor Fish

Some fats -- especially omega-3 fatty acids -- lower inflammation.

They also cut down on “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides when you use them instead of saturated fats and trans fats. High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (fats in the blood) put you at risk for heart disease. Since RA makes heart disease more likely, you want to take every opportunity to keep your heart healthy.

Salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies are great sources of omega-3s. Salmon has the most, with up to 2 grams per 3-ounce serving. Don’t overcook it, because that can destroy more than half of the omega-3s. Bake or grill fish instead of frying it to preserve healthful fat.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week.

Don't like fish? Walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans are rich in a different type of omega-3 fatty acid. Or ask your doctor about supplements.

Colorful Produce

It’s a simple way to make sure you get the nutrients you need: Eat fruits and vegetables of different colors. Think blueberries, watermelon, carrots, spinach, onions -- the whole rainbow! The natural chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their hue are strong antioxidants.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
mature couple exercising
Decrease pain, increase energy.
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know?
Swelling, fatigue, pain, and more.
Lucille Ball
Hand bones X-ray
prescription pills
Woman massaging her neck
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Woman rubbing shoulder
Working out with light weights