fresh produce in basket
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1. Keep It Simple

Although no diet is proven to cure or treat psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other inflammatory conditions, you can choose foods that will help with it. Go for items that haven’t been highly processed. You want ones that are still close to their natural state.

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chili peppers in bowl
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2. DON’T Avoid Nightshade Vegetables

Tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and eggplants are sometimes called “nightshade” veggies. Some people say they have less joint pain and inflammation when they stop eating nightshades, but research hasn't shown this. Take tomatoes, for example. They have lycopene and vitamin C that help curb inflammation. Chili peppers also have benefits.

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spilled paprika in shaker
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3. DO Get Spicy

Paprika belongs in your spice rack. It lends flavor, color, and health perks to food. It’s got capsaicin, a natural pain and inflammation fighter. You can also get capsaicin from chili peppers, red peppers, and cayenne pepper. Other spices like ginger, turmeric, and garlic may offer similar health perks.

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sliced whole wheat bread
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4. DO Look Beyond Refined Starches

Foods like white rice and white bread don’t have much fiber. To keep inflammation at bay, go with whole grains or whole wheat. You’ll get lots of other nutrients, too.

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dressing poured on salad
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5. DON’T Overlook Sugar

You know it’s in cake and cookies. But have you checked how much is in your yogurt, breakfast cereal, or even your fat-free salad dressing or tomato sauce? Take a look at the labels and add it up. The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 25 grams of added sugars daily. For men, the limit is 37 grams.

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rolled chicken cutlets
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6. DO Go Lean

Too much fat in your steak, pork, and lamb can promote inflammation. So can processed red meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. Saturated fat might be one of the reasons for that. Look for lean protein. Beans, fish, tofu, and skinless chicken are also good options.

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salted salmon steaks
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7. DON’T Shy Away From Fatty Fish

Eat two servings a week, particularly salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. Fatty fish are one of the best sources of omega-3s, a type of fat that tames inflammation throughout the body.

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cocoa powder
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8. DON’T Pass Up Cocoa

It has flavonoids, which are nutrients that may curb inflammation. To get cocoa in its best form, avoid it in highly sweetened, processed foods (like cookies). Instead, add cocoa powder to smoothies, chili, or a mug of steamed milk. Tea and red wine have similar flavonoids. But you’ll undo any benefit if you have too much alcohol. Limit the booze to no more than one drink a day if you're a woman or two if you're a man.

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orange lentils in bowl
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9. DO Love Your Lentils

Whether red, green, black, or brown, these seeds are a great source of fiber. They’re good in soups and Indian foods (a great place to add those spices we mentioned earlier). Don’t like lentils? Try beans and peas. You’ll still get the fiber but with a different taste.

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olive oil poured in spoon
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10. DON’T Go Overboard With Olive Oil

It's a tasty part of the good-for-you Mediterranean diet. But it’s also high in calories, so make sure you don’t drizzle too much on your salad. That said, olive oil is a “good” fat. And “extra virgin” versions have a natural chemical called oleocanthal, which shares similar properties with the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. Nuts, avocados, and olives are other “good” fats you can enjoy in moderation.

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white button mushrooms
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11. DO Try Mushrooms

Several kinds are good for you, including white button mushrooms. Get a variety of veggies in your diet, and eat lots of them.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/05/2019 Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 05, 2019

1)    Getty Images
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9)    Thinkstock
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11)   Getty Images


CDC: “In search of a germ theory equivalent for chronic disease.”
Harvard School of Public Health: Shining the Spotlight on Trans Fats.
Defago, M. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, published online November 6, 2014.
DiNicolantonio, J. Open Heart, November 2013.
Harvard Health Publications. Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods.
Feliciano, P. Nutricion Hospitilaria, August 2014.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. How Fish Oil Fights Inflammation.
Ghavipour, M. The British Journal of Nutrition, published online October 15, 2012.
Linus Pauling Institute. Inflammation.
Gunawardena, D. Food Chemistry, published online October 14, 2013.
Parkinson, L. International Journal of Molecular Science, July 11, 2014.
Wang, S. Natural Product Communications, July 2014.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 05, 2019

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Psoriatic Arthritis: In Our Own Words

Psoriatic Arthritis: In Our Own Words

What it's like to live with joint pain and psoriasis.

WebMD Voices

Jaime Lyn M., 42
Living with psoriatic arthritis is like playing Pac-Man. You gobble up dots (do your daily activities) before the ghosts (psoriatic arthritis symptoms) get you. Cherries are like medicine -- they turn the ghosts invisible for a little while.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
I thought that exercising would increase the pain in my hips, but movement has actually decreased the inflammation and has increased my mobility. Now I take two walks daily.
Michele S., 68
Cornville, AZ
While others may not be able to understand fully the pain and challenges you face, it doesn’t mean they can’t care. Talk openly and share your struggles and strengths with those who ask.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
Don't let pain keep you from moving your body. Start slow by doing what you can, even just 5-minute walks. Then make it a daily habit and increase as your body allows.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
My chronic pain got so bad that I couldn't hold a pencil. My wife and I decided as a team that the potential benefit to my quality of life was worth the risk of trying a biologic. Two weeks later, I was able to resume my normal work routine.
Jaime Lyn M., 42
Psoriatic arthritis is the hidden component of the psoriasis that people can't see. I try and educate everyone I can on the chronic pain so they understand what I deal with, often daily.
Chad V., 42
I've been on several different medications, all with their pros and cons, but thanks to trial and error, my skin is now clear and I can move. It’s worth pushing through until you find the treatment you need.
Rich W., 57
South Brunswick Township, NJ
When trying something new, tell your doctor about anything that comes up. Do blood tests on a regular basis. And give treatments time to work -- it can sometimes take months to see a change.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I’ve been able to connect with so many people going through what I’m going through because of social media. It’s so helpful to talk to others who understand not only the physical toll, but the emotional toll this condition can take.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I was so used to covering my psoriasis up, I thought I could mask the arthritis, too. But soon, both elbows were an issue and my fingers and knees were swelling. Don’t put off treating your symptoms in hopes that they’ll go away. Get the help you need.
Chad V., 42
I ignored my symptoms because I was embarrassed. Now I allow anyone and everyone to see me for me and my struggles because I know I'm not alone. It’s lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and makes days with flares much easier.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
I would encourage anyone with this disease to explore support options, like those available through the National Psoriasis Foundation. It could change your life!

From WebMD

More Information on Psoriatic Arthritis