fresh produce in basket
1 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
chili peppers in bowl
2 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
spilled paprika in shaker
3 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
sliced whole wheat bread
4 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
dressing poured on salad
5 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
rolled chicken cutlets
6 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
salted salmon steaks
7 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
cocoa powder
8 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
orange lentils in bowl
9 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
olive oil poured in spoon
10 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance
white button mushrooms
11 / 11

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.

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 10/07/2020 Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 07, 2020

1)    Getty Images
2)    Getty Images
3)    Getty Images
4)    Getty Images
5)    Getty Images
6)    Getty Images
7)    Getty Images
8)    Getty Images
9)    Thinkstock
10)   Getty Images
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 October 07, 2020

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.

From WebMD

More on When Your PsA Gets Worse