A healthy diet for rheumatoid arthritis is designed to lower inflammation, helping the body reduce the pain and stiffness that accompany the disease, according to WebMD. No known diet can treat or prevent rheumatoid arthritis.
The Mediterranean diet is believed to lower inflammation significantly and is touted as one of the oldest anti-rheumatoid arthritis diets, states WebMD. A British study reported that women who followed the Mediterranean diet loosely had less joint pain and stiffness with overall improved health compared to those who made few to no changes in their diets. Its effects are partially attributed to the reliance on fish, which has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet also promotes eating whole foods, which can benefit general health.
If eating fish regularly is not possible, then walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and fish oil supplements are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, states WebMD. Salmon, herring, anchovies and sardines are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis should aim to consume nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, according to the Arthritis Foundation. They are loaded with antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that damage cells and balance out the inflammation caused by the body's natural oxidation processes.