What Is a Good Diet for Someone With Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Quick Answer

A good diet for someone with rheumatoid arthritis includes fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring; fiber from whole grains, vegetables and fruits; and extra virgin oil, explains the Arthritis Foundation. In general, the best approach to food is eating a well-balanced diet centered on plant-based foods.

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Full Answer

About two-thirds of the diet should be derived from whole grains, vegetables and fruits and the other third from low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean protein sources, explains the Arthritis Foundation. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are the most promising anti-inflammatory components found in food. Fish oil can ease morning stiffness and relieve tender joints, allowing some patients to reduce the amount of medications they take for rheumatoid arthritis.

Fiber intake may also reduce inflammation, explains the Arthritis Foundation. Adding fiber to the diet results in lower C-reactive protein in the blood, a component that indicates inflammation. Fruits such as strawberries have a beneficial effect on the C-reactive protein levels.

Just like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, extra-virgin oil also helps reduce inflammation, explains the Arthritis Foundation. It contains oleocanthal, a compound that blocks enzymes responsible for inflammation. However, it takes 3.5 tablespoons of olive oil to give the same anti-inflammatory properties of one 200-milligram ibuprofen tablet.

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