Five Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

anti inflammatory diet

RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. Inflammation, pain, and stiffness associated with RA are symptoms caused by this process of the immune system attacking the joints. The anti-inflammatory diet includes foods thought to reduce inflammation caused by RA and other health inflammatory diseases.

What Is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

The anti-inflammatory diet includes a variety of foods such as those that:

  • Are rich in nutrients
  • Provide a wide variety of antioxidants (such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries)
  • Contain healthy omega-three fatty acids (ie. oily fish, such as tuna and salmon)

Specific foods that may help lower inflammation include: 

  • Fresh berries
  • Bright colored vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, spinach, beans, and sweet potatoes)
  • Nuts and seeds (raw are the best choices)
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • High fiber foods (such as oats, beans and legumes, and buckwheat)

Several diet plans mimic the anti-inflammatory diet, including the Mediterranean diet, (focusing on plant-based foods and healthy oils) and the DASH diet (a healthy eating plan aimed at lowering blood pressure). These diets are known for their heart-healthy properties; they also lend themselves to reducing inflammation. 

Exercise & Arthritis: A Natural Remedy For Chronic Pain

Foods to Eat on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

A diet that may lower inflammation for rheumatoid arthritis should include certain foods such as: 

  • Wild-caught cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, and oysters, which are rich in omega-three fatty acids) 2-3 times a week 
  • Healthy oils (such as olive and avocado oil)
  • Avocados
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale)
  • Fresh berries (including strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cherries)
  • Red grapes and citrus fruits (such as lemons and oranges)
  • Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, and wild rice)
  • Olives
  • Vegetables (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and cauliflower)
  • Green Matcha tea and other types of green tea
  • Spices (such as turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger)
  • Seeds (such as flax and chia seeds)
  • Natural sweeteners (such as dates)
  • Legumes and lentils
  • Foods high in probiotics and prebiotics (such as fermented foods, sauerkraut, kefir, and Greek yogurt)
  • Spices (such as ginger and turmeric)

Keep in mind that there is no single food that can promote health. Eating a variety of bright-colored fruits and vegetables and fresh, whole foods is the best eating plan for the anti-inflammatory diet. 

Foods (to avoid) that increase inflammation

Just as healthy foods are part of the anti-inflammatory diet, some foods must be avoided because they are thought to promote inflammation in the body. Foods to avoid on the anti-inflammatory diet include: 

  • Refined sugars (such as those in white flour, white pasta, table sugar, and white bread)  
  • Fried, fatty foods (particularly those with trans fats)
  • Sweetened and diet soda
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Red meat (particularly fatty cuts of meat) 
  • Lunchmeat other processed meat with nitrates
  • Refined oils (such as soybean oil, margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils)
  • An overabundance of omega 6 fatty acids (such as those in sunflower and safflower oils)
  • Alcohol 
  • Processed and snack foods (such as baked goods, cookies, crackers, chips, and instant boxed and microwave foods)
  • Ice cream, candy, and cakes
  • Foods containing added sugar and salt

You may also find it beneficial to limit the intake of several other foods, such as:

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