Eating Right for Arthritis

Eating a balanced diet will help give you the energy
and nutrients you need when living with arthritis.

Eating Right for Arthritis


One of the most common questions people with arthritis ask is, “Is there a special arthritis diet?” While there’s no miracle diet for any arthritis, research has shown that many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint pain and other symptoms.


For starters, a diet rich in wholesome foods, including fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans, but low in processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health but can also help manage disease activity. If this advice sounds familiar, it’s because these are the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting powers.


There is no set arthritis diet but eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can make a big difference to your overall well-being and your arthritis. We are all aware there is an inverse association between adherence to a healthy dietary pattern and the odds of RA, and a positive significant relationship is found between dietary pattern and RA.


There continues to be a great deal of discussion as to whether foods ameliorate or perpetuate arthritis, or have any effect at all. We know that in some instances, available data have been interpreted to show that there may be an association between foods and joint pain for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Patients are encouraged to discuss diet therapy with their healthcare provider.


In recent years, an increasing body of research has illuminated the pivotal role of diet and lifestyle in influencing the risk and progression of illnesses. Some nutrients, like polyunsaturated fatty acids, can combat inflammation. They also act as antioxidants, thus protecting against the onset of RA. Conversely, substances like salt and red meat have adverse effects, promoting the development and progression of RA through indirect mechanisms that impact gut microbiota and body composition.


In conclusion, research has shown that eating a diet high in raw or mildly cooked vegetables, especially greens and legumes, as well as adding spices like ginger and turmeric, might be beneficial for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The diet should also include seasonal fruits and probiotic yogurt, which are high in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities. On the other hand, meals heavy in salt, oils, butter, sugar, and animal products should be avoided by patients, as well as processed foods. This dietary-focused strategy and low-impact aerobic training can be utilized to improve RA self-management at a reasonable cost.

Bottom line:

Eating a balanced diet will help give you the energy and nutrients you need when living with arthritis. Getting enough calcium, vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 from food is important. A dietitian can help make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients and let you know if you would benefit from a supplement. Always speak to your healthcare provider before starting a supplement.