Rheumatoid Arthritis: Five Foods to Enjoy and Five to Avoid

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Did you know that certain foods can worsen rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inflammation that leads to joint pain?

The most troubling symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis — pain, stiffness, and swelling — all stem from inflammation. So what should you do to relieve it? The answer may lie in your diet. As part of a smart symptom management strategy, consider removing these harmful foods from your menu. Similarly, some foods can ease symptoms and improve overall health. No diet will put your rheumatoid arthritis in remission, but what you eat can make a difference.

Please read on to learn about five foods to put on your grocery list and five items you’ll want to avoid.

Steer Clear of These Trigger Foods

1. Red Meat

Many cuts of red meat contain high levels of saturated fat, which can exacerbate inflammation and contribute to obesity. Red meat also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation if your intake is too high.

2. Sugar and Refined Flour

Blood sugar levels surge after eating simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body. These foods include sugary snacks and drinks, white-flour bread and pasta, and white rice. A spike in blood sugar prompts the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which can worsen RA symptoms. These foods are also high in calories and can cause weight gain, which adds stress to joints.

3. Fried Foods

Eliminating fried foods can reduce inflammation, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The study found that fried foods contain toxins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can increase oxidation in the body's cells. Fried foods are also high in fat and can contribute to obesity.

4. Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can cause a spike in the body's levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a sign of increased inflammation and can be detrimental to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. In addition, most RA medications are metabolized by the liver. Therefore, alcohol consumption should be limited because it can impair liver function.

5. Processed Foods

From chips to frozen meals, processed foods tend to be loaded with ingredients that cause inflammation. Such products or packaged convenience foods are packed with sugar, refined flour, and saturated fats, which make the food easy to prepare but very unhealthy.


Fill Up on Joint-Friendly Food

1. Olive Oil

Researchers have become interested in the anti-inflammatory benefits of olive oil because people who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, seem to have fewer health conditions related to inflammation, such as degenerative joint diseases and diabetes. Use it for cooking or in recipes like salad dressings.

2. Berries

High in antioxidants and inflammation-fighting potential, berries are a nutritional powerhouse. Consume one or more servings of fresh or frozen berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries, as part of your daily diet. These little fruits also pack powerful antioxidant compounds that fight inflammation and cell damage.

3. Orange vegetables

Add carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes to your anti-arthritis shopping list. These orange-hued vegetables are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which are believed to fight inflammation. Cooking seems to increase the availability of these compounds.

4. Whole Grains

These tasty grains still have all three parts of the original grain: the bran (outside hull), endosperm, and germ. They are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium, and magnesium, than refined grains. A diet rich in whole grains has also been linked to better weight control, which can help reduce pain and symptoms of RA. So, fill up on oatmeal for breakfast and try a whole wheat sandwich for lunch.

5. Turmeric

This delicious, bright yellow Indian spice contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Try turmeric powder in curries, smoothies, or salads, or brew a cup of soothing turmeric tea.

There is no cure-all diet for rheumatoid arthritis. But if you suffer from RA symptoms such as joint pain and inflammation, it’s smart to follow a nutritious diet and avoid foods that may make arthritis symptoms worse.

If you need more information or resources regarding rheumatoid arthritis or if we can be of assistance in any way, we are here to help. Please contact us anytime

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Your Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Fascinating Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Understanding cremation reveals countless misconceptions about the ancient practice. Cremation has been around for centuries but it remains surrounded by mystery. You might be surprised to know th...

Reflecting on Black History Month, The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans and the role they have played in building this country, as well as recognize their achievements. Diversity and inclusion are essential in...

Need an Alternative to Traditional Funeral Flowers? Here are Eight Smart Options.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional funeral flowers have emerged as a growing trend in end-of-life services. As more people become conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking wa...

Winter Heart Attacks: Why They’re More Common and How to Avoid Them

The colder months bring more than just frosty weather—they also bring a greater chance of winter heart attacks. The winter season is usually associated with cozy blankets, warm fires, and snowy ou...

Condolence Messages: How to Find the Right Words at a Difficult Time

It’s very common to have a hard time finding the right words when composing condolence messages. Whether you are posting to an online sympathy board or sending your condolences by mail, knowing wh...

Looking to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024? Here Are Five Inspiring Ideas.

Martin Luther King Day is an annual celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contributions. Celebrated in the United States on the third Monday of January, the holiday is a time when the nation paus...

New Year, New You: How To Work On You This Year

Every year, millions of Americans set goals to be better.  For some, that means working out more and eating vegetables.  For others, that means reading more and watching less television....

Six Unexpected Causes of Pneumonia: Are You at Risk?

From unusual sources to overlooked factors, the causes of pneumonia are more surprising and wide-ranging than you might imagine. Pneumonia, a common yet potentially serious respiratory infection, ...

Here’s Why Funeral and Estate Planning Should Be Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

The decisions we make in funeral and estate planning shape our legacy of love and deliver unparalleled peace of mind. New Year’s resolutions are the things we vow to do to better ourselves in the ...

Celebrate the Spirit of Your Loved One with Personalized Holiday Memorials

Personalized holiday memorials create a special space for remembrance during the festive season. As the holidays unfold, our thoughts naturally turn to the loved ones who, though absent, remain ev...