Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Should You Eat and What Should You Avoid?

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that has gained prevalence in the U.S.

This troublesome condition primarily causes swelling and pain. It happens when the immune system doesn’t work properly and attacks the lining of the joints. The disease commonly affects the hands, knees, or ankles, but it sometimes causes problems in other parts of the body as well, such as the eyes, heart and circulatory system, and/or the lungs. While there is no specific diet that treats RA, there are certain nutrient-dense foods that decrease inflammation in the body and may help you feel better overall.

In this article, we have identified some foods to fill up on and foods to avoid if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Do Eat These Foods


Loaded with fiber, beans can reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the bloodstream, which is a sign of inflammation. Beans also provide the protein needed to keep the muscles that surround joints strong. Red, kidney, and pinto beans are also good sources of magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, all of which can give the heart and immune system a boost.

Leafy green vegetables

Fill your plate with leafy veggies like spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli. They are full of important vitamins like A, C, and K, which protect the body from free radical damage. They’re also great sources of calcium, which keeps bones strong.


Chemicals called anthocyanins give cherries their vivid red color. These chemicals are also powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation. In addition to cherries, you can find these beneficial chemicals in other purple and red fruits like raspberries and blueberries.


Many types of fish are rich in omega-3s, a specific type of fatty acid that may ease RA pain and morning stiffness. They also lower inflammation and cut down on bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies are great sources of omega-3s. Salmon packs the most, with as much as 2 grams per 3-ounce serving. Bake or grill fish instead of frying it to retain those powerful nutritional properties. Aim for two or more servings of fish per week.

Green tea

This tasty drink is laden with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. It also has epigallocatechin-3 (EGCG), which hinders the production of molecules that lead to RA joint damage.

Whole grains

Consuming whole grains instead of processed ones (such as brown rice instead of white) may lower CRP levels, the marker for inflammation. Plus, the dense fiber in whole grains is very filling. It can help you manage your weight so that extra pressure is not put on your joints.

Steer Clear of These Foods

Red meat

Beef represents a prime source of saturated fats, which can cause inflammation in fat tissue. Other common sources include full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Corn oil

This commonly-used oil is brimming with unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids. These culprits can lead to weight gain and joint inflammation. Sunflower, safflower, soy, and vegetable oils are also sources of omega-6 fatty acids.

Fried and processed foods

They may taste good but they are major sources of trans fats, which are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to extend its shelf life. They can trigger inflammation throughout the body and they quickly raise bad cholesterol.  


Not only does too much sodium bad raise your blood pressure, but if you have RA and take steroids, your body is likely to accumulate it more easily. Kick the salt habit and aim to consume less than 1,500 milligrams a day.


Many people with rheumatoid aortitis have proteins in their body called ‘anti-citrullinated protein antibodies’ (ACPA), which cause inflammation and trigger the disease. Experts think sugar tells the body to produce more ACPA, which can make RA symptoms worse. In addition to checking food labels for sugar, also look for ingredients that end in ‘ose’, such as dextrose, fructose, and sucrose.


Simply put, alcohol doesn’t mix well with RA meds. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers, and those odds increase with the addition of alcohol.

Keep rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in check with common-sense eating.

Experts recommend eating three balanced meals per day plus a couple of healthy snacks, such as fruit or nuts. Fill up on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. They should make up two-thirds of your plate. Consume low-fat dairy and lean proteins, and limit processed and fried foods.

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is proud to offer helpful resources, useful tools, and compassionate care. If we can be of assistance in any way, please contact us.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit

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

Seven Sneaky Things that Can Affect Your Heart Health

Safeguarding your heart health is essential for your overall well-being. The heart is a vital organ responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. Like any body part, it requires ca...

Your Guide to Visitation Etiquette: Eight Basic Rules Everyone Should Know

By mastering funeral visitation etiquette, you can ensure that your presence brings comfort at a difficult time. Knowing the expectations and protocols can help you navigate these delicate situati...

A Labor of Love: How to Choose Burial Clothes for the Departed

When preparing for a loved one’s final goodbye, the choice of burial clothing becomes a heartfelt expression of reverence. The loss of a loved one is often a deeply emotional time. Amid grief, man...

Looking to Add More Produce to Your Diet? Try These Ten Simple Solutions

Take the first step towards a healthier you by learning how to effortlessly add more produce to your diet. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet goes beyond just meeting the dail...

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Useful Facts Everyone Needs to Know

Understanding cremation begins with separating the facts from the misconceptions. Cremation has become increasingly popular in recent years as individuals seek alternative end-of-life options. Des...

Traditional Funeral Flowers Not For You? Here Are Six Clever, Eco-Conscious Options

As we become increasingly aware of environmental concerns, the impact of traditional funeral flowers on our planet has come under scrutiny. Amid grief and loss, funeral flower arrangements have lo...

Winter Heart Attacks Are More Common Than You Think. Here’s How to Reduce Your Risk

Amid the serene beauty of frosty settings, winter heart attacks are a chilling reality for many people. Winter is a picturesque time of year with its snow-covered landscapes and crackling fireplac...

How Heartfelt Condolence Messages Can Ease the Pain of Grief

Condolence messages are often a source of great comfort to those who are grappling with loss. This simple gesture lets you express your sympathies and lets the bereaved know they are in your thoug...

Five Inspiring Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024

In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is observed annually on the third Monday in January. The day commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and pr...

The Causes of Pneumonia: Five Surprising Facts Everyone Should Know

The lesser-known causes of pneumonia involve some unexpected factors that go beyond the usual suspects. Did you know that, together with the flu, pneumonia is a top cause of death in the United St...