Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

foods to eat and foods to avoid

Establishing an effective rheumatoid arthritis diet usually involves excluding certain foods from the everyday diet in an experimental process.  This form of arthritis is usually a response to an allergy or food intolerance by an over aggressive immune system which then mistakenly attacks the tissues responsible for lubricating the joints.

It is important to identify and eliminate any potential allergens that can cause allergies or food intolerances, and make the condition worse.

Food to Avoid With Arthritis:

  • Potatoes (not sweet potatoes)
  • Peppers
  • Aubergines
  • Tomatoes
  • Tobacco

Avoid these for three months to see if they affect the levels of arthritic pain.

Other foods to reduce or avoid when planning a diet for arthritis to help reduce acid levels in the blood:

  • Citrus fruits due to their high acidity.
  • Bananas and dried fruits should also be avoided as they contain high levels of fructose (fruit sugar).
  • Stimulants such as coffee, tea, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes encourage the release of sugar in the blood and should be avoided.
  • Reduce or avoid meat, especially red meat. Saturated and hydrogenated fats contained in meats increase acid levels in the blood and block the anti-inflammatory effects of essential fats.

Foods to add to a rheumatoid arthritis diet

Complex carbohydrates like wholegrains, lentils, beans, peas and oats as they release their sugar content gradually and are also high in fibre, which helps to keep blood sugar levels within normal limits. 

Best fruits are cherries, blueberries and hawthorn berries and their juices, which are also good for gout, as they contain flavonoids that help enhance cartilage structure and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout.  Fish oils contain essential fats that reduce inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness.

Nuts and seeds contain oils that have an anti-inflammatory effect.

As arthritis is a condition that attacks the immune system it is important to boost the immune system as much as possible to minimise the damage.

Ways to boost the immune system

  • Eat plenty of organic green vegetables and orange vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, kale, cabbage and broccoli.
  • Eat plenty of foods high in sulphur such as onions and garlic, as they contain amino acids and minerals essential in cartilage.
  • Avoid dairy produce except for goats milk as it contains fluorine, a mineral which helps to keep the joints supple.
  • Avoid regular consumption of red meat, wheat, tea, coffee and citrus fruits.

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