Rheumatoid is one of the most common types of arthritis, causing pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
It usually affects the hands, feet and wrists, and may be worse during periods of flare-ups.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a Mediterranean diet is a suitable diet for people with arthritis to follow, due to it being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
“Although there are no specific nutrition guidelines for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers have found a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytochemicals supplies the body with powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients,” said the Arthritis Foundation.
Researchers have found a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytochemicals supplies the body with powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients
The following four foods are some components of a Mediterranean diet.
Certain types of fish are rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 – two inflammatory proteins in the body.
The best sources come from salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and other cold water fish. Eat at least three to four ounces, twice a week.
Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal, a compound that can lower inflammation and pain.
The best sources come from extra virgin olive oil, which is less refined and processed, and retains more nutrients than standard varieties.
Consume two to three tablespoons per day in cooking or in salad dressings or other dishes.
Fruit and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which support the immune system, and may help fight inflammation.
The best sources come from “colourful foods” such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, kale and broccoli.
The best foods for reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Eat at least 1.5 to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables per meal.
Onions, which are packed with antioxidants, may also reduce inflammation.
Nuts are full of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat, protein and fibre.
The best sources come from walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds. Eat 1.5 ounces of nuts daily, which is about a handful.
“This diet has been analysed in small studies for its impact on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Results showed improvements in pain, morning stiffness, disease activity and physical function,” said the Arthritis Foundation.