As I have mentioned before- when it comes to medical information online- I look no further than the Mayo ( www.mayoclinic.com )Clinic. On my google search, they were the 5th to pop up and this is what they have to say about diet and RA:
Rheumatoid arthritis diet: Do certain foods worsen symptoms?
Can certain foods worsen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?
from April Chang-Miller, M.D.
Because the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from one day to the next, it may seem reasonable to think that the foods you eat might affect your symptoms. Although there's no definitive evidence that any particular foods have an effect on joint pain or inflammation, some research suggests that oranges and certain fish oils may reduce joint inflammation in some people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, more research is needed to assess this possible benefit.
If you believe a certain food increases your arthritis symptoms, there's no harm in omitting it from your diet to see if it helps. But don't exclude whole food groups or large numbers of foods without consulting a registered dietitian or your doctor.
It's important to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Excess weight puts increased stress on your weight-bearing joints, increasing joint pain, stiffness and inflammation.
Now- that said- one of the things that I have been investigating is Antioxidants. As far back as August 2002 USA Weekend Magazine was offering up articles on the benefit of antioxidants. Claims for antioxidants range from lowering cholesterol to fighting inflammation to keeping the heart healthy. All of these are good things- and, if in fact it DOES fight inflammation, that would be good for us! When you look at the list of foods (below) offered up by www.dietaryfiberfood.com (the benefits of high fiber foods are too numerous to go into on this post) each of them is a food that are "good for you" to begin with. So, whether or not all of the claims are true- it won't hurt to base my meals around these foods. If nothing else- I am hoping that by focusing on these foods and using less of my plate for other foods- it will restart my metabolism and maybe some of this excess weight will come off- and that WILL benefit my RA immensely.
Antioxidants can be naturally obtained from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes and also synthesized in human body. Antioxidants are also available in specially formulated supplements. The following fruits are among the foods high in antioxidant activity. The antioxidant content data is adapted from research report published in a scientific journal (find the full citation at the bottom of this page).
Table: List of food sources containing high levels of antioxidant activity.
Antioxidant Food Sources Antioxidant Content/Activity
Apple (red Delicious)
Apple (yellow Golden)
More lists of food sources high in antioxidants :
Fruits, vegetables, nuts
Breakfast cereals, whole grains
Black and green tea, wine, coffee
Dark chocolate and other cocoa products
Antioxidant food rating/content on the above table is based on Ferric reducing-antioxidant power (FRAP) method and unit of measurnment is mmol Fe 2+/kg Fresh weight)