Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and stiffness in the joints, usually affecting the hands, feet and wrists.
Sufferers of the condition can often experience flare-ups during certain periods, which worsens the symptoms.
Although there is no specific diet for people with rheumatoid arthritis, there are certain foods you should avoid eating if you want to ease inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Processed foods such as cookies, chips and other snacks can be high in unhealthy fats, which are linked with inflammation.
Instead, you should replace these goodies with fresh fruit.
Canned foods, such as vegetables and soups, are often high in sodium, which boosts blood pressure, so you should look for low sodium options, or go with fresh or frozen vegetables.
Processed food also often contains omega-6 fatty acids, which if consumed more than omega-3, raises the risk of joint inflammation.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also found in corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean oils.
“Keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand to help you avoid processed snacks that often contain omega-6 fatty acids,” said the Arthritis Foundation.
Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can experience flare-ups
Excess salt causes fluid retention, which can lead to high blood pressure, while corticosteroids – often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis – can cause the body to retain more sodium.
“There are conflicting reports about just how bad excess salt is for us… so play it safe and hold the salt when possible,” said the Arthritis Foundation.
Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, may have anti-inflammatory effects.
However, people with rheumatoid arthritis should limit alcoholic drinks, especially when they are taking medications like methotrexate, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
“Your doctor can let you know what amount of alcohol, if any, is appropriate for you,” it said.
You should maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and stiffness in the joints
Grilled and fried foods
Foods which have been grilled and fried at a high temperature, such as hamburgers, chicken or other meats, can also raise the amount of advanced glycation end products (AGE) in the blood.
No direct link between AGEs and arthritis has been identified, but high levels of AGEs have been detected in people with inflammation.
“The bottom line when considering nutrition and rheumatoid arthritis is to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet,” said the Arthritis Foundation.
“One way to achieve this is to consider adopting a Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the benefits of olive oil – even a glass of red wine if your doctor allows.”