Foods like the one Blueberries, canary seed, ginger, olive oil and green tea proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Regular consumption of specific dietary fibers, vegetables, fruits, and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.  Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietician.

It is difficult to detect the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis and if undetected or misdiagnosed it has a rapid rate of progression in the first few years. The first line of treatment includes disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, but these can be expensive. Management of rheumatoid arthritis through food and diet does not pose any harmful side effects and is relatively cheap and easy.

Foods highlighted as reducing the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis range from fruits such as dried plums, blueberries, and pomegranates, to whole grains, the spices ginger, and turmeric, as well as specific oils and teas.

These food items can provide a range of beneficial effects, such as lowering inflammatory cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system that can cause problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients), reducing joint stiffness and pain, as well as lowering oxidative stress. The authors hope the study can also be used as a reference for the development of new medicines.

"Our review focused on specific dietary components and phytochemicals from foods that have a proven beneficial effect on rheumatoid arthritis," says Dr. Gupta. "Pharmaceutical companies may use this information to formulate 'nutraceuticals'. Nutraceuticals have an advantage over chemically-tailored medicines as they are not associated with any side effects, originate from natural sources and are cheaper."

Dietary components vary according to geography and weather conditions, so patients should be aware of their nutritional requirements, allergies and any other food-related disease history. The authors strongly suggest the general public consult doctors and dieticians before following any diet program or food compounds discussed in the study.