Is there a specific diet that helps fight inflammation?

Question

I am a 24 female suffering from RA. I would like to know if there are specific diet restrictions that may help decrease inflammation. Most websites I have found recommend a “balanced, healthy diet.” I am currently very healthy besides the RA and I do eat a balanced diet with many vegetables and very limited fried & greasy foods. Do you have any recommendations on foods to avoid?

Answer

Although there are foods and diets that are touted as being anti-inflammatory, there is little research in this area to make specific recommendations thus far. It is a fascinating area of study, but much work needs to be done. Maintaining a healthy weight will minimize stress on joints, and clearly nutrition has much to do with body weight and body composition.  I generally recommend avoiding processed foods, and I emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. Protein is important to maintain muscle mass, which in autoimmune/inflammatory diseases can decrease over time (and this has been demonstrated in RA). We hope to explore many of the questions of optimum nutrition and supplementation in RA in future research being conducted at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.

Rebecca Manno, MD, MHS

About Rebecca Manno, MD, MHS

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University