How to Identify Foods That Cause Inflammation

It's true there is no official rheumatoid arthritis diet. But if you think there are foods that cause inflammation for you, Dr. Brostoff suggests trying an elimination diet. “Try eating the so-called "stone age diet," which includes only fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, for one month,” he says. Studies have shown that if a person is food-sensitive, this type of diet can help reduce morning stiffness and pain, improve range of motion and lower inflammatory mediators in the blood.

In fact, Dr. Brostoff did an experiment and found that more than one-third of people with RA felt better and had less morning stiffness on this diet. “We had one or two patients who, after one or two months, were so much better they could go walking and do all the things they could do before,” he says.

The next step is to reintroduce foods, one at a time. “The only way of knowing if you are sensitive to a food is to eliminate it and then add it back,” Dr. Brostoff says.