Best sources: Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish. Hate fish? Take a supplement. Studies show that taking 600 to 1,000 mg of fish oil daily eases joint stiffness, tenderness, pain and swelling.

Nuts & Seeds

How much: Eat 1.5 ounces of nuts daily (one ounce is about one handful).

Why: “Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet,” explains José M. Ordovás, PhD, director of nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease (like RA) compared with those who ate the fewest nuts. Another study, published in the journal Circulation, found that subjects with lower levels of vitamin B6 – found in most nuts – had higher levels of CRP and oxidative damage.

More good news: Nuts are jam-packed with inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat.

In addition to taste and texture, nuts boast protein and fiber. Even though they’re relatively high in fat and calories, studies show that noshing on nuts promotes weight loss, because their protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats are satiating. “Just keep in mind that more is not always better,” says Ordovás.

Best sources: Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds. In towns along the Mediterranean, you’ll see these nuts mixed into everything from salads and pilafs to main dishes and desserts.

Fruits & Veggies

How much: Aim for nine or more servings daily.

Why: Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. These potent chem­icals act as the body’s natural defense system, helping to neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells.

“Our bodies produce 10 to 15 different oxidants every day,” says Dr. Edwards. “That oxidation process produces infla­m­mation, which in turn produces more oxidants in the body.” Fruits and vegetables can defuse those rogue molecules. “The darker, more brilliant the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it has,” explains Dr. Edwards.