By Irene Fowler-Sharpe

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which causes pain and stiffness, and over time deforms the joints. An autoimmune disease means that your own body is attacking you. Specifically, your white blood cells are attacking the tissues that line your joints. These cells are supposed to be fighting against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, but somehow they have turned against your own sensitive joint membranes.

Certain foods will encourage this dangerous reaction. Like when some people eat certain foods, their skin will break out in a rash. This is called an allergic reaction. Food sensitivities in arthritis are a little different from a typical allergy, but nonetheless, certain foods lead to a painful reaction in susceptible people.

Rheumatologists’ case reports of food sensitivities published in medical journals have cleary established the role of diet in arthritis. Not all patients have shown food sensitivities, but for many, identifying food sensitivities has made an enormous difference. Some patients had suffered for years, not realizing that something as simple as a change in their diet could make a huge difference.

Problem foods can vary from person to person, although it is clear that certain foods are frequent offenders while others are nearly always safe. The problem foods are called “trigger foods”, meaning that those foods will trigger an attack.


It has been proven through research and testing that twenty to sixty percent of the patients tested have dietary sensitivities. Pure vegetarian diets appear to benefit about half of arthritis patients.

The major arthritis “triggers”; found through clinical research, are dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt, etc.), corn, potatoes, tomatoes, Citrus fruits, coffee, wheat, oats, and all meats including pork, chicken, and beef as well as fish. These foods can be eliminated with a vegetarian (vegan) diet.

Pain safe foods virtually never contribute to arthritis or other painful conditions. These include : brown rice, cooked or dried fruits such as cherries, prunes, pears and cranberries; ( but not citrus fruits, like peaches,tomatoes or bananas).

You should include in your diet ample amounts of cooked green, yellow and orange vegetables such as: asparagus, spinach, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, string beans, broccoli, chard and lettuce. Condiments such as maple syrup, salt and vanilla are usually tolerated well. These should be used in modest amounts.

You could try a four week antiarthritis diet by including generous amounts of foods from the pain-free foods list while at the same time avoiding the major trigger foods listed above. It is important to avoid these foods completely, as even small amounts can cause symptoms.

You could experience benefits earlier than four weeks, but for some people with chronically inflamed joints it could take this long for the joints to cool down.

After the four week period, if your symptoms have disappeared or improved, the next step is to find out which of the trigger foods has been causing your problem. You should start by reintroducing the foods you have eliminated back into your diet, one at a time, every two days.

You should eat a generous portion of each newly reintroduced food to see if your joints flare up again. If you have a problem; just eliminate that food that has caused you a problem and continue reintroducing other foods.

This takes time and you will have to be patient but when you finally find a food that is a trigger for you, it will certainly be worth the time you have spent to finally find out what you were eating that is causing you so much pain.

For more information on arthritis please visit my web site at: and get a copy of my Free Report.

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