Foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis?

Foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis

Thy food, thy medicine—is applicable to every disease and condition. But with any condition of the immune system, food plays an important role in the cause of the disease as well as in its treatment. You need to correct your food habits for every condition. Because rheumatoid arthritis, aka Aamvata, is a condition that directly relates to the immune system, we need to know about foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis.

These foods are not just to control the severity of the disease but can also assist you in curing rheumatoid arthritis. And when it comes to Ayurveda treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is incomplete without dietary restrictions. Before learning about the list, we need to understand the Ayurvedic concept behind it.

Ayurvedic Viewpoint: The foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or amavata, is a condition where toxins (ama) play a crucial role as a cause. This happens because of the “low” Agni. Slow metabolic strength1. Lower agni leads to the production of toxins, and once these toxins start accumulating in the smaller capillaries around the joints, This leads to the destruction of the joint tissues.

So the first category of foods that should be avoided are those that slow down Agni. These are known as Guuru (heavy to digest) and Abhisyandi (blockage-causing foods).

The second set is where foods cause the destruction of the joints. These are Vatakaraka (Vata aggravating) foods.

The third group of foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis—foods that promote inflammation—are tikshana and vidahi foods.

So in the list of foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis is all about these foods.

  1. Gluten-containing foods
  2. Dairy products especially Curd
  3. Sugar
  4. Hard-to-digest foods
  5. Too much oily and deep-fried foods
  6. Incompatible foods

Foods Containing Gluten

Gluten is the main structural protein complex of wheat and barley consisting of glutenins and gliadins. When wheat flour is mixed with water to form dough, the gluten proteins form a continuous network which provides the cohesiveness and viscoelasticity that allows dough to be processed into bread, noodles, and other foods2.

The same gliadins are responsible for leading the HLAB27 and RA factors in the body. This leads to an inflammatory response to the body and it complicates the whole process of the disease.

Therefore when a patient with Rheumatoid arthritis keeps on consuming foods with Gluten, it increases the severity of the Rheumatoid arthritis. So among foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis- Gluten is something that you need to abstain from immediately.

Dairy products and curd

This is a research-proven finding that curd and all other dairy products aggravate the process of rheumatoid arthritis. Curd is considered- Guuru and Abhishyandi- it is hard to digest as well as it sluggish all physiological activities. This increases synovitis complication of rheumatoid arthritis. Along with this changes in immune complexes, IgE antibodies, and heat-damaged red cell clearance rates3. So curd and milk are among the Foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis

So after the dairy products, the curd and excess milk is the other one to avoid with immediate effect.


High sugar and sweeteners in the diet increase inflammation-causing cytokine release4. This process increases the decay of the cartilage. So if you are a rheumatoid arthritis patient avoid the sugar because your sweet tooth will be expensive for your cartilages. So to save the cartilage of your joints you need to stop consuming the sugar immediately.

Hard-to-digest foods

There are two types of foods. Foods with complex chains, these foods need more and more effort from the body in digestion. Others are simple and need less effort from the body. Because agni is low the foods need more effort and when the body is not able to digest this. It leads to more Ama, more toxins which eventually leads to a more aggravated disease.

This contains-

  1. Black gram (Urad)
  2. Chickpeas (Kabuli chana)
  3. Bengal gram (Chana or Besan)
  4. Kidney Beans (Rajma)
  5. Non-vegetarian foods

Oily and Deep-fried foods

When we process foods, we change their nature. The foods which are simpler in nature change into complex foods when they are deep fried. Because oils have a tendency to replace water parts in the food. This makes these foods – hard to digest and complex. These foods increase the chances of rheumatoid arthritis.

Thus frying the foods will cause more problems with RA patients. You need to avoid these foods to settle down the progress of the arthritis.

Incompatible foods

Likewise frying, when we combine two or more foods, complicates the processing of the foods with human metabolism. Ayurveda enlists a complete list of foods that are incompatible with each other and increase the toxins inside the human body. Here is the list-

  1. Milk with fruits: Shakes and smoothies
  2. Milk with Salt / Salty foods
  3. Fish and milk (milk creams) together
  4. Honey with ghee
  5. Curd and sweet things together
  6. Curd with deep-fried foods.

So here are the lists of the foods that are bad for rheumatoid arthritis and for the complete cure of rheumatoid arthritis you need to stop consuming these foods with immediate effect.

  1. Agnimandya as a cause of the Amavata: Madhavnidan Aamvata Nidan ↩︎
  2. ↩︎
  3. ↩︎
  4. ↩︎


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