Rhonda’s Cooking


Can Food Really Help Arthritis?

Posted by rhondascooking on July 19, 2008

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is something that I have been challenged with

Normal & Arthritic Joints

(picture from medicinenet.com)

since 1995. RA is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues.1 I spent many years in excruciated pain in my hands; so much pain that I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush or button my pants/shirts. The pain would last for an entire day before calming down and then it would take 3 days before the swelling and soreness would go away. When these situations occurred, this was called a “flare-up” (inflammation). Initially, I would get these about 3 to 4 times per year. I tried every home remedy and drug, (Celebrex, Vioxx, Arava, cortisone drugs/steroids (such as prednisone), hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate injections, but nothing worked permanently; these were all short term fixes and the pain would always return.

So after many years of dealing with yearly flare-ups, in 2005 after meeting Dr. Don Colbert, I learned that there were many different foods that could trigger one to have inflammation when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. After reading his books as well as other studies on arthritis, I decided to put all of that information to the test. I decided to stop eating foods that would make me have a flare-up. The following is a list of foods that could trigger rheumatoid arthritic reactions:

Foods that Trigger Inflammation (“flare-ups”)
Corn Wheat
Pork Oats
Rye Eggs
Beef Coffee
Chicken Oranges
Turkey Grapefruit
Shellfish Milk & dairy products
Night shade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants & bell peppers)

By now, I know that you are in shock! You are asking yourself what are going to eat if you take away these foods. Well, I am here to let you know that you can do it with time and with the right recipes. In my upcoming cookbook (available this fall), I will have a lot of recipes for people with arthritis.  Here are some of the foods that I typically eat:

Foods that Won’t Cause Inflammation
Cold Water Fish Dark Leafy Greens
Ground Flaxseeds Pineapples
Turmeric Sardines
Garlic Whole Grains (no wheat)
Ginger Fresh fruits (no oranges)
Natural Nuts/seeds Olive oil
Flax oil Fresh/Frozen Vegetables




I can tell you that right now in my life, I finally feel better than ever since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis! I can now wake up EVERY morning able to hold my toothbrush and get dressed without a problem! So for me, not eating a piece of chicken or having my favorite coffee was okay.

So how do you get started? Start slow and remember that not all of these foods listed will impact everyone the same. In order to find out if it causes inflammation in your body, you must remove all of the items from your diet for 2 weeks and then slowly introduce them back one by one. If you still can’t tell and are still having pain, shoot me an email because there are a few other things/strategies that you can do to help you live pain free! I am telling you the truth, it really does work!!! I no longer take any medications for rheumatoid arthritis!

1Kamhi, Ellen, and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. California: Celelestial Arts, 2006.

17 Responses to “Can Food Really Help Arthritis?”

  1. Annette said

    HI Rhonda – i received your website from a friend at work. Not sure if you work here also (Intel). I am so excited to see all this information! I was diagnost with Rheumatoid Arthritis about two years ago. i have been on methotrexate since then. they not want me to take another drug because the methotrexate alone is not supressing the stiffness/pain. i look forward to reading more about your information. please add my email address to your distribution list! :o)

  2. Hi, Annette, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it! I do hope that you will try the food elimination process because you WILL feel better. I know that it may not be believable–I was like that at first–but then one day I was tired of being in pain and decided to try it. If you need a little help, I also offer coaching and meal plan services.

    I will definitely add you to my mailing list!

  3. Terri Jackson said

    I’ve been diagonosed with High Blood pressure. Any advise on how to cange my eating habits?


    Terri Jackson

  4. Elaine Neal said

    Hello, Rhonda. I have just signed on from Denver, Colorado. I am a friend of Terri Jackson’s who told me about your website. I will forward it to all in my eAddress book…not only because it is great information on health but to support a sis-tuh!!!!

  5. Hi, Terri, yes, I have a lot of advice on how you can change your eating habits. The question I have for you is, “are you really ready to make this change?” or “are you looking for a short term fix?” If you are ready to do this, I am willing to help. I’ll email you some information about my services.

  6. Elaine, thanks for your feedback, I greatly appreciate it! I look forward to staying in touch; thanks for sharing my newsletter with your friends and associates.

  7. Cara Zanella said

    Hi Rhronda:
    Thanks for your great tips. I also have found relief from arthritis pain by using proper food combining in my diet. I simply separate the carbs from the proteins, always include a veggie salad with every meal, and I eat all fruit separately. This has really eliminated the daily pain for me. I know that it works because if I fall off the “food combining wagon,” I feel it the next day. Perhaps this can also help some of your visitors ease their pain.
    Thanks for all you do!

  8. Thanks, Cara, for your tips! I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback. Keep ’em coming. I am glad to know that you are feeling better without taking all of the dreadful drugs! Stay in touch.

  9. After reading this article, I feel that I need more information on the topic. Can you suggest some more resources please?

    • Yes, there are several books on this topic, but 2 books were very helpful and very easy to read:

      1. Arthritis by Dr. Don Colbert

      2. The Inflammation-free Diet by Monica Reingel.

      Let me know if you need more sources.

  10. Marie Caranini said

    I found this blog researching what not to eat because I cannot stand the flares anymore. I really like the information I have found here. I ate chicken in eggplant at my favorite restaurant and the next day couldn’t get dressed for work! It was insane! I hope to learn more about dealing with my arthritis now that I have found your page!

    • Hi, Marie! Thanks for sharing your comments! I really love helping people and sharing with people. Sounds like we have lots in common. I would love to know more about what you are experiencing. Since I have changed my diet, I no longer take any pain medication and I no longer wake up with fat hands and pain due to inflammation. It is an awesome feeling!! Every morning I intentionally make a fist and get excited because many years ago, I could not do this until about an hour after waking up.

      Stay in touch!

  11. […] of my rheumatoid arthritis.  Corn, which is the main ingredient of cornbread dressing,  is on the list of potential inflammatory foods, as well as other foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs, coffee, poultry, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, egg […]

  12. seronegative arthritis…

    […]Can Food Really Help Arthritis? « Rhonda’s Cooking[…]…

  13. Tatrin Sorvaya said

    Hi Rhonda! I was diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis at 2008 but actually I already felt the symptoms in the late 2007. I’ve tried many drugs like methotrexate, steroid and some injections. But you’re right, there’s nothing worked permanently. This year I’m planing for having a baby, so my doctor gave me Plaquenil instead of methotrexate. As the result, my body adapts to new drug and it makes a lot of pains all over my body. Yesterday, I just read your blog and really interested to try this kind of diet. So, can you give me some information about the simple recipes for me? How about your cooking book? I’m in Indonesia. Where can I get it? Last, will you please add my email address to your distribution list. Thank you so much Rhonda 🙂

    • Hello, Tatrin, thank you so much for posting. I know EXACTLY what you are going through! I did Plaquenil, methrotrexate, steroid injections, Vioxx, Celebrex, Arava, etc! Research has shown that these NSAIDs do tend to worsen the pain. Since I transitioned to a new food lifestyle, I have NOT taken ANY OF THOSE MEDICATIONS since 2005!!!!! That’s right none! I actually went to my doctor and said I was done! I stopped on that day and never looked back. Yes, you should follow the elimination of the inflammatory foods and consume more of the anti-inflammatory ones. Also, the recipes in my cookbook are great to help you get started and they are healthy, low in sodium and fat! I know you are from Indonesia, many of my recipes are from my hometown in Louisiana, and from my new lifestyle. So you will find Quinoa, salads, pesto, red beans and rice, etc. I would like to stay in touch! I will send you an email. My cookbook is available on the internet:

      Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/hftcL4
      Barnes and Nobles: http://bit.ly/JJK5x1
      Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/IZ3KrM

  14. Stefanie said

    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s
    new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking and checking back often!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: