For four weeks, eliminate common arthritis trigger foods from your diet. After four weeks, if your symptoms have improved or disappeared, the next step is to nail down which one or more of the trigger foods caused your problem. Simply reintroduce the foods you have eliminated back into your diet one at a time, every two days.
Have a generous amount of each newly reintroduced food, and note if your joints flare up again. If so, eliminate the food that seems to have caused the problem, and let your joints cool down again. Then continue to reintroduce the other foods. Wait at least two weeks before trying a problem food a second time. Many people have more than one food trigger.
Avoid Major Arthritis Triggers
- Dairy products (all)
- Meats (all)
- Wheat, oats, barley, rye
- Citrus fruits
Focus on Pain-Safe Foods
Cooked or dried fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, bananas, peaches, or tomatoes)
Cooked green, yellow, and orange vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, string beans, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and taro (poi)
Water: plain water or carbonated forms. Other beverages—even herbal teas—can be triggers.
Condiments: modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract are usually well-tolerated.