A collection of summer foods that help keep RA symptoms under control. Blueberries, blackberries, olive oil, watermelon, fatty fish, beans, peas, legumes, cherries.

5 Summer Foods That Help RA Symptoms

Last updated: October 2022

Whenever I think of summer, I think of all the delicious, fresh, and in-season foods to enjoy!

Summer is a wonderful time to incorporate a few different foods into your diet that can help alleviate some rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms.

The role of food in RA inflammation

No diet will cure RA completely, but certain foods contain helpful nutrients that help reduce inflammation and joint stiffness and build muscle to protect sore joints.1

Enjoying these summer foods is an easy and delicious way to help manage some of RA’s toughest symptoms.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and herrings are packed full of fatty acids called omega-3. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in the body.1

In contrast, a greater ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s is associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation. Omega-6s are found in meats, certain oils, and fried and processed foods.1

Focusing on eating fatty fish this summer could be beneficial to your joints in the long run!

Peas and beans

Peas and beans are a type of legume that contains a good source of available protein.

Protein is especially important for building strong and healthy muscles since people with RA can experience muscle loss over time.1

Having healthy muscle mass surrounding your joints and bones takes some of the pressure off the joints and can alleviate soreness and stiffness.


One of my absolute summer favorites - watermelon - is a surprisingly beneficial food for people living with RA.

Watermelons contain two carotenoid antioxidants called lycopene and beta-cryptoxanthin which can help reduce the progression of RA symptoms.2

It’s also a great alternative to drinking a bunch of water to stay hydrated in the summer heat!


Cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all examples of fruits that contain less sugar and more antioxidants than other fruits. This is beneficial to people with RA as refined sugars can be inflammatory; however, antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties.3,4

Focusing on berries as a good source of fruit can be a smart option for those interested in reducing symptoms and slowing disease progression.

Olive oil

Many households use olive oil as a popular fat for cooking, dressings, and dips. Since olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, it’s healthier than other alternatives.1

In addition, olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that acts similarly to ibuprofen and can reduce pain. When eaten in moderation, olive oil is the fat to choose if you live with RA.1

What are some of your favorite summer foods to enjoy? Share with us below!

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