Consuming items like blueberries and ginger helps to manage the debilitating disease.
A definitive list of superfoods has been compiled for sufferers by scientists, including olive oil and green tea.
The researchers say they have proven beneficial effects recommended for fighting the symptoms and progression of the crippling condition.
Dr Bhawna Gupta, one of the researchers behind the study, said: “Regular consumption of specific dietary fibres, vegetables, fruits and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
“Incorporating probiotics into the diet can also reduce the progression and symptoms of this disease.
“Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietician.”
In the UK, some 10 million people now suffer from arthritis – 8.5 million of them from the most common form osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on joints where the cartilage is worn away.
Around 400,000 people in Britain suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – a disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints.
Last night charities involved in research into the condition welcomed the findings of the study by KIIT University in India.
Dr Natalie Carter, head of research liaison and evaluation at Arthritis Research UK, said: “Research has shown that maintaining a healthy weight and eating a Mediterranean-style diet can be beneficial for some people with arthritis. In particular, Omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish have been shown to help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.”
The latest study found diet plays a crucial role.
Dr Gupta said: “Supporting disease management through food and diet does not pose any harmful side effects and is relatively cheap and easy.
“Doctors, physicians and dieticians can use our study to summarise current proven knowledge on the links between certain foods and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Knowing the nutritional and medicinal requirements of their patients they can then tailor this information for the betterment of their health.”
Various dietary plans for rheumatoid arthritis – such as vegan, seven to 10 days fasting and Mediterranean – have long been recommended.
But the research team said their study – only the second overall assessment of diet and food regarding the disease – provided a thorough evaluation of current scientific knowledge and made a point of only reporting dietary interventions and specific foods that clearly show proven long-term effects.
The researchers hope the study, published in the journal Frontiers In Nutrition, can also be used as a reference for the development of new medicines.
Dr Gupta said: “Our review focused on specific dietary components and phytochemicals from foods that have a proven beneficial effect on rheumatoid arthritis.
“Pharmaceutical companies may use this information to formulate ‘nutraceuticals’.
“Nutraceuticals have an advantage over chemically tailored medicines as they are not associated with any side effects, originate from natural sources and are cheaper.”