Winters can be distressing for people with arthritis as they experience exacerbation in their symptoms and find it difficult to move around and do their daily activities with ease. Arthritis pain and swelling can shoot up in winter months due to changes in barometric pressure that may affect the joint health. Our body tissues expand and contract as the pressure fluctuates putting pressure on the nerves and this can result in joint pain. If you or any of your loved one is suffering from arthritis, you would know that pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue are some of the common symptoms and can impact quality of their life if they aren’t managed well. (Also read | Rheumatoid arthritis in young adults: Causes, symptoms and treatment)
While arthritis pain or discomfort cannot be completely avoided in winter season, adding more nutrients to your diet and some activity to your routine can help. Studies say that people with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis must consume Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like sardines and salmon. Mediterranean diet with lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds can also ease your arthritis distress.
“As winter’s chill settles in, individuals grappling with arthritis find themselves facing heightened discomfort. A holistic approach can be followed to alleviate arthritis pain during the colder months through strategic dietary choices. Arthritis, characterized by joint inflammation, often intensifies in winter due to the drop in temperature,” says Dr. Akhilesh Yadav, Associate Director of Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement at Max Super Speciality Hospital Vaishali.
Dr. Yadav advocates incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into one’s diet to mitigate the impact of arthritis. Chief among these are fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, rich in omega-3 fatty acids known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming these fish can help manage arthritis symptoms and promote joint health.
NUTRITION TIPS TO MANAGE ARTHRITIS DURING WINTER
Here are other nutrition tips suggested by Dr Yadav are:
1. Green vegetables
Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are also recommended for arthritis patients. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they contribute to reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system. Incorporating these nutrient-dense veggies into daily meals can be a flavourful and effective way to combat arthritis-related discomfort.
2. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts and flaxseeds, must be preferred by people with arthritis for their omega-3 content. These elements play a crucial role in suppressing inflammation and supporting overall joint function. Adding a handful of these nutritious bites to snacks or meals can be a simple yet impactful step toward managing arthritis pain.
3. Foods that promote weight loss
In addition to specific food choices, it is important to maintain a healthy weight to alleviate strain on joints. It is advised to avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and red meat, as they can contribute to inflammation and weight gain, exacerbating arthritis symptoms.
4. Vitamin D-rich foods
Ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin D is also crucial, especially during the winter months when sunlight exposure is limited. Incorporating vitamin D-rich foods like fortified dairy products, eggs, and mushrooms into the diet can benefit people with joint trouble. Alternatively, consulting a healthcare professional for vitamin D supplements can be beneficial.
This is another key factor in managing arthritis, as water helps maintain joint lubrication and supports overall bodily functions. People must stay well-hydrated, opting for water and herbal teas over sugary or caffeinated beverages.
By incorporating these recommended foods and making lifestyle adjustments, individuals can take proactive steps toward enhancing joint health and minimizing the impact of arthritis during the colder months, says Dr Yadav.