Healthy Living

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Best Foods to Include in Winter Breakfasts

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Best Foods to Include in Winter Breakfasts

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Best Foods to Include in Winter Breakfasts

Weather is a common trigger for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) flare-ups, especially the cold temperatures during the winter. When dealing with RA symptoms, such as muscle pain and stiffness, this type of weather can make every day a challenge.

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage inflammation and alleviate symptoms in spite of the dropping temperatures outside.

Incorporating a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you get through the long, winter months. Plant-based foods are especially rich in vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to reducing inflammation. However, avoid eating inflammatory foods such as processed food, deep-fried food, red meat, and sugary drinks– which can worsen RA symptoms.

The importance of fresh vegetables

“Vegetables lead to the list of anti-arthritis foods to eat, especially dark leafy green and brightly coloured veggies - Swiss chard, kale, spinach, rocket, beetroot, peppers and carrots, sweet potatoes, not white potatoes, yams, onions, parsnips, turnips, squashes and shiitake mushrooms. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly healing for arthritis conditions, as are asparagus, pak choi, cauliflower, celery cabbage and fennel. Studies have found that eating a serving of broccoli every day could prevent and slow the spread of osteoarthritis. Sulphoraphane, a compound in the vegetable, slows the destruction of joint cartilage by blocking enzymes and interfering with the inflammatory processes associated with osteoarthritis” said Lynne McTaggart, author of Arthritis - drug free alternatives to prevent and reverse arthritis.

“One of the most important aspects of reducing inflammation and pain is to ensure a good acid-alkaline balance in the blood. Most fresh vegetables are alkalising, in particular green vegetables such as spinach, rocket, broccoli or green beans – aim to include two servings a day of these. Most fruits are also alkalising, although eat them in moderation due to the sugar content” said Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist.

Fruits and vegetables can be stored in several different ways but you may want to consider buying fresh produce and freezing or canning the leftovers for another day. While consuming several cups of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis can help manage inflammation in your body, you will likely require additional approaches to managing your RA symptoms. Make sure to consult with your doctor about making necessary changes to your diet and choosing an appropriate treatment plan.

When adding more fruits and vegetables in your diet, make sure to look for what is in season. Produce in season is considered fresh and often contains an increase in nutritional value. In the winter months, you may have less options to choose from than you would during the other seasons. Still, there are plenty of foods that you can add to your breakfast to help alleviate RA symptoms and maintain your overall health. Here are 8 that you should try this winter.