For many persons with arthritis, the onset of winter signals a protracted, exhausting struggle against common aches and pains and coping with an increase in misery. People with arthritis and other similar disorders report higher joint pain during the winter, according to research that has been around for a while. In fact, research has revealed that changes in barometric pressure are the main cause of increased joint stiffness, swelling and pain.
This is because a sudden reduction in barometric pressure enlarges the joints in the body, which increases pressure on the neurons that control the pain centres in the body.
In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth editorial team Dr. Jyoti Singh, Assistant Professor, Food Technology and Nutrition, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University suggested a few food items which may help in reducing the swelling caused due to the temperature drop in the winter season. Here is what she shared with us.
Food Items To Reduce Swelling In Winters
When the mercury levels drop, the body swells up, making the pains, stiffness, and aches more obvious. The best food items which relieve the swelling and aches of joints include fish and seafood which are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that further helps in reducing the production of cytokines (inflammatory enzymes).
1. Root vegetables
The anti-inflammatory compound diallyl disulfide is present in onions and other root vegetables. This could reduce the effects of cytokines and ease discomfort. Additionally, garlic has an aromatic flavour that can enhance a variety of winter foods.
2. Nuts and seeds
Several different kinds of nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. Being a part of the protein food group, nuts are an excellent source of fibre and plant-based protein. Enjoy a small handful of nuts or seeds every day, such as flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
Sulforaphane, an antioxidant found in abundance in broccoli, reduces inflammation by lowering levels of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), cytokines, and other chemicals that promote inflammation in the body.
4. Bell and chilly pepper
Vitamin C and antioxidants found in abundance in bell peppers and chilli peppers have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, bell peppers include the antioxidant quercetin, which may lessen inflammation linked to long-term conditions like diabetes. Sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which are found in chilli peppers, may help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy ageing.
5. Green tea
Green tea's EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, has anti-inflammatory properties too which helps in reducing joint pain.
Cherries are an excellent source of antioxidants, which can aid in lowering joint and muscle inflammation. Anthocyanins are responsible for the brilliant red colour of cherries. Similar to how antioxidants lessen inflammation in the body, these anthocyanins likewise function in a similar way.
While there are many anti-inflammatory foods that have been advised to be included in the diet, it's equally crucial to be aware of foods that might possibly induce inflammation. Reduce the intake of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars during winter as these can all contribute to the issue. Sugar in particular may be a major offender!
Exercising about 20 minutes in winter also reduces inflammation and swelling of joints. Yoga and mild exercises of joints help in improving the health of bones and joints. Vitamin D plays a significant role as an anti-inflammatory vitamin so exposure to sunlight with minimal clothing will regulate the immune system by reducing inflammatory mechanisms.