Sponsored - As colder temps set in and the holidays get closer, here are a few reminders and must haves if you suffer from any form of arthritis.
1. Fresh Fruits & Veggies - During the winter and especially around the holidays, we tend to go towards starchy, sugary comfort foods that are always readily available this time of year. Instead, make sure you keep lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand at all times to give yourself an easy go to, healthy snack. The best choices for fruit are berries, grapes, cherries, and citrus fruits. As far as vegetables, veggies are almost always your friend. The best choices of dark leafy greens might not be the easiest to snack on but use them as much as possible but broccoli is a great choice and combining that with cauliflower, carrots, celery, and cucumbers is also a great way to get extra water intake. Just forgo the ranch to dip them in and opt for an olive oil based dressing with very few minimal ingredients.
2. Green Tea - If you need something warm to sip on, green tea is one of your best options! Forgo coffee if you need to add lots of sugar and cream and absolutely avoid alcohol when possible. Alcohol can interact with many arthritis medications. Green Tea also is well known to be anti-inflammatory and packed full of antioxidants which are magic words we want to hear for anyone with arthritis. If you need it sweetened, go with local honey or stevia. Adding a few slices of lemon, orange, and even a cinnamon stick or a little peppermint oil/leaf kicks it up a notch and helps you not get bored.
3. Extra Clothes/Layers - Staying warm is always a good idea for those suffering from arthritis. If you are at work, in the car, or just running errands, it’s always a good idea to keep extra layers of clothes such as gloves, socks, jackets, scarves, vests, and even a blanket with you. Staying warm while not overheating is extremely important if you have arthritis.
4. Current Labs - It’s very important to keep your labs up to date and especially as you go into the winter and holiday season. This helps your doctor identify any issues that may come before you even have a flare.
5. Lots of Water - Drinking lots and lots of water is good for you in so many ways but it is also great to use as a form of exercise. Swimming or water yoga/exercise classes are a great way to stay active when exercising outside just seems too difficult with swinging temperatures. We know that staying active is very important because joints in motion stay in motion so look this winter towards easy opportunities for water activities. Warm water is an excellent idea too! Warm water with lemon is great to sip on and quite detoxing and anti-inflammatory but also warm water as in a nice, relaxing bath. Warm water not only feels good for arthritic joints, it can help keep them loose and reduce pain. Toss in a cup of epsom salt to the bath and grab some extra health benefits too!
Taking to heart these top 5 must haves along with mindful conversation with your doctor and taking your medications as prescribed is a great plan of attack against pain this winter and especially around the holidays. At The Arthritis Center of Lexington, we’ve been committed to quality patient care since 1997 and want to be your partner to help you have fewer pain free days that might rob you of all the season and holidays have to offer this time of year. Experience helps and we have the experience.