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Close up of woman with painful hands due to Raynaud's syndrome

Q & A: Raynaud’s Syndrome – nutritional help

“I’m 55 and have recently been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome by my GP. I want to reduce symptoms myself as much as possible. Have you any dietary suggestions?”

Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer answers.

I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Raynaud’s can certainly be very painful. It goes without saying that you need to keep your fingers and toes as warm as possible at all times. The good news is that there is also lots you can do with your diet to help cope with Raynaud’s.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for keeping the circulation flowing so eat plenty of avocados and nuts and seeds. It might also be worth considering taking a supplement containing vitamin E.

Greens

Green foods also help good blood flow due to their high chlorophyll content. Trying adding powdered spirulina or chlorella to a daily vegetable juice, which should also contain some fresh parsley. Conversely, caffeine tends to make blood vessels constrict so avoid caffeinated drinks as much as possible.

Spices

Certain spices, such as ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric and cinnamon, are naturally warming so include these in your meals as much as possible too. They all add flavour and taste to dishes so are fairly easy to incorporate into your daily diet. For example, have porridge for breakfast sprinkled with cinnamon to start the day on the right foot.

Omega-3s

The essential omega-3 fats are also important for the circulation and are found mainly in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. The body can’t make these fats so they need to eaten very regularly and this is especially important for you, to help circulation and prevent any hardening of the arteries. If you’re not including these foods in your daily diet then I suggest you consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

As you can see, there is much help your diet can provide and hopefully the winter will be slightly more comfortable for you if you make some of these changes.

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