Raynaud’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes a person’s extremities to tingle, go numb and often turn white or in some cases, blue, affects a good part of thepopulation. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, approximately 5 percent of people in the United States have this vascular condition.
The disease (also called a “syndrome” or “phenomenon” in its earlier, less serious stages) occurs when blood flow in the vessels is constricted, leading to numbness in areas of the body like the fingers, toes, nose and lips. It is more common in woman than men and often involves extreme reaction to cold environments. Even the frozen food section in a grocery store can trigger an attack, especially due to the sudden change in shifting from a warmer area to a colder one.
However, like many health issues, the foods we eat have the ability to heal. In the case of Raynaud’s, a diet high in raw foods may be the key to reducing symptoms.
Best raw foods to eat to fight Raynaud’s symptoms
Certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch states that eating a diet of 50 percent raw foods may be particularly helpful since such foods can encourage increased blood flow to affected areas. In her book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, she acknowledges that every body is different, but is adamant that each individual should take the care to get proper nutrients. “The fuel we give our bodies’ engines,” she says, “comes directly from the things we consume.”
The bottom line is that foods with the ability to improve oxygenation and improve overall circulation are essential. Raw foods are loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals that can help improve Raynaud’s symptoms.
Citrus fruits contain good amounts of vitamin C, which act as an immune system stimulant. Everything from helping generate new cells and protecting vessels from damage can be obtained from eating citrus foods like oranges and grapefruit. A focus on improving the vessels is critical for those with Raynaud’s disease.
Avocados as well as leafy green vegetables are good for anyone’s overall health, but even better for those with Raynaud’s symptoms. Leafy greens and avocados are high in vitamin E which helps protect cells, specifically the ones in blood vessels. This ensures optimal blood flow throughout the body and may also keep the onset of a Raynaud’s attack at bay.
Other raw foods such as nuts are another good choice. Walnuts are especially beneficial in this case because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acid. On the World’s Healthiest Food’s website, walnuts are said to have a ” . . . very favorable impact. . . on ‘vascular reactivity,’ namely, the ability of our blood vessels to respond to various stimuli in a healthy manner.”
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