Women are two to five times more likely than men to get carpal tunnel syndrome.
The tingling, numbness, and shooting pain in your hands and wrists is often caused by doing repetitive tasks, which over time can pinch the median nerve. People who perform the same motion all day are at a higher risk. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has found that cashiers, farmers, painters, janitors, assembly line workers, and office workers are all at a greater risk.
Luckily, the symptoms can be alleviated and prevented altogether with the right diet.
5 Foods to Help Alleviate and Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Vitamin B6 has been shown to help reduce carpal tunnel syndrome, according to Kim Larson, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Spinach is a great source and can be eaten in salads or omelets. But if spinach isn’t your green, chicken, oranges, bananas, cauliflower, and cantaloupe are all good alternatives.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. Both are known to decrease inflammation and reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, according to Elena Tovar, RD, a clinical dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center.
Walnuts are a great source of ALA, another type of omega-3 fatty acid, which is also known to help decrease inflammation. According to Tovar, flaxseed, chia seeds, and other foods high in ALA can all help alleviate symptoms. You can incorporate them into your diet in salads, with fruit, or as a breading for chicken or fish.
4. Brightly Colored Vegetables
Bright colored vegetables tend to be high in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation. Joanne Gardner, RDN, an integrative nutritionist at Duke University, says, “It’s important to eat plenty of brightly colored fruit and vegetables, like red peppers.”
Tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers, and leafy greens are all good too. Just try to eat a whole rainbow of colors every day.
Fresh fruit can be also help too. According to Gardner, pineapple in particular contains an enzyme called bromelain that targets inflammation. Blueberries, cherries, and coconut can also help, as can ginger, so throw them altogether and you have a powerful fruit salad for fighting inflammation.
Some Other Helpful Tips
There are a variety of other helpful habits you can develop to prevent carpal tunnel and to aid your wrist in healing.
The best things you can do are stretch regularly and take breaks often. Even short breaks can help a lot. If you can alternate tasks at all, it’s a good idea to do so, or to at least do the same tasks in a different way.
You should also make sure your work environment is as comfortable and ergonomic as possible. Acupuncture and massage therapy can also help.
By eating the right foods and forming a few good habits hopefully you can alleviate the pain of carpal tunnel, or even better, avoid it altogether.
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