6 Tips for Eating Well With Scleroderma

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Eating well is essential for anyone who suffers from an autoimmune disease and getting into good eating habits for life will help you stay on top of your disease and better manage your symptoms. We’ve compiled a list of tips for eating well when you have scleroderma based on information from Scleroderma Canada.


Good eating habits
Good eating habits work for everyone regardless of whether or not you have a chronic illness. Some of the basic rules include:

  • Consider eating five or six  smaller meals each day, rather than three large meals a day if you struggle to digest your food.
  • Choose a balanced and varied diet.
  • Eat a rainbow of colors when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats and cut back on consuming saturated and trans fats.
  • Avoid added salt and sugar where possible. Try to eat whole foods rather than processed foods.
  • Eat less starchy carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and rice.

Read our resident columnist Nicola Whitehill’s diet tips which helped her with her scleroderma symptoms.


Stay hydrated
It’s important not to get dehydrated, your skin needs all the moisture it can get. Make you take enough fluids in every day, and you can do this by:

  • Drinking between 50 and 75 percent of your body weight in pounds in ounces of liquid. For example, if you weight 120lbs, you should drink at least 60 ounces of liquid each day. Fluids don’t have to be just water, as soup, broth, fruit juice, ice chips and smoothies all count.
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks which can dehydrate.
  • Avoiding salty foods.

A healthy diet does not cure scleroderma, but nutrition is essential for patients’ overall health.


Keep your heart healthy
Eating a heart-healthy diet is advisable for scleroderma patients, and is easy to do:

  • Limit the amount of animal fats you eat, but increase good fats from vegetarian sources such as coconuts, avocados, nuts and seeds.
  • Whole grains and oats are good heart-healthy foods to choose.
  • Eat a diet high in vegetables, legumes, and fruit.
  • Choose foods high in omega-3 such as oily fish, flax seeds and spinach.

Get some more nutritional tips for staying well with scleroderma.


Eat mood-lifting foods
Eating healthy can help your mind as well as your body. Eat these foods to improve your mood:

  • Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • A diet rich in omega-3, including salmon, walnuts, chia seeds.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, and oats.

Discover seven tips to help you live better with scleroderma.


Increase calories
There are ways to increase your caloric intake without resorting to eating food that’s bad for you:

  • Choose healthy snacks such as bananas, nuts and seeds, and smoothies.
  • Add protein powders to smoothies, soups, and juices.
  • Eat high-calorie fruits and vegetables such as avocados, coconuts, and legumes.

Five misconceptions about nutrition and scleroderma.


Make life easy
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated, you can make quick and easy meals that are nutritious such as:

  • Stuffed or grilled vegetables
  • Veggie or fruit kebabs with dips
  • Baked tortilla or pita chips with hummus
  • Wholewheat pita pizzas
  • Cous cous with vegetables and dried fruits
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Vegetable soups

Check out six scleroderma-friendly recipes.

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.