HOW IS YOUR DIET?
Many people with fibromyalgia have observed improvement in their symptoms when they eliminate foods high in sugar and limit gluten from their diet, suggesting that certain foods may trigger flare-ups and/or provide relief from FM’s symptoms. Some people also take nutritional supplements or herbs to help reduce their symptoms. Always consult with your physician before beginning any diet or supplements.
The following is a list of foods that may be helpful or harmful for people with Fibromyalgia. A doctor or nutritionist can help you decide which foods are right for you.
- Protein, such as lean meats, poultry, eggs and fish (especially cold water fish like salmon) help build and maintain tissues and promote healing of the central nervous system. Try to avoid meat that is cured with nitrates as this can lead to a buildup of carcinogens in the body.
- Complex carbohydrates (e.g., nuts, whole grains) help provide steady energy. People with FM have reported that complex carbohydrates are easier to digest, so consider limiting your intake of sugar-laden foods if you’re on the run or dealing with diarrhea or constipation.
- A variety of fruits and vegetables provides a range of nutrients and antioxidants that help control inflammation and pain. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also low in fat. One study found that women with FM who ate more than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day reported less pain and slept better compared to those who ate fewer servings. A variety ensures you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals.
- Flaxseed oil contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce pain in people with fibromyalgia. However, some people do not tolerate flaxseed oil well, so use it under your doctor’s supervision if you decide to give it a try.
- A cup of chamomile tea may help reduce muscle spasms and pain. A very small study found that taking an evening primrose oil supplement for six weeks reduced symptoms such as pain, fatigue and stiffness in women with fibromyalgia. Be sure to check with your physician before taking any supplements.
- Rest and relaxation: A variety of techniques are available to help reduce pain and fatigue. A warm bath, meditation, yoga or tai chi may offer relief from stress and help you relax. Applying heat or cold packs using a special pad that senses temperature variations in your muscles can also provide temporary relief by reducing muscle spasms.
- A high intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates (e.g., soft drinks, candy and white bread) can put you at risk for insulin resistance and diabetes. A study found that women who drink one or more cola beverages per day are nearly 1½ times as likely to develop fibromyalgia as those who say they rarely or never consume cola.
- A diet high in dairy products may lead to an intolerance, which can trigger inflammation and other symptoms. A study of people with chronic fatigue syndrome found that more than half had lactose intolerance and observed improvement of their pain after eliminating dairy products from their diets.
This food list is just suggestions. We recommend taking a food sensitivity test to find out what foods are working against your improvement. The Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test is one that we highly recommend. This test will help you identify the foods that are causing you a lot of pain through inflammation, digestive issues, and even skin irritations.
Fibromyalgia affects millions of people in the U.S. alone. While there isn’t a cure yet, there is hope for relief through lifestyle and dietary changes!
Below you'll find some of our favorite recipes that don't sacrifice taste for health. Are you a fibromyalgia warrior? What are some of your favorite recipes? Send us a message and share your favorite recipe!
Banana & Peanut Butter Toast
1. Spread peanut butter or your favorite nut butter on the toast and top with sliced banana.
2. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.
Strawberry & Kale Salad
1 bunch curly kale (about 9 oz), thick ribs removed, remaining thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 mandarin oranges , peeled and segmented
Pour over your vinaigrette dressing of choice and then toss salad