It is widely accepted that the foods you eat play a vital role in your health. Similarly, choosing the right diet as a fibromyalgia sufferer can play a huge role in alleviating your symptoms and preventing or easing flare-ups. You might know about which foods to avoid if you suffer from fibromyalgia, however, it is advisable to include the following foods into your diet in order to help you to manage your symptoms and live as free from pain as possible.
Fibromyalgia Diet: The Best Foods to Eat
Consider Cutting Out Meat
Studies have shown that vegetarian or vegan diets can be beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers, helping to alleviate their symptoms and manage their condition. Vegetarian diets cut out meat and fish, whereas vegan diets avoid all products derived from animals, including dairy and eggs.
Both vegetarian and vegan diets largely rely on fruits and vegetables. Thus, they tend to be a lot higher in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They are also much lower in fat and protein which can reduce inflammation in the body and in turn, help to reduce the pain.
Additionally, a diet that is high in antioxidants helps to get rid of free radicals in the body. When the body has high levels of free radicals, it can lead to oxidative stress and inflammation, worsening the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some of the best antioxidant-rich foods include:
- Dark chocolate (try to find one with no added sugar)
- Kidney beans
So whether you just reduce your intake of meat, or fully adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet, you should see an improvement in your symptoms in as little as six weeks.
Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in any diet, contributing towards a healthy heart, lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy joints.
However, they are an incredibly essential part of any fibromyalgia diet, helping to decrease inflammation within the body, reduce pain and contribute to a reduction in fatigue. Some of the best sources of Omega-3 include:
- Fish (especially cold-water fish)
- Cod liver oil
- Chia seeds
- Soya beans
Eat a Balanced Diet
It is advisable for everyone to eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, however, it is especially important for those who suffer with fibromyalgia.
A diet that is full of whole, unprocessed foods and low in processed foods, sugary and fried foods will ensure that you are providing your body with the correct nutrients, giving yourself the best chance of avoiding flare ups and managing your symptoms.
Additionally, if you are cutting out certain food groups in order to manage your symptoms, such as dairy, meat or gluten, it is even more important to ensure you are getting the right nutrients. Therefore, it is advisable to take a good daily multivitamin to ensure you don’t miss out on any key vitamins or minerals that your body needs.
Eat High-Energy Foods
One of the most frustrating symptoms of fibromyalgia is fatigue and tiredness, which make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks. Additionally, fibromyalgia flare-ups can also cause a loss of appetite, leaving you running on very little energy.
However, there are a number of high-energy foods which will help to alleviate the feeling of tiredness and also help to keep you going on the days where you don’t feel like eating very much. Foods that are low in sugar and high in fat and fibre will help to give your body the energy it needs – especially on the days when you’re struggling. Some of the best foods to include in your diet include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Green vegetables
As tempting as it may be to increase your caffeine consumption when you are feeling low on energy, studies have shown that after a short boost of energy, caffeine can actually exacerbate the feeling of extreme tiredness and leave you feeling worse than you did before.
Instead, try taking a daily energy-boosting supplement, such as a vitamin B complex or magnesium alongside your energy-boosting foods. Additionally, alternative methods such as meditation can also have a huge impact on energy levels – even for just ten minutes per day. There are a number of different smartphone apps which will guide you through a meditation and leave you feeling calm and refreshed.
Go Gluten Free
There are a number of fibromyalgia sufferers who report an improvement in symptoms after adopting a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is the combination of proteins that are found in wheat, barley, rye and oats and is one of the most commonly-reported food sensitivities – both in fibromyalgia sufferers and non-sufferers alike. However, food sensitivities are actually more common among fibromyalgia sufferers. Studies have shown that gluten sensitivity could actually be an underlying cause of fibromyalgia in some people, so it is definitely worth trying a gluten-free diet to see if your symptoms improve.
As difficult as it might sound to cut gluten out of your diet, there are a huge number of gluten-free products on the market which will make your life that little bit easier. Some of the best gluten-free grains to include in your diet include:
- Gluten-free oats
- Brown rice
Although it is advisable to follow certain fibromyalgia diet advice, it is also worth noting that what works for one fibromyalgia sufferer may not work for another, so it is important to keep an open mind and experiment with your diet in order to find out what works best for you. However, as with any diet change, it is advisable to persevere with it for at least four to six weeks in order to start seeing and feeling the benefits.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.