What to Eat if you Have Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes pain in the muscles and fibrous tissue. Athought there is no cure to fibromyalgia, there are certain means to reduce the symptoms. Due its chronic nature, it is important to follow a specific treatment to help you live with fibromyalgia and also to prevent or lessen its outbreaks. Watching what you eat is a good way to relieve some of the symptoms and to prevent them from reappearing. At oneHOWTO we explain what to eat if you have fibromyalgia.
As with most diets, it is recommended to drink at least 1 ½ litres of water a day (increase it to 2 litres in hot weather). Drink between meals and avoid eating too much at mealtimes if you want to suppress the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Even though water has no nutrients, it fills up the stomach, and gives the illusion of being full. This, and many other benefits are why you should make water a priority throughout the day. If you take medication, you could suffer from side effects such dry mouth, so it is important to take small sips every 15 minutes.
Vegetables are an important source of vitamins, fiber and minerals. According tho research, adding a good amount of vitamin A, D and C will give your diet the nutrients it needs to fight free radicals that may be causing fatigue. Here are some of the best vegetables you can have for fibromyalgia:
- Bell pepper
It is recommended to have them 2-3 times per day served with meat or fish. Above all, avoid frying to prevent increasing your saturated fat intake (to prevent weight gain). It is better to cook or boil them, because when eaten raw they naturally hinder your digestion.
Part of the process of staying hydrated also suggests stimulating the internal hydration of the body. This can be achieved through consumption of foods rich in beta carotene, which can be found in vegetables like carrots. Beta carotenes allow hydrate the inner mucosal tissues and combat dehydration. In addition, they provide vitamin A, which is absolutely essential for people with fibromyalgia.
Moreover, it's highly important you notice if any particular vegetables give you symptoms such as fatigue or allergic reactions, which may worsen your condition depending on your personal metabolism, which is why it's highly important to track down which ingredient is making your symptoms worse.
Fruit contains lots of fiber, sugars, and minerals. Fruit should be in your daily diet 2-3 times if you have fibromyalgia. We recommend not eating fruit as part of your main meals and having them as a snack or a dessert around 30 minutes after your meal, as sometimes they can cause digestion problems. Acccording to recent studies, the best fruit that can reduce pain in fibromyalgia patients are citrus fruits such as orange, mandarin, lemon and grapefruit. Other fruits include cherries and blueberries.
On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid green and overly ripe fruit. The fruit consumed should be just right.
Cereals are the best source of carbohydrates, fiber and vegetable protein. They provide us with easy energy and it is best to have them up to 6 times per day. Make sure you use whole grain food as refined food will have more added sugars to it. Eat wholemeal bread, pasta and rice, though you will need to monitor your reaction to these ingredients, as you may notice your fibromyalgia gets worse because you have a gluten intolerance.
Avoid cooking with plenty of oil, butter or sauces, as you will only increase the fat in your food. Our article how to cook without oil or fat offers some great solutions to cutting fats from your meals.
Meat contains protein, saturated fats and minerals like iron and iodine. Fatty meats should not be part of your diet if you have fibromyalgia, and if you are going to make an exception for them anyway, you should remove the fat. One trick to choosing your meat is the tender it is, the easier it will be to digest. You can have lean meats such as turkey or rabbit instead.
If possible, animal foods should be cut from your diet because they increase inflammation. Have a look at how to be a vegetarian for some tips on cutting down on meat. Find other sources of protein such as tofu and soya, though you should also be careful with possible allergies or intolerance.
Fish is the star food out of this group especially blue fish (tuna, salmon, trout and mackerel), as they provide omega-3 that strengthens your state of health, which is essential for people with fibromyalgia. We recommend that you eat more fish than meat.
You should know that there are also omega-3 sources that are not fish, which is why you should also include plenty of fresh nuts in your diet to help you with fibromyalgia.
Dairy foods are rich in calcium, magnesium and quality protein. The recommended daily allowance is 2 servings. We recommend using semi-skimmed products, which contain the same amount of calcium but less fat, which will improve your digestion. Milk, yogurt and cheese are recommended.
Fats and sugar
This is the group with the most limitations in terms of what you can eat if you have fibromyalgia due to their high fat content and because they are hard to digest. This group include: oils, nuts, butter, cream, chocolate, ice cream, cakes... These are foods that have to be rationed very carefully, for example, a limit of three tablespoons of olive oil a day. Sugary foods along with salt, caffeine and alcohol are usually banned because they weaken your immune system and irritate your muscles.
- Eat fresh foods if you have fibromyalgia. Ready meals are banned. If you are up for the challenge, the Raw Food Diet is a good way to eliminate toxins.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Make sure you don't take any caffeine. Although it is highly tempting to get a cup of coffee or some coke when you notice the symptoms of fatigue, it is not recommended to do so according to the Arthritis and Rheumatism journal, as it can influence your sleep patterns.
- The salt content in your meals must be monitored. This is the main cause of edema and swelling, which directly influence chronic rheumatism.
- Stress and anxiety are major players in fibromyalgia. Try to manage stress and anxiety to control outbreaks.
Banned or restricted foods
This is the food group that can compromise the long-term health of people with fibromyalgia and trigger some of its symptoms. Banned foods:
- Foods rich in oxalates: spinach, Swiss chard and beetroot.
- Foods rich in purines: offals, red meat and seafood.
- Foods rich in saturated fat: fatty red meats, cold meats, butter, whole milk...
- Root vegetables: tomato, potato, pepper and aubergine.
- Alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar and salts.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What to Eat if you Have Fibromyalgia, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.