Include dark green leafy veggies and dark pigmented berries that are rich in antioxidants. Consume Omega-3 fats-rich foods (salmon, walnuts) that have anti-inflammatory benefits. Reduce refined carbs and increase intake of lean protein (eggs, nuts, fish) and magnesium-rich foods (pumpkin seeds) to your diet to reduce pain. Avoid artificial sweeteners and gluten.
If you have fibromyalgia, or have known anyone who has, you already know that the associated symptom can be a game changer and a day wrecker. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that effects 3 – 6 % of the nation and is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and other health related issues.
Women are also more likely to experience fibromyalgia compared to men with as many as 90% of cases diagnosed in females. This disorder has often been poorly understood and treated with limited success, often relying exclusively on a pharmaceutical intervention.
Thanks to new research we now know that pain relief might not only be in the medicine cabinet, but also in your kitchen pantry. Move over medicine, hello fork.
Here are some simple nutrition strategies that can ease fibro pain:
1. Eat More Whole Foods
Many processed foods contain additives that can aggravate symptoms of fibromyalgia. Whole fruits and veggies like dark green leafy veggies and dark pigmented berries contain many phytochemicals and antioxidants that are good at protecting your cells from pesky free radicals. They also contain loads of fiber, vitamins and minerals and are low in calories.
2. Boost Omega-3’s
This type of fat found in fish like salmon and walnuts has anti-inflammatory properties that are important for those with fibromyalgia. If eating fish is not your thing, you may want to consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement that delivers about 3000 mg of Omega-3’s.
3. Increase Lean Protein Intake
Since refined carbohydrates can cause fatigue (a common symptom in those with fibromyalgia), reducing these and increasing your lean protein intake can keep your blood glucose levels in check and help keep you full! Eggs make a great high protein breakfast. Nuts are great for snacks. Add some extra fish to your lunch-time salad.
4. Add More Magnesium
Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral. Low magnesium can make it difficult for muscles to relax. Adding magnesium rich foods to your diet is a helpful pain reducing strategy. Pumpkin seeds top the charts. Add them to your morning meal or to a salad.
5. Stay Away From Artificial Sweeteners
Although, this is a general recommendation for everyone, people with fibromyalgia should be sure to avoid artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweetener can exacerbate fibromyalgia pain transmission. Opt for a low glycemic natural sweetener such as maple syrup or honey if you need a little sweetie treat.
6. Give Gluten And Dairy A Break
The proteins in both dairy and gluten can be triggering for some people’s immune system. This might be a worthy experiment for those who have had a hard time getting fibro pain under control. Take a gluten and dairy vacation for 2 weeks and note any changes. Instead of wheat, opt for quinoa and brown rice. Dairy -free hemp milk is a nice treat for a change of pace from dairy.
As you can see, nutrition can play a very important role in managing symptoms of fibromyalgia. Try all 6 tips or try one at a time and see how your body responds.