Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia is often challenging because its symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Once you have your diagnosis, you’ll find that there is no single cure…but there are ways to manage your symptoms! Finding the best diet for fibromyalgia can help you reduce flare-ups and feel better over time.
Can Changing Your Diet Impact Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
- 1 Can Changing Your Diet Impact Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
- 2 Basics of Creating the Best Diet for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that can be tough to diagnose, but even tougher to treat. It’s made even more complex by the fact that so much is unknown about this condition.
Fibromyalgia’s uncomfortable symptoms and accompanying fatigue aren’t the only problems it brings. The emotional and psychological stress of dealing with the disorder’s physical symptoms take their toll as well. Many people with fibromyalgia also struggle with depression.
Although researchers are still figuring out the specific causes of fibromyalgia, there are ways to reduce the symptoms.
One of the most effective ways is by controlling your diet! Choosing your foods carefully can have a dramatic effect on your condition.
What is the best diet for fibromyalgia? Let’s find out.
Basics of Creating the Best Diet for Fibromyalgia
Creating the best diet for fibromyalgia means focusing on nutrition. The right foods will help you reduce your symptoms, instead of causing them to worsen.
It might take a little bit of time, but you’ll figure out what foods help and which ones to avoid!
These diet tips will help you identify fibromyalgia-friendly foods at your local market. Once you’ve put together a list of foods that work for you, your shopping trips will become much easier!
Implement A Well-Balanced Diet
Everybody should strive to eat a well-balanced diet. Whether you have fibromyalgia or not, eating nutritious foods will keep you healthy.
Of course, if you do have fibromyalgia then getting the right nutrients is even more important!
The best diet for fibromyalgia will include foods that are nutritious and rich in antioxidants. You want to focus especially on nutrients like vitamin B12, which has been shown to reduce symptoms.
A balanced diet should include a number of different categories, like fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and whole grains. You should also add in low-fat dairy products and lean proteins! Chicken and fish are great options for protein.
Avoid eating too many foods with low nutritional values. These foods can actually negatively impact your health when you have fibromyalgia.
Limit how much food you eat with saturated fats, too much salt, or lots of sugar. You should also try to avoid highly-processed or fried foods as much as possible!
Focus On Foods That Will Give You Lasting Energy
The best diet for fibromyalgia will include foods to give you an energy boost. One of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia is fatigue.
When you feel tired or worn out all the time, it can cause psychological and emotional issues as well.
Try to choose foods that will give you energy all day long!
When it comes to eating carbohydrates, you can slow their absorption by combining them with fats or protein.
Add lots of fresh, whole foods, which are high in fiber with minimal added sugar, to your diet for the best results.
Try nuts and seeds (we love almonds especially!), broccoli, and dark, leafy greens. Some other great options include beans, tofu, and avocado—surprisingly, oatmeal is also a good choice!
Although sweet foods may give you that coveted energy boost, they’re a poor choice in the long run.
Your body burns through the sugar quickly. This leads to a sudden crash that leaves you feeling less energetic than before.
Avoid Foods That Tend to Trigger Your Symptoms
While there isn’t a straightforward best diet for fibromyalgia, there are specific foods to avoid for everyone with fibromyalgia! These foods can trigger symptoms, flare-ups, and other problems.
Ingredients like fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide, and polyols (FODMAPs) can cause problems.
In addition, gluten can trigger symptoms for many people with fibromyalgia.
It’s important to know that the foods that make you feel best (or worse) may vary from other people’s experiences. And that’s okay! You need to figure out what works for you. Keeping a food journal (like this super handy food journal!) can help you identify what foods trigger your symptoms.
Eat Lots of Whole Foods
Processed foods are never great for your body. They often contain a ton of additives and chemicals.
Diets that are heavy in processed foods offer your body fewer of the natural nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Try to choose whole food options whenever possible!
When you’re experiencing fatigue, making food can be difficult and feel impossible. Choosing a ready-made option is certainly convenient. Unfortunately, these foods rarely contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs. They also frequently contain chemicals, which can actually trigger symptoms, leaving you feeling worse.
Instead, try to have quick, easy options on hand that are actually good for you! Whole foods are the way to go.
Avoid Eating Too Much Added Sugar
Added sugar is a danger unto itself. Your sweet tooth will tell you it’s fine, but the reality is that added sugars can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
The best diet for fibromyalgia is one that limits your sugar intake.
If you really have a hankering for something sweet, try a healthier alternative! Go for tasty treats that use natural sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, or even maple syrup. These are a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners.
Other Ways to Create the Best Diet for Fibromyalgia
The best diet for fibromyalgia varies from person to person.
For example, some people find success with dietary supplements and herbal remedies.
Similarly, researchers are exploring connections between fibromyalgia symptoms and nutritional deficiencies.
Fibromyalgia pain may be linked to low levels of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, and calcium.
These nutrients can be found naturally in certain foods. Though more studies are required, increasing your intake of these nutrients may help.
You can increase your magnesium levels by snacking on magnesium-rich foods, like nuts. You can also take a warm Epsom salt bath a couple of times each week to soothe pain symptoms.
Certain animal products, like salmon and yogurt, are naturally high in calcium or vitamin D.
Increasing your nutrient levels can be more difficult if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s definitely doable, but it also definitely requires more planning. Try adding more almonds, tofu, mushrooms, and fortified foods into your diet if you don’t eat meat.
While the best diet for fibromyalgia may differ from person to person, finding what works for you will help you manage your symptoms.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in fruits and veggies is a good starting place! As you learn and experiment, you’ll find out which foods are good for you and which foods to avoid.