10 Foods to Fight Fibromyalgia

Living with fibroymalgia syndrome can be frustrating and taxing, as 10 million Americans can attest to. The pain, fatigue, and constant aches associated with it are enough to drive anyone crazy, and unfortunately the symptoms do not usually go away on their own. The variety of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can vary widely from person to person, and while there is no “cure” for it, doctors agree that diet can play a large role in how your body responds to flare ups. Instead of offering the usual “foods to avoid” for fibromyalgia, here is a list of 10 foods that could actually offer some relief for the more prominent symptoms.

1. Foods rich in Omega 3s
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, nuts, and flax seeds, have been touted for years as “heart healthy,” which they are, but did you know that they could also help fibromyalgia symptoms? Omega-3s are natural anti-inflammatories, and while they have not specifically been tested on fibromyalgia patients, they have been proven to reduce pain in chronic conditions like arthritis, and doctors speculate that these positive results are likely to generalize to fibro sufferers.

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables
The antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables not only defend the body from disease, but also boost energy levels in people prone to chronic fatigue. And, like omega-3s, fruits and veggies have natural pain relieving anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the most potent foods from this group inclue cherries, raspberries, blueberries, celery, and spinach.

3. Soy
For fibromyalgia patients who suffer from digestive problems, soy could help ease the discomfort while providing much needed calcium and protein. Soy milk, soybeans, and edamame nuts are all rich sources.

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4. Coconut
Coconuts contain medium-chain fatty acids, which sustain energy and alertness for prolonged periods of time, alleviating some of the sluggishness typically felt with fibromyalgia. If fresh coconut is not an option, coconut water and coconut milk offer good alternatives.

5. Sugar and honey
Many people enjoy artificial sweeteners like aspartame because they are calorie-free, but research indicates that these additives can increase the intensity of fibromyalgia flare-ups. “Aspartame has been found to trigger fibro-type symptoms and make it worse for those already suffering,” states Dr. Marcola, who runs a natural health website. Stick to moderate amounts of natural sweeteners.

6. Ginger
Ginger reduces pain and muscle inflammation naturally. 500-1,000 mg. of ginger per day is the recommended level to help decrease pain levels; ginger tea and other store-bought beverages are good sources of ginger root, but a powder or pill supplement may be necessary to achieve the recommended amount.

7. Water
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of fatigue, since your body’s energy is used up trying to maintain adequate water levels. Fight dehydration and the chronic fatigue associated with fibromyalgia by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and incorporating liquid-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet.

8. Garlic
The garlic herb has long been considered a “wonder drug” because of the many health benefits it provides. Among them are the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can assist in pain relief and illness reduction. Fibro sufferers who experience digestive problems should avoid too much raw garlic, as this could exacerbate the issue.

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9. Hot Peppers
If you can stand them, hot peppers such as jalapeno and cayenne are another group of foods that provide the body with powerful antioxidants and pain-relieving anti-inflammatories. Fight fibro pain by using hot peppers regularly when preparing meals.

10. Whole grains
You have probably heard a lot about the benefits of choosing whole grains over simple carbs, and these benefits are especially important for people who suffer from the chronic fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. The complex carbs in foods like oatmeal, wild rice, and whole grain breads increase energy levels and provide a steady supply of fuel for your body. Whole grain foods are not stripped of their vitamins and minerals like enriched foods, and contribute much needed vitamins and minerals that improve overall health and body function.

Sources: Live Strong
Dr. Mercola
Care 2