A Guide to Foods that Can Help Fibromyalgia or Make It Worse

A Guide to Foods that Can Help Fibromyalgia or Make It Worse

Through the Fog

Eating well is important for everyone, but more so for those of us battling fibromyalgia. I’d like to discuss some foods to avoid and others to incorporate, and why our diet matters. 

One of the most important things we can do is read labels and eat mostly whole foods. Since summer, I have gotten way off track with how I should be eating. I’ve eaten way too much fast food and not enough real food. I’ve done too much snacking on unhealthy choices. All that did was increase my inflammation and exacerbate my pain. I knew I needed to make a change.

I recently changed my diet to include grass-fed meats and others that haven’t been injected with hormones and antibiotics. I’m also increasing my intake of vegetables, berries, eggs, real cheese, and yogurt made with almond or coconut milk. So far, I’ve chosen not to give up Coke, but I do mostly drink water. I will have dessert when it’s someone’s birthday or another special occasion. For me, it is not about avoiding sweets as much as including healthier foods. Dark chocolate is one of my favorites. 

Often it’s hard to make changes in the way we eat, especially when our fatigue prevents us from cooking something healthy. Being successful in this regard is about making 1 percent changes or taking baby steps. Small changes made over time will have a huge impact. I think it helps to decide what you want to change first and just do that.

As a nutrition consultant, I’m aware of the choices I should be making, but I guess we all get off track and derailed from time to time. Beating ourselves up for our perceived failures serves no one. We just need to start again.

Some great foods to fight inflammation are:

  • tomatoes (my favorites are grape tomatoes)
  • olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • fatty fish like salmon (the best option), mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and apples

Foods that can cause inflammation are:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers and steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs and sausage)
  • margarine, shortening, and lard (I would avoid these at all cost. Use real grass-fed butter instead.)

It’s important to move toward healthier foods and away from foods that will adversely impact our health. My husband and I recently threw or gave away food that we no longer wish to include in our diet. If it’s not in the house it won’t get eaten. 

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

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