Fibromyalgia: Inflammatory vs Anti-inflammatory Foods

Fibromyalgia: Inflammatory vs Anti-inflammatory Foods

Fibromyalgia is an inflammatory illness, so it stands to reason that we should avoid foods that increase our inflammation and bring on flares. At the end, I will tell you the best foods to eat.

You know your body best, so you know some foods that will trigger a flare for you. Really work on avoiding those. Packaged foods that contain preservatives and food coloring should be avoided. Self medicating with caffeine is counterproductive, but I have done it anyway on numerous occasions when I’ve been so tired. It’s a huge temptation, right?

Sugar, and carbs made with white flour, can cause a crash soon after consumption. I am a big proponent of clean eating, although occasionally I will eat white flour carbs. Inevitably my body will remind me why it was not a good idea. Can you relate?

Artificial sweeteners and foods sweetened with them can wreak havoc as they are laden with chemicals. Splenda can enlarge both the liver and kidneys and shrink the thymus glands. Aspartame can cause hallucinations, seizures, and brain tumors.  Artificial sweeteners are not good for anyone really, but those of us with fibromyalgia tend to be very sensitive to chemicals.

Read your labels carefully and avoid hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, ingredients you can’t pronounce (the fewer ingredients the better), and GMO (genetically modified) foods.

Avoid highly inflammatory ‘nightshade’ foods:

  • Bell pepper (sweet pepper)
  • Italian pepper
  • Chile pepper
  • Anaheim
  • Ancho
  • Cascabel
  • Chipotle
  • Fresno
  • Guajillo
  • Habañero
  • Jalapeño
  • Pasada
  • Pasilla
  • Pimiento / Pimento
  • Poblano
  • Serrano
  • Eggplant
  • White Potatoes
  • Tomatillo


  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder (some ingredients of)
  • Curry (some ingredients of)
  • Paprika


  • Ketchup
  • Tabasco


  • Goldenberry (Cape gooseberry)
  • Goji berry
  • Pepino
  • Tamarillo

Changes I highly recommend, as a Certified Nutrition Consultant (make them slowly):

  • Natural sweeteners such as real maple syrup and raw honey.
  • Healthy protein such as wild caught salmon, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef.
  • Lots of fruits and veggies, organic, locally grown and pesticide free.
  • Gluten-free when you can. I’m not crazy about gluten-free breads, but I do enjoy sourdough bread at times. It’s really trial and error.
  • Nuts and seeds, preferably raw, such as walnuts, cashews, pistachios, macadamia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
  • Lots of leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and leafy lettuces. These are great in smoothies and you won’t even taste them.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, pineapple, and oranges.
  • Nut milks such as almond and cashew.
  • Good oils such as virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Bok choy, celery, beets, and broccoli
  • Turmeric, and ginger.

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.