With fibromyalgia, there are certain foods that will help symptoms. Likewise, there are foods that will aggravate symptoms. These foods make up the Fibro Diet and should be followed if you are looking to alleviate your fibromyalgia symptoms (particularly the stomach issues).The good, the bad, and the ugly of the #fibromyalgia diet. #chronicillness #fibrodiet Click To Tweet
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The lists of what to eat and not eat are clear when it comes to fibromyalgia, but remembering those foods can be a pain (especially when living with brain fog). To make it easier, I’ve compiled these lists into two tables – Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid – for you to be able to print and hang in your kitchen or pantry for easy reference (click here to get the PDF).
To break down these two categories of food, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Fibro Diet.
These are the good foods that you should eat to help your body fight against fibromyalgia symptoms. Many of these foods are high in magnesium, and a large percentage of those individuals fighting fibromyalgia have a deficiency in magnesium. It is the fourth most prevalent mineral in the body and is responsible for lowering stress and anxiety and boosts energy levels. When a person is lacking this essential mineral, the person will experience body pain, anxiety, fatigue, muscle spasms, migraines, and other symptoms. (Many of these good foods can be assembled in a smoothie.)
- pineapple, pineapple juice
- sweet potatoes
- greens such as Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, broccoli
- healthy fats such as wild fish, olive oil, and omega-3
Overall body aches
- olive oil (get olive oil with added herbs or lemon for a boost of support)
- red grapes
- tart cherries or tart cherry juice
- honey (Be sure it is 100% real or raw honey. For added convenience, try honey sticks or honey spoons for your teas or other beverages.)
- sweet potatoes
- chamomile: body aches, sleeping (I drink honey vanilla chamomile for the added sweetness.)
- ginger: anti-inflammatory, nausea (The Lemon Ginger tea makes it taste better and the lemon is also good for the body.)
- lemon: stress
- peppermint: bloating and headaches
Kimchi, a Korean dish, helps with fibromyalgia symptoms that affect the stomach. Fermented foods have been through a process called Lacto-fermentation. This process in which all the natural, good bacteria feed on the sugar and starch preserving the food and creating healthy enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids, and strains of probiotics. Lacto-fermentation also helps with the digestion process and improves overall digestion.
These foods are bad for fibromyalgia but are okay to eat if eaten less often and in small moderations.
- caffeine: Stresses the adrenal glands. A little bit is okay, but large amounts can weaken the glands. These glands regulate hormones for functions such as sleep, digestion, and emotions.
- gluten: Gluten is a mixture of two proteins and is a substance present in many grains. It irritates the lining of the smaller intestines making it inflamed to the point of not being able to absorb nutrients. Most people living with fibromyalgia are gluten sensitive meaning gluten causes mild symptoms of diarrhea, stomach pains, bloating, and headaches. Gluten intolerance, such as Celiac Disease, means the body cannot handle gluten in any capacity whatsoever.
- dairy: irritates the stomach and causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and/or headaches
- alcohol: the yeast in alcohol can irritate the lining of the digestive tract causing inflammation and swelling
- lunch meat: processed
There are some foods that are frowned upon for fibromyalgia. These foods aggravate fibromyalgia and can lead to flare-ups. Avoid these foods if you have fibromyalgia.
- processed foods: high in unhealthy fats, sugar, artificial ingredients, and sodium
- carbs: has gluten
- foods rich in sugars: increases inflammation and affects cognitive function
- fried foods: irritates the stomach
- red meats
- fast food: usually processed and fried
- sunflower and corn oils
- wheat: contains gluten
- animal fats
- energy drinks: contains high volumes of caffeine
- white bread: contains gluten
Nightshade vegetables should also be avoided because they contain alkaloids which are difficult for some digestive systems to break down. Most people living with fibromyalgia are sensitive to these vegetables and are unable to fully digest them. Symptoms from this sensitivity include diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, painful joints, headaches, and depression.
These vegetables are:
- bell peppers
- potatoes (not to be confused with sweet potatoes which are good for fibromyalgia)