New research shows that picking these foods may ease pain.
1. Load up on vitamin D
A multivitamin is a good idea for people with fibromyalgia, especially one with vitamins C, E, and D. C and E are powerful antioxidants that appeared to quell oxidative stress and subdue pain in a small study of fibromyalgia patients. Many adults are deficient in vitamin D to begin with, but this sunshine vitamin can be vital to fibro patients. “Vitamin D deficiency can mimic some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Studies show that vitamin D deficiencies can cause bone and muscle pain, and upping levels of this hard-to-get vitamin may help.
2. Avoid Additives
Common food additives, like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, can act as excitotoxin molecules, a chemical group that has the ability to activate neurons that increase sensitivity to pain. The nitrates in processed meat might make living with fibromyalgia more difficult if it triggers any unpleasant symptoms or side effects. A study of four patients found that eliminating MSG and aspartame resulted in a reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms. Eliminate Chinese takeout and diet drinks.
3. Say yes to fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed, are known to reduce inflammation and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. However, their soreness-reducing traits may also help pain patients. A 2007 study found that after just 3 months of supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, symptoms such as morning stiffness and painful, tender joints decreased. Though this study did not include fibromyalgia patients (it included rheumatoid arthritis (RA), irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), and dysmenorrheal patients), the results show promise. Fibro patients often have co-morbidities such as IBD and RA, so omega-3s may benefit them as well. Try adding salmon or walnuts to your diet, or, if you don’t like those foods, try adding flaxseeds to your cereal or oatmeal. I suggest a fish oil supplement, but ask your doctor whether a fish oil supplement, that is enteric coated, is worth trying for your fibro pain.
4. Nix the caffeine
Because sleeplessness is commonly associated with fibro, it may be tempting to fuel up on coffee to get through the day. This, however, may be a mistake. “Some patients use caffeine to compensate for not sleeping well, which can lead to a circular problem where the ‘solution’ of taking caffeine to stay awake is actually causing the problem of not sleeping at night,” says Holton. Caffeine can set you up for a crash and, if sipped later in the day, may disrupt sleep schedules. Holton recommends antioxidant-packed decaffeinated green tea as a healthier alternative.
5. Veg out
Some researchers speculate that oxidative stress may be a cause of fibro symptoms. Oxidative stress occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough antioxidants to battle cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Most fruits and veggies are packed with important antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, and E, which fight free radicals to keep your body normalized. Certain studies also show a raw, vegan diet can improve symptoms, but that’s difficult for most people to follow. If you do choose to eat meat, though, opt for a small portion of grass-fed beef. It is an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12, both nutrients, which are extremely important in keeping your pain-processing nervous system healthy.
Oxidative stress — a cell-damaging process — is often higher in the bodies of people with fibromyalgia and is therefore thought to play a role in the development of the condition. Which suggests that eating lots of fruits and vegetables could be a smart move for people with fibromyalgia. Produce is full of antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress. And in a handful of studies, a high-in-produce, raw vegetarian or vegan diet even reduced fibro pain and stiffness in study participants.
Info from Prevention.com