Contrary to what you might read on the internet, there is no scientific evidence to support a particular fibromyalgia diet. Like everyone, people with fibromyalgia should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to combat fatigue and maximize their energy.
Lean More About Fibromyalgia
Can Diet Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
A diet of special foods can’t cure fibromyalgia, but many people with fibromyalgia have found relief by following these key tips:
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This includes fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole-grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products, and beans and legumes such as lentils.
Take vitamin and mineral supplements. It is difficult to consume your average daily requirement of vitamins and minerals through the food you eat. The recommended Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes based on age and gender is issued by the Institute of Medicine and can be found through the Office of Dietary Supplements (Source: ODS).
What Should I Avoid If I Have Fibromyalgia?
While there is no clear evidence supporting one particular diet over another for fibromyalgia, some experts believe people with fibromyalgia may benefit from limiting or avoiding certain foods including:
Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet): This artificial sweetener can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Studies have found that people with fibromyalgia see a significant decrease in pain by eliminating aspartame from their diet.
Caffeine: It is natural to want to reach for your favorite caffeinated beverage—coffee, tea and soda—when you are tired, but the crushing fatigue that follows the short-lived alertness from caffeine can really set you back. It is best to avoid or limit caffeine if you have fibromyalgia.
MSG and nitrates: Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer added to many processed foods and some Asian foods, can make fibromyalgia pain worse. This is also true of foods containing preservatives, including nitrates. Hot dogs, luncheon meat, and bacon are examples of foods that often contain nitrates.
Sugar: A sugary diet, such as one heavy in sweets, soft drinks and white bread, can irritate muscles and cause stress in the body. Sugar can also exacerbate yeast infections, a condition that is common in people with fibromyalgia. By cutting back on sugar, you may ease pain, reduce yeast infections, and avoid the crash that often follows the sugar high.
While it is not certain that the above dietary tips will ease your particular fibromyalgia symptoms, most experts agree that people with fibromyalgia should eat a healthy, nutritious diet consisting of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plenty of water. Healthy foods can boost your energy, protect against nutritional deficiencies that may worsen symptoms, and help you look and feel your best.