Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the important self-care measures for fibromyalgia. Aside from exercise, fibromyalgia patients should also pay attention to their food intake. The body needs a variety of nutrients in order carry out its functions effectively. When a disease develops, good nutrition reduces its harmful effects, and helps the body recover.
Although there is no single food item proven to cure fibromyalgia, there is no doubt that patients can benefit from nutritional therapy. If compromised by stress, and the body is deprived of foods of sufficient nutritional value, it fails to get the substances it needs to stay healthy. Eating the right foods may help counteract stress, boost the immune system, and may also alleviate some symptoms of fbromyalgia. Below are some of the dietary guidelines for patients with fibromyalgia:
- Avoid refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These substances may induce fatigue, irritate the muscles, and disrupt sleep pattern
- Avoid highly processed foods and foods that are high in saturated fats. Saturated fats may interfere with circulation, and this may worsen some symptoms of fibromyalgia such as muscle pain.
- Develop a healthy eating pattern. Eating small frequent meals provides the body with a consistent supply of nutrients for proper muscle function. It is therefore better to eat 4 to 6 small meals a daily instead of three larger ones.
- Drink enough fluids. The general recommendation is to consume eight to ten glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated. Sufficient fluid intake helps in eliminating toxins.
- Include ample amounts of lean protein in the diet. Protein plays an important role in repairing muscles. Lean protein such as those in fish, poultry, nuts, and seeds, is low in saturated fats.
- Eliminate common allergens from the diet. Some fibromyalgia symptoms are associated with food allergies. Some experts suggest temporarily eliminating foods that commonly cause allergies such as:chocolates, eggs, processed foods, peas, beans, foods that contain gluten, and peanuts. Keeping a food diary will be helpful in determining which food items seem to worsen the symptoms.
Elrod,J. Reversing Fibromyalgia: The Whole-Health Approach to Overcoming Fibromyalgia Through Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements and Other Lifestyle Factors 2nd Edition. 2002. Woodland Publishing
Zand, J. LaValle, J. Spreen, A. Smart Medicine for Healthier Living : Practical A-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Adult. 1999. Avery Trade.
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