Have you discovered that there are some anti-inflammatory foods that can help to ease symptoms, while some other foods are almost guaranteed to increase the propensity for a fibromyalgia flare?
Most people with fibro have at least a short list of foods that seem to kick off a round of fatigue, pain, rashes, or other uncomfortable symptoms. This is because some foods promote inflammation throughout the body while others are known for fighting inflammation. Also, we have to understand our individual root causes which will affect whether a "healthy" food is actually healthy for us individually.
After this short list of common anti-inflammatory foods, see the section on foods less commonly known to be included or salvaged from any short list.
In our plan, we eliminate or at least greatly reduce our exposure to dairy proteins. The dairy fats are much different and can be utilized.
I realize that for some people, giving up dairy proteins in foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese can seem very challenging. The idea is to do an elimination test for 3-4 weeks and see if you notice a positive difference. It is important though to be sure we are not including something else that might sabotage any elimination plan.
On the other hand, (there is always another hand isn't there?) we don't want to eliminate too many things at one time. This can be too extreme for many people.
I like to find ways to "salvage" parts of any food by using various parts or by using various preparation techniques. That is what it's all about.
A caution: Be careful of gums and other additives in the non dairy version of some foods like nut milks, ice creams, and yogurts. These can aggravate IBS symptoms.
If you haven’t paid attention to possible connections between what you eat and how you feel, now is the time to start a food journal. You may notice trends that connect certain fibromyalgia symptoms to foods that you eat daily or even occasionally.
You’re likely to notice that you have fewer or less severe symptoms when you avoid over processed foods that are loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients and chemicals. The more natural your diet, the better. Diet is not a "root cause" to fibro, but it sure can be an "exacerbating factor"
If you are a meat and potatoes kind of girl or guy, you might find it challenging to avoid potatoes all together when eating anti-inflammatory, and guess what? You don't have to avoid these all together. For many years, we have utilized the red potato with good success. The red potato even has its place in some of our recipes and menu items.
I don't think it should be unlimited, but 2-3 times per week might be ok if you have a difficult time eliminating potatoes all together. For instance, I might have sweet potato 1-2 times per week, red potato 1-2 times per week, and then I really like root vegetables more of the time, like parsnips, turnip roots, carrots, and winter squash of all kinds.
You see, red potatoes are different. They are not only lower glycemic but easier to digest and will not contribute to inflammation like some white russet potatoes can. By the way, some people are fine with all kinds of potatoes. Don't assume all potatoes are bad for every person.
Working as a colon therapist for many years, I always try to give as much variety as possible, while still staying anti-inflammatory and healing for the body and other conditions like arthritis.
First, be sure they are organic, whenever possible (taste and health value are so much better in organic) Second, choose organic reds when possible. Sweet potatoes are also excellent but will be better when they are not combined with animal protein for optimal digestion .
Reds are best cooked the old fashioned russet way, right in the oven. Put some fork holes in them first. Another great way to use reds is in soups made at home. Slice them and add coconut oil and vegetables to make a very flavorful soup.
Tomatoes are best for blood type O. Green, yellow, and red peppers can be utilized by many. Again, it is best to experiment instead of buying into myths about these foods. I do fine with green and red peppers and like to include them in dishes and soups.
Squash has become even more of a healthy “comfort” food over the past decade, and rightly so. It is one of the anti-inflammatory foods that goes well in any anti-inflammatory diet. Take advantage of winter squash whenever you can get it. Spaghetti Squash, Delicata, Butternut, and other varieties can bring great health benefits and variety to your table.
You can include so many varieties of squash alone or in recipes. What is your favorite squash? I like delicata and spaghetti squash. See our Recipe page for my favorite, easy and flavorful ways to prepare squash. Believe me, your hands will thank you !!
In the short list above we mentioned oils like olive, avocado, and coconut oil. It is important to not sabotage a healthy diet of anti-inflammatory foods with unhealthy oils that are often still included in many packaged foods, especially chips or crackers.
Avoid oils like corn oil and cottonseed oil. They are toxic, generally unclean and hard to digest, easily causing symptoms in those with IBS. Canola oil would also be another you may want to avoid or at least put limits on.
Another avoid for many people with both fibro and osteo issues is milk protein, otherwise known as casein. The protein of the milk can be the most difficult to digest. Avoid foods like store bought yogurts, whey, and low fat milks which are higher in casein. Choose healing dairy fats like ghee (clarified butter), butter oil, or raw cream. A little goes a long way.
Try including some of these foods and seasonings in your diet, you can help to reduce inflammation in your body and help reduce flare-ups and feel better.