As you know, both what you eat and what you don’t eat determines so very much about your health and well-being. That is even more so the case if you happen to have a serious medical condition such as fibromyalgia. Knowledge is power, especially so with fibromyalgia, so let's get up to speed with what you should avoid placing in your shopping cart and pantry.
Eliminating certain foods and food-like substances can be one of the best decisions for your body and health.
Here are 5 foods to avoid eating if you have fibromyalgia.
1- Sugars and artificial sweeteners
Let’s look at sugar first. For health in general, too much sugar is a bad deal for the body. With fibromyalgia, that becomes even more of a potential concern. That’s because excitotoxicity, the process in which the body’s nerves become damaged by excess stimulation, and a feature of fibromyalgia, needs the body to generate a large amount of energy – something that too much sugar consumption can cause.
Artificial sweeteners, such as saccharine, sucralose or aspartame, are chemical concoctions that no only taste sweet, but rely on physiological over-stimulation to achieve that. Consequently, for those with fibromyalgia, artificial sweeteners should most definitely be off the menu.
The longer you refrain from eating sugary foods whether real or artificial, the easier it is for your body to heal. Your cravings will diminish too.
2- Preserved, cured and red meats
Increasingly, the risks of meat consumption to human health in general are becoming better researched and understood. And never was that more so the case than for those with fibromyalgia. Eating red meat can increase a person’s risk for all sorts of ailments including heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that red meat and all processed meats are associated with higher levels of inflammation markers due to their high saturated fat content. Aging, digestive issues, and oxidative stress become common when you eat meat triggering painful symptoms. Disorders such as fibromyalgia fair worse in terms of healing and relief when you consume a diet high in all meats. Forget the hot dogs, roast beef, and deli meats. Add tofu, tempeh, and seitan instead.
3- Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) also known as sodium glutamate is one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. It’s found in vegetables, meats, and nearly all other foods. This sounds innocuous enough, so why is it touted as so bad?
Your body can produce MSG and it serves various functions in your body. When you consume this non-essential amino acid in natural foods, it’s bound inside protein molecules that your body breaks down.
Symptoms of sensitivity to MSG are headaches, numbness, weakness, and muscle tightness. Sound familiar?
The problem begins when you eat lots of Asian fast foods and highly processed foods in which large amounts of MSG are added creating an overload in your body. Frozen meals, fast food, canned soups, and pre-packed snacks are perfect examples of what your body doesn’t need. Our busy lifestyles have increased this problem two fold.
Cook at home. Pack your own lunches for work and school. Pay attention to what goes into your meals.
4- Processed foods
If you’re not eating a whole foods, real food diet, you’re inviting in all the negative effects of ill health, feeling poorly, sickness, and disease. Processed foods cause massive amounts of inflammation. They are also stripped of nutrients and contain flavorings (think MSG), preservatives, and dyes. You are basically fueling your body with artificial food-like substances loaded with chemicals. Processed foods are horrible for your health whereas whole foods are your best friend. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and herbs and spices. Load up to your hearts content.
Dairy is scary, even more so for those with health problems. Dairy is high in saturated fats, antibiotics, and growth hormones. With all of that, how can dairy even be remotely considered “good for you”?
Many people who have fibromyalgia are also lactose intolerant, so dairy can cause cramps, pain, and inflammation in their bodies.
The protein found in dairy milk can irritate your stomach and the tissue around your joints.
Try eliminating dairy from your diet. Plant-based milks, yogurts, and even ice cream are all available, dairy free, healthy, and delicious.
Avoiding these foods and better yet, eliminating them entirely from your diet can help you control your fibromyalgia symptoms by not triggering inflammation in your body.
No single treatment is known to cure fibromyalgia, but making healthful food decisions may help.
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This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure illnesses. Please consult a medical professional.
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