There has been much discussion about Fibromyalgia (FM) regarding the symptoms, therapies, medications, exercise, and more, but there is not a lot of discussion about a very important daily activity: eating! It’s such a simple thing… so simple it seems to have been overlooked.
One FM diet suggests a 3:3:4 ratio for fats, carbs, and protein, respectively, and to eat 6 small meals per day, rather than 3 larger meals. The “don’t” list includes chocolate, carbonated beverages, and alcohol. The “do” list mandates lots of water consumption – 8 glasses a day or more.
Another approach called the Paleodiet (also known as the “Paleolithic diet,” “caveman diet,” “hunter-gatherer diet,” “Garden of Eden diet” and more) makes a lot of sense! Grains, beans, and potatoes, though full of energy (calories), are not edible in the raw state due to the many toxins that exist in them. About 10,000 years ago, it was discovered that heating/cooking these otherwise inedible foods (wheat, corn, barley, rice, sorghum, millet, and oats) made them edible, thus marking the Neolithic or New Stone Age era. Though these foods are high in calories and can be stored longer, they are limited in their nutritional value, lead to glycemic spikes (high blood sugar), and can result in intestinal-related conditions if undercooked or when consumed by those with a lower tolerance for such foods.
The Paleodiet is based on our genetic code being limited to grass-fed animal products and naturally grown products, such as fruits and vegetables. The basic “paleodiet” includes consumption of grass fed meat, fowl, fish, and the roots and fruits of many plants, including nuts. This approach eliminates grains (wheat, oats, barley, and rye—also know as glutens) or anything made using flour. This includes breads, pasta, crackers, cookies, and most baked products… a lot of what we frequently consume. Dairy products, sugar, and salt are included in the “don’t” list. A unique feature of the Paleodiet is that all major dietary components are covered: vitamins, fats, protein, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, phytosterols, and more.
With this approach, there is no need to “detoxify” our systems or take a surplus of vitamins, though certain vitamins may ensure a more nutritious environment for our bodies. These include magnesium and vitamin D (both of which are difficult to obtain from the food we eat), Co-Q10 (a strong anti-oxidant), and high levels of EPA/DHA (the active ingredients in fish oil).
The bottom line is there is a lot that can be done for the FM patient from strictly a dietary approach and when coupled with exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction, FM sufferers can benefit greatly!