For The Love Of Food: Foods That May Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia Week 4

We revisit Week Four of our For The Love of Food Series this week…. Happy eating!

Collage of food with text overlay: For The Love Of Food: Foods That May Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia (And Are Good For Us All) https://reclaiminghope.blog

Welcome back to For The Love Of Food! When I started my quest to live well in spite of my fibromyalgia, one of the first things I started looking at were dietary interventions. As I’ve mentioned before, prior to fibro, I worked as a personal trainer and health coach, so I knew what a huge impact the food we eat can have on our bodies.

When I started doing research about what to eat to help me feel better, I found that there’s a lot of information about what not to eat, but not so much about what we should eat to make us feel better. Personally, knowing what foods to avoid has been extremely helpful, and has really helped manage my pain, but it’s also helpful to know what’s most beneficial. We can only eat so much, so why not eat the foods that give us “the most bang for our buck”?

This series is just a look at some of the foods that are healthy for all of us, but may be especially good for those of us who deal with fibromyalgia. As I’ve said before, I’m just highlighting a few of the foods that may be particularly helpful, and the best thing we can do for our bodies is to eat a varied diet consisting of real foods (see Week 1).

Let’s take a look at today’s superstars:

BERRIES AND CHERRIES

Bowls of cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries https://reclaiminghope.blog

These guys are small but mighty! Their superpowers lie not just in their vitamin and mineral content — which includes Vitamins C and A, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium — but in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds they contain.

photo of blueberries https://reclaiminghope.blogAccording to Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth to Eat, blueberries have one of the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of any food on earth. The ORAC rating basically tells us how much protection and value we’re getting from the antioxidants and phytochemicals working synergistically in a particular food. According to the Johns Hopkins White Papers Nutrition and Weight Control, “Phytochemicals have no nutritive value–that is, they are not vitamins or minerals–but they may have positive effects on the body over the long term.” For an explanation of the benefits of antioxidants, please check out Week 2.

cherries https://reclaiminghope.blogCherries contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which shows high levels of anti-inflammatory activity, and cherries, raspberries, and strawberries contain compounds called anthocyanins that seem to be key to helping the body reduce inflammation.

Why They May Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia

Because berries and cherries are such a great source of antioxidants, they can help combat oxidative stress and hopefully, improve our energy levels.

Raspberries (1 of 1) (2)The anthocyanins they contain have the ability to inhibit a compound called cyclooxygenase. This compound’s “job” in the body is to signal pain and inflammation. If the signals are “short-circuited”, we may not experience so much pain. Cherries and raspberries are great sources of these anthocyanins.

Strawberries (1 of 1) (2)Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium are all important for proper nerve function, and if there is a dysfunction in the Central Nervous System for those of us who have fibromyalgia, this could prove helpful in reducing current issues or preventing new ones.

 

Berries and cherries are a great source of dietary fiber. I know I talk about this almost every time, but it’s important for helping us feel full longer and avoiding those drastic blood-sugar drops so many of us experience. See the precaution about increasing fiber intake in Week 3.

How To Get Them In Our Diets

These may be the easiest of all foods to get into our diets. Most of them need very little preparation, which is always a plus. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Eat them as a snack – if you add a serving of nuts, you’ve got a nice little snack that will hold you over for a while.
  • Put them in your yogurt. I like to make yogurt parfaits with Greek Yogurt and berries, topped off with homemade granola. I use vanilla yogurt, but if you’re watching your sugar intake closely, you can use plain yogurt instead.
  • Drizzle them with some high-quality balsamic vinegar and have that as dessert
  • Toss them in your salad – if you haven’t tried it, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

Do you like berries and/or cherries? What are your favorites and how do you eat them?

 

Blessings,

~Terri

Sources:

  1. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S., Fair Winds Press, Beverly, MA
  2. The Johns Hopkins White Papers Nutrition and Weight Control, 2015, Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., F.A.C.P., Carmen Roberts, M.S., R.D., and Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

 

 

19 comments

  1. I love cherries, but tend to only eat them in season. Raspberries are my usual go to. Strawberries, again when they are in season – so good. Blueberries do not always agree with me. In smoothies yes, but otherwise no. I love to make fruit crumbles

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love cherries too V.J.! I used to love raspberries, but I don’t eat them very often anymore…. They just don’t taste the same as they did when I was a kid.😄 Like you, I tend to sticking to eating cherries and strawberries in season, but I eat blueberries year-round. Fruit crumbles sound yummy! Wanna bring me one?😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This makes me excited for spring & summer when strawberries are in season. I might need to try blending various berries this year to get around possible issues with eating some of them with a stoma, but I love the idea of all the goodness they provide (and they’re so tasty and fresh too!) Yum 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I did get to go when we lived in Florida. It was a huge event, and if you could think of a way to serve strawberries, they probably had it there…. As far as ruining the healthy aspect with sugar, I figure as long as I have more strawberry than sugar I’m good.😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I might be saved. I love all berries and eat them as snacks, desserts, and in salads. My very favorite is strawberry with dark chocolate. But I’m trying to lose weight, so most days I just have plain strawberries. I do also put fruit on my yogurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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