8 Stress-Busting Foods to Boost Your Fibromyalgia Diet
Updated: Apr 30
Stress can mean different things to different people, but stress is generally the buildup of anxiety and pressure. There seems to be only so much pressure that one person can handle, and stress will occur when they have had their fill of it.
Life with Fibromyalgia means that it is not easy to prevent stress. Sometimes it feels like the pressure is coming from everywhere and everything and has a way of quickly taking over life. For example, living with chronic pain, fatigue, and Fibro Fog can cause mishaps and poor concentration and focus on completing work or daily chores.
Other reasons for stress can be similar to those without a chronic illness, pressure coming from work, family, a terrible or sudden loss of a loved one, an ended marriage or relationship, or life problems in general.
Unfortunately, anyone one of these things can provoke an emotional and physical stress response and, in turn, trigger a Fibromyalgia flare-up.
If you can identify whenever stress is a trigger, the severity of a Fibromyalgia symptom or frequency of a Fibromyalgia symptom occurs. In that case, an effective solution to minimize your Fibromyalgia flare-up is to reduce the occurrence of stress.
Then, you can either find ways to avoid or reduce the stressors or learn to deal better with the stress, thereby reducing its impact and subsequent triggering of Fibromyalgia symptoms.
►There are many practical methods for reducing stress and anxiety; one way to help is to use food to fight stress.
When you’re stressed, the foods you turn to will most likely be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – big meals, take-out, fried foods, desserts, and alcohol drinks.
We’ve all found comfort in a greasy meal and a glass of wine or a tub of ice cream when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something.
However, we know that this isn’t the right long-term approach.
When we turn to unhealthy foods, we may temporarily feel better, but we will feel worse in the long run.
When our body isn’t getting the proper nutrition to deal with the added stress, we get more fatigued faster, more lethargic, and in some cases, less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.
FOODS THAT FIGHT STRESS
It's essential to know which foods to eat with Fibromyalgia, foods that help combat stress, help with mood and support a healthy Fibromyalgia diet.
Filling up on whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins is an excellent way to guarantee you get the optimum amounts of nutrients and essential vitamins to fight both physical and mental challenges.
In addition, when choosing the foods to eat, some specific foods have a range of excellent properties that help combat stress.
Here are the best stress-fighting foods to add to your Fibromyalgia diet food list:
This creamy fruit packed with nutrients has stress-fighting properties, thanks to its high levels of the antioxidant glutathione, which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats, which cause oxidative damage.
Avocados also have higher vitamin E levels and beta-carotene than any other fruit, boosting their stress-busting properties. Avocados are also loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and loads of folate.
You can enjoy eating avocados in various ways, whether you enjoy them raw, made into sauces, creamy dressings, dips, or in a smoothie.
When you’re feeling stressed and reaching for snacks, swapping cookies or chips for a tasty superfood is a healthy way to help deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm.
Blueberries have very high levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin. This is why blueberries have a wide range of health benefits, including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind, which can help you better deal with stress.
Although chocolate is usually associated with being an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable connection between the benefit of chocolate on our mood. Research shows that eating chocolate can make you feel happier.
However, it's best not to make it a habit to reach for a chocolate every time you're feeling stressed – chocolate helps best as a de-stressor when you eat it in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
In particular, dark chocolate is best, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two essential antioxidants known for helping combat stress.
Oatmeal is fabulous food to help decrease stress because it has many beneficial properties to make you feel better from the inside out.
A complex carbohydrate, this filling comfort food triggers your brain to produce higher serotonin levels, the feel-good chemical, helping you feel calmer and less stressed.
Choosing oatmeal for breakfast can also help you feel more focused and improve your concentration throughout the morning.
Add grated dark chocolate, berries, and nuts on top of a bowl of oatmeal to add taste and boost stress-busting nutrition.
Walnuts are a great healthy snacking option to choose when striving to control your stress levels better. They are also rich in omega-3 oils and other healthy fats. In addition, the pleasant flavor of walnuts makes them a tasty snack for in-between meals, added to salads, or as part of a desert.
Another great food for snacking on, which also helps fight stress and anxiety, is pistachios. Besides the nutritional benefits, preparing the pistachios for eating can be therapeutic. The rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can help create a calming state.
7. LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and arugula, are super for you. Be rewarded with loads of nutrition from leafy greens, including Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and folate.
Leafy green vegetables are rich in folate, helping your body make more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, as mentioned earlier - the "feel-good" chemical.
Besides helping to fight stress, leafy greens vegetables are full of nutrients and antioxidants that help fight off illness and support you to be healthier and feel more energized. Making leafy greens a regular in your diet will keep you feeling happier and less stressed out.
8. CHAMOMILE TEA
Of course, it’s not only all about what you’re eating when managing stress; what you’re drinking can also help or worsen the stress you're feeling.
For example, consuming drinks high in sugar and caffeine, such as energy drinks, soda, or sugar-based juices, can increase your stress levels if you have them regularly.
On the other hand, herbal teas can be healing for Fibromyalgia. For example, chamomile tea is excellent as a natural bedtime soother. It has also been studied in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea effectively reduces generalized anxiety disorder symptoms.
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