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What foods help heal fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. While there is no cure, certain lifestyle changes like diet modifications can help manage symptoms. When it comes to diet, anti-inflammatory foods that fight inflammation and boost energy are key. Here’s an in-depth look at the best fibromyalgia-fighting foods to add to your diet.


Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2-6% of the population, with women being 7-10 times more likely to be diagnosed than men. The exact causes are still unknown but research suggests it involves abnormalities in how the brain and spinal cord process pain signals. Genetics, infections, physical trauma, and psychological stress are thought to trigger fibromyalgia in those predisposed to it. There is no lab test to diagnose fibromyalgia. Instead, doctors make the diagnosis based on a patient’s medical history, a physical exam, and widespread pain that has lasted at least 3 months.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of treatments can help control symptoms. Lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and eating a healthy diet are often recommended first. When it comes to diet, anti-inflammatory foods that help reduce inflammation and boost energy are beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at the top anti-inflammatory foods for fibromyalgia.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Fibromyalgia

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help reduce pain, morning stiffness, and tender points in fibromyalgia patients. Fish oil supplements are another option for getting more omega-3s.

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show tart cherry juice can significantly reduce muscle pain caused by exercise. The antioxidants in tart cherries may also help improve sleep quality in those with insomnia.


Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale contain a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane blocks enzymes that cause inflammation and damage joints. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies also provide fiber, folate, and other nutrients that may benefit fibromyalgia patients.

Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with polyphenols and catechins like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds reduce inflammation, pain, fatigue, and tissue damage in fibromyalgia. Drinking green tea may also boost cognitive function.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts like almonds and walnuts and seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds are great plant-based sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain fiber, protein, magnesium, and antioxidants. Try adding them to salads, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies.


The curcumin compound in turmeric has been found just as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs at reducing pain, inflammation, and stiffness related to fibromyalgia and arthritis. Try adding fresh or powdered turmeric to meals or drinking turmeric tea.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, collards, and arugula are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene along with magnesium, folate, and calcium. These nutrients reduce inflammation, promote tissue healing, and improve fibromyalgia symptoms.


Avocados are a great source of anti-inflammatory healthy fats. Studies suggest their high monounsaturated fat content can help reduce musculoskeletal pain. Avocados also provide fiber, vitamins K, C, B6, and folate.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is packed with anti-inflammatory oleocanthal which works similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Replacing vegetable and canola oil with extra virgin olive oil may help relieve muscle pain and stiffness.

Citrus Fruits

Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and other citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C. Higher vitamin C intake is linked to reduced pain and tenderness in fibromyalgia patients. Try squeezing fresh citrus over salads or making citrus-infused water.

Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Certain anti-inflammatory spices are also beneficial for reducing fibromyalgia symptoms when added to foods or drinks. Here are some great options:

Spice Benefits
Turmeric Contains curcumin which reduces pain and inflammation
Ginger Contains gingerols that decrease inflammation and muscle pain
Cinnamon Has antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect cells
Cayenne Contains capsaicin which blocks pain signals
Garlic Has anti-inflammatory sulfur compounds like allicin
Black pepper Contains piperine which reduces inflammation
Rosemary Has antioxidant carnosic acid that fights inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Drinks

Certain anti-inflammatory drinks can also help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms when consumed regularly. Here are some options to try:

Green Tea

The polyphenols in green tea fight inflammation and may improve fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation, muscle damage, and pain.

Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea provides anti-inflammatory curcumin that can help relieve muscle aches and pains.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea can reduce inflammation and nausea in fibromyalgia patients.

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that may help reduce musculoskeletal pain.


Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavanols that have anti-inflammatory effects and improve blood flow.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan

Eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can make a big difference when it comes to fibromyalgia symptoms. Here is a sample 1 week anti-inflammatory diet plan:

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Green smoothie with leafy greens, pineapple, avocado Salmon salad with mixed greens, avocado, nuts Baked chicken with broccoli and sweet potato
Tuesday Overnight oats with tart cherries, almonds, cinnamon Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato Veggie and chickpea curry with turmeric over brown rice
Wednesday Scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado Grilled chicken Caesar salad Zucchini noodles with shrimp and olive oil lemon sauce
Thursday Greek yogurt with nuts, fruit, cinnamon Salmon burgers on whole wheat buns with lettuce, onion Sheet pan roasted veggies and fish
Friday Oatmeal with walnuts, tart cherries, flaxseed Tuna salad whole grain wrap with lettuce, tomato Turkey chili with avocado
Saturday Veggie omelet with tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach Roasted beet salad with walnuts, avocado Coconut curry shrimp with cauliflower rice
Sunday Banana berry smoothie with spinach, flaxseed Baked salmon with kale salad Chicken stir fry with broccoli, peppers over quinoa

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to eating more anti-inflammatory foods, making other lifestyle changes can also help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Get regular exercise like walking, swimming or yoga
  • Practice stress-relieving activities like meditation, deep breathing
  • Get enough high-quality sleep each night
  • Reduce caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar intake
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep a consistent daily routine
  • Join a fibromyalgia support group


Eating more anti-inflammatory foods is an effective part of a fibromyalgia treatment plan. Foods like fatty fish, tart cherries, nuts, olive oil, leafy greens, turmeric, and ginger can help fight inflammation and improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Avoiding pro-inflammatory foods like refined carbs, fried foods, alcohol, and excess sugar is also recommended. Combining an anti-inflammatory diet with other healthy lifestyle changes provides the best chance at managing fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.