Fibromyalgia Self Care: Organic Foods
Maintaining a healthy diet is considered one of the most fundamental ways to help combat or reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Indeed, many fibromyalgia patients are turning to a more natural fibromyalgia treatment, that includes determining the best diet for fibromyalgia syndrome. To this effect, organic foods have become a staple of the fibromyalgia diet, along with other dietary habits that help reduce fibro symptoms.
What is Organic Food?
Organic food is food that is grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, or hormones. This differs from conventionally-grown foods that uses synthetic chemicals to protect plants and increase yield and animal growth.
More specifically, no conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste or sewage, ionizing radiation or food additives are used for the growth of organic crops. In terms of animal products, organic products are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food must meet certain production standards in order to be certified, and in some countries must not be genetically modified.
All fibromyalgia symptoms are believed to be caused by oxygen deprivation to the cells of the body that is caused by dysfunctional oxygen metabolism. One of the major causes of abnormal oxygen metabolism is due to toxins that include antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, industrial pollutants, synthetic hormones and toxic metal compounds – all of which can be found in trace amounts in certain types of conventionally-grown foods.
All of these toxins are considered "man-made" oxidants. Oxidants are naturally produced as waste resulting from health metabolic activity. These oxidants are then neutralized by detox mechanisms of the body. However, in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome, oxidants are produced in large quantities and the body's natural detoxification system cannot keep up.
Fibromyalgia Diet and Organic Food
Aside from minimizing exposure to man-made oxidants such as pesticides that are found in conventional food products, organic foods have also been shown to contain antioxidant agents that help combat excess oxidants – an important part of a fibromyalgia diet. In addition, studies of organic foods have suggested that these products contain more nutrients, and help boost the immune system.
Some studies have found that levels of natural antioxidants known as phenolic compounds that are produced by plants in order to fight off environmental stressors such as competing plants or insects, were reduced in conventionally raised foods in contrast to organic food. In addition, certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, were found in higher quantities in organically raised food. Overall, the presence of polyphenols – the natural antioxidants that help bolster the immune system – is much higher in organically grown foods, and for this reason may help treat fibromyalgia.
It is recommended that along with incorporating organic foods into a fibromyalgia diet, individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome should take certain measures to ensure they follow the best diet to treat their fibro symptoms. Some of these measures can include avoiding caffeine and alcohol, eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day, avoiding foods that cause allergies, drinking adequate liquids, balancing intake from all different food groups, and taking a multivitamin or mineral supplement.
Speak to a health care provider or a registered dietician for a fibromyalgia diet that’s fit for your particular case.