Fibromyalgia is a particularly challenging disorder because its causes and symptoms are so vague.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the only thing that all people with fibromyalgia share is the tendency to have musculoskeletal pain throughout their bodies. It can also lead to issues like fatigue and memory problems.
Treatment for fibromyalgia relies on a combination of taking medications to manage pain and lifestyle changes that help to improve your overall health.
One of the most important things you can do is to eat the right types of food. Since your breakfast starts out your day, a good breakfast can greatly alter the type of symptoms you have.
In general, the best breakfasts for fibromyalgia are typically things like oatmeal or a tofu scramble. You want meals that contain a blend of healthy fiber, fat, and protein, without containing excessive carbohydrates or animal products.
Here’s what you need to know about making breakfast when you have fibromyalgia.
What Should You Look for in a Fibromyalgia Breakfast?
Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to come and go, and they are closely linked to food. The reason that the food you eat is connected to fibromyalgia is due to inflammation, stress, and overall health. When people are not getting the proper nutrients and energy, they suffer from higher levels of pain and fatigue.
The most important thing overall is just to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet that contains the appropriate amount of calories for your size.
A 2010 study found that obesity greatly increases pain associated with fibromyalgia, so you may want to diet to achieve a healthy weight.
Eating healthy means different things to different people, but it typically requires you to focus on unprocessed foods that do not have an excessive amount of sugar, saturated fat, or sodium. Aim for items like whole grains, lean meats, plant-based fats, and lean protein.
Another necessary aspect of fibromyalgia foods is that they provide consistent energy all day long. Food is a great way to combat the chronic fatigue of fibromyalgia.
Proteins, fats, and fiber are all slow to digest, so they provide a steady stream of energy throughout the day.
Try to include plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables in your breakfast too. Research done by the Journal of Complementary Medicine Research found that people who mostly ate a raw vegetarian diet experienced an overall improvement in their fibromyalgia symptoms.
Eating foods rich in vitamins that help fibromyalgia first thing in the morning will help you fight off symptoms all day long. One of the most helpful nutrients for fibromyalgia patients is B6. Other useful vitamins include vitamin B12, C, and D.
Are There Things to Avoid Eating If You Have Fibromyalgia?
When you have fibromyalgia, certain foods can give you energy and reduce the occurrence of pain. However, there are also some types of food that can make fibromyalgia worse.
The biggest culprit seems to be a category of food called FODMAPs. As this video by UCLA digestive dietitians explains, FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that the body struggles to digest, like beans, wheat, apples, and dairy.
They should be avoided because they are linked to worsened fibromyalgia symptoms.
Some research from the Rheumatology International Journal also indicates that gluten can cause fibromyalgia attacks even in people who are not allergic or sensitive to gluten.
You may also want to avoid artificial food additives, preservatives, and flavorings because these may cause more symptoms to occur.
Try These Tasty Fibromyalgia Breakfast Ideas
Now that you know a little more about the types of foods you should be looking for, it is time to get practical. Most days, you need a breakfast that is quick to make, easy to eat, and does not result in an excessive cleanup.
Here are a few of our favorite options for breakfast if you have fibromyalgia.
Oatmeal With Fresh Berries
Oatmeal is a particularly great option for people with fibromyalgia because it is low in calories while being full of fiber.
The slowly digesting fiber helps you to stay full for hours while the lack of calories helps you to lose weight if necessary. Unlike some other types of grain, oatmeal is not high in FODMAPs.
Oatmeal is often recommended for those with an upset stomach, so it is particularly helpful for people with digestive issues due to fibromyalgia.
The fiber in oatmeal moves things along the intestines, so people are less likely to deal with bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
Of course, oatmeal on its own can be a little bland, so try spicing it up a little with some raw berries tossed on the top.
Strawberries or raspberries add a little natural sweetness without being high in calories. Their seeds also contain a little extra fiber to boost your fiber intake.
The final reason that oatmeal is a good fibromyalgia breakfast option is its convenience and affordability. A huge tub of rolled oats is only a couple of dollars, and it can be cooked in the microwave in just minutes. This makes it our top choice for a convenient and healthy breakfast.
High amounts of raw vegetables are associated with a reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms, so this is an easy way to add them to your breakfast without having to eat a salad first thing in the morning.
There are all sorts of green smoothie recipes to choose from, but our favorites tend to rely on a few star ingredients.
Avocado is a great choice for smoothies because it has a neutral taste and adds a creamy texture to a smoothie. This ingredient is loaded with healthy fats, so it makes your smoothie digest slowly and remains satisfying for quite a while.
Other good green ingredients to throw in a smoothie also include a few handfuls of spinach, a chopped cucumber, or kale.
To create a pleasant taste, be sure to add some frozen fruit like blueberries or bananas. Finish the smoothie off with coconut water or almond milk to make it hydrating.
Tofu is an often-overlooked food that is actually ideal for fibromyalgia breakfasts. This food does not contain animal products, so it does not result in inflammation and worsened symptoms.
At the same time, tofu also provides you with plenty of protein. This allows you to enjoy a filling meal.
Many people are wary of tofu due to its bland taste and soft texture, but this actually makes it the ideal replacement for scrambled eggs. The texture is almost identical, and tofu’s ability to soak up flavor makes it taste delicious when seasoned properly.
At its most simple level, all a tofu scramble needs to contain is firm crumbled tofu along with a little salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and toss the tofu and spices together until warm. A pinch of turmeric or chili powder can boost the taste if desired.
To increase the health and flavor, consider adding in some of your favorite pre-cooked veggies. Options like onion, broccoli, spinach, or tomatoes pair very well with the taste of tofu. You can eat a tofu scramble as a plain dish, or put it on whole-grain bread to make a sandwich.
This Mediterranean dish has become popular among foodies lately due to its delicious taste, and it is also healthy enough to be an excellent fibromyalgia breakfast.
Shakshuka is a simple breakfast dish of eggs poached in a sauce made from tomatoes, chili, and carrots.
It is a great way to start out your day with a heaping serving of vegetables. The tomatoes and peppers in the rich sauce contain plenty of vitamin C, and these antioxidant nutrients can help to minimize fibromyalgia symptoms.
Since shakshuka also contains eggs, it helps you to get a lot of vitamin D and lean protein. A few servings of this dish are enough to keep you feeling perky and energetic until lunchtime. Thanks to the addition of heart-healthy olive oil, it is also a great source of healthy fats.
A particularly useful feature of this traditional dish is that much of it can be prepared ahead of time. You can keep the precooked sauce in the fridge, heat it up in a pan, and toss in a few eggs at the last minute to make a breakfast that looks gourmet and only requires a few minutes of work.
Keep in mind that this suggestion will not work for everyone. People with fibromyalgia who experience worsened symptoms whenever they eat dairy should avoid following this breakfast idea. However, it still deserves a place on our list due to its blend of convenience and nutrition.
When you have fibromyalgia, there will inevitably be days when you cannot muster up the energy to do anything.
Even the idea of pressing a button on the blender or microwaving leftovers can seem too exhausting, but you need to eat if you want to give your body energy.
In these circumstances, a cup of Greek yogurt is one of the easiest and most basic options. All you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and put it in your mouth. Though Greek yogurt is quite convenient, it is not as unhealthy as most fast foods and processed meals.
This breakfast item is loaded with protein, so it helps to power your body throughout the day. If you want ultimate health, skip preflavored options.
Instead, drizzle a little honey or fresh fruit over your yogurt to make it tasty without loading it down with calories and sugar.
At its most basic level, this is just two ingredients and does not require any cooking. This makes it a healthy breakfast option when you need to rush out the door.
Since it can be eaten without utensils or a plate, you can even snack on it as you drive to work.
The key to making an avocado toast that works for fibromyalgia is picking your bread carefully. Plain white bread tends to digest too quickly, resulting in blood sugar spikes and eventual crashes in energy, so it is best to go with the whole grain. Those who cannot digest gluten may need to look for gluten-free alternatives.
Once you have your toast, all you have to do is spread avocado on the toast and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper.
This makes a tasty, satisfying meal on its own, but you can add other toppings like tomato slices, alfalfa sprouts, or crumbled goat cheese to make it even more interesting.
Consider topping the toast with a fried egg or two if you have a little extra time and energy. Eggs are packed with protein that keeps you feeling full until lunch.
They are also one of the few sources of naturally occurring vitamin D which may help to manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Do you love traditional pancakes but cannot have a meal rich in gluten and sugar without aggravating your fibromyalgia? A great solution to this is sweet potato pancakes. These pancakes use a blend of mashed sweet potatoes and eggs to create a delicious breakfast.
Some versions use a little flour to create a more traditionally pancake like texture, while others just stick to the sweet potato and egg mixture for a denser pancake. Whichever option you use, the natural sweetness of the sweet potato makes for a delicious pancake.
Sweet potatoes do more than just create a healthy substitute for wheat flour. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B6.
Since many people in fibromyalgia are deficient in B6, sweet potato pancakes are an ideal way of making sure you get this essential nutrient that helps manage symptoms.
The topping options for sweet potato pancakes are truly endless. Stew some blueberries with water and a teaspoon of honey to make a tasty berry sauce, or enjoy these pancakes plain with just a little sprinkle of sugar on the top.