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Why you need to eat more fish to fight fibromyalgia

Lana Bandoim's picture

Are you eating enough fish as you struggle with fibromyalgia symptoms and pain?


Nutrition is a crucial part of battling chronic health problems, and several studies reveal that fish can help you if you are fighting fibromyalgia. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are the key to reducing your pain, stiffness and other symptoms. However, you may not be able to eat fried fish every day, so the following ideas will help you add it to your diet in different ways.

Why does fish help fibromyalgia patients?

A study from Canada found that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce neuropathic pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and other medical conditions. The study participants received omega-3 fish oil in high doses that ranged from 2400 mg to 7200 mg per day. The researchers found that the omega-3s diminished pain, reduced stiffness and improved function.

It is clear that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are helping fight pain. Studies show that omega-3s support the immune system, reduce inflammation and improve liver health. In addition, omega-3s improve the cardiovascular system, help kidney function, decrease depression symptoms, help lung function and improve memory. There are multiple benefits to including them in your diet, and fibromyalgia patients can benefit from adding more fatty fish to their meal plans.

Which fish should you add?

One of the easiest ways to get more omega-3 fatty acids is to eat more fatty fish. This includes salmon, herring and mackerel. However, fibromyalgia patients sometimes argue that their food budgets do not allow for a daily addition of expensive fish. You can still get a daily serving of omega-3 fatty acids by focusing on less expensive fish such as tuna or sardines.

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How should you prepare fatty fish?

Fatty fish are also known as oily fish, so they are not the easiest menu item to prepare at home. If you have fibromyalgia, then you already know that decreasing inflammation is crucial, so eating fried fish every day is not ideal. However, there are other ways to make oily fish at home that do not require the use of cooking oil.

One of the simplest ways to make fatty fish is to bake it. This eliminates the need to use frying oil and allows you to add other ingredients directly to the dish. Another option is to grill the fish, but you have to watch it carefully since it can burn fast. Broiling, steaming and poaching are also alternative cooking methods for fish. You can use easy-to-follow recipes that will help you make delicious fish in your kitchen.

Concerns about mercury

One of the reasons some fibromyalgia patients avoid fatty fish is because of fears about mercury. Fish such as mackerel and shark are more likely to have higher levels of mercury. It is recommended that pregnant women and small children avoid eating large quantities of fish. You can focus on low mercury fish such as canned tuna, salmon, anchovies, sardines and haddock.

Fish alternatives

If you do not like fish and cannot add more of it to your diet, then you can try omega-3 fatty acid supplements. In addition, there are plant sources of omega-3s, so you can add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil or chia seeds.

Fibromyalgia patients can benefit from adding more fish to their diet. The omega-3 fatty acids can reduce pain, inflammation and other symptoms of the disease. If you are concerned about eating more fish, then discuss it with your doctor or dietician.