RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition thought to affect more than 5 million people, many of them women. What's more, most people who suffer from this unpleasant disease, characterized by chronic pain, muscle stiffness, sleep trouble, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal discomfort, don't find relief from regular pain medications. But it turns out, natural fibromyalgia remedies may be able to help where pharmaceuticals can't. A recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research found that women who practiced yoga for 75 minutes twice a week reported significant reductions in pain and improved mindfulness, which lowered the stressful response to their pain.
While yoga can treat both mind and body, foods are a good source of natural enzymes, anti-inflammatory compounds, and antioxidants that can reduce swelling and help you cope with pain, all while allowing you to stock up on healthy nutrients. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, try one of these foods from The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods (Rodale, 2008), by James A. Duke, PhD, along with your twice-weekly yoga practice:
#1: Buckwheat. Muscle soreness and fatigue are among the most disabling symptoms of fibromyalgia, which is why it's a good idea to add some buckwheat to your diet. Buckwheat contains malic acid, which fights tired, sore muscles and has some of the highest amounts of malic acid found in food; Granny Smith apples are another good source. Whip up some buckwheat pancakes for tomorrow’s breakfast, or use buckwheat groats (the steamed hull of the buckwheat plant) instead of rice in your next pilaf.