10 Food Rules for Pain Patients

Steer clear of some veggies

“For joint pains, a lot of people say avoid nightshade vegetables,” says Dr. Arkfeld. Normally, veggies are low-cal, healthy options, but the nightshade variety—including tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants—are believed to aggravate arthritis and pain in some people.

“The thought is that they have components that are neurotoxins,” says Dr. Holtorf. “For a small percentage of patients, cutting them out makes a dramatic difference.”

Get plenty of omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and a variety of fish, have been touted as a heart-healthy food, and they may help with pain as well. “The fatty acids are great,” says Dr. Holtorf. “They reduce the inflammation and help brain function.”

A 2006 survey of arthritis patients found that daily fish oil supplements reduced pain symptoms in 60% of the patients. Omega-3s have not, however, been tested on fibromyalgia patients specifically.

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