After a glorious holiday in sun-drenched Mauritius where I was spoilt rotten with the fabulous food that was on offer, I have returned to the UK to face my FIBRO FOD 45-day challenge. I have committed to a dairy and gluten free diet as I feel that it helps to reduce my fibro symptoms. However, I feel that there are still some potential “food gremlins” that I have not excluded entirely from my diet which may not be helping my condition.
A good example of this are nightshades, although I’ve virtually eliminated white potato from my diet, I have been reluctant to give up red bell peppers, tomatoes or chilies. These are some of the main ingredients that I use to cook with, not only offering lots of flavour and texture to recipes but that are also incredibly healthy in many other respects. For example, tomatoes are said to have cancer fighting properties. Although there is currently not substantial evidence to rule one way or the other there is anecdotal evidence that links nightshade vegetables with increased pain sensitivity for people living with fibromyalgia.
In addition to wanting to reset the fibro food balance, identify potential food sensitivities and at the recommendation of my dietician I have also decided to embark on a 45-day low FODMAP diet. Like many people with fibromyalgia I struggle with IBS, particularly abdominal pain or discomfort and bloating. There is evidence to suggest that certain carbohydrates may contribute to the experience of these symptoms. These carbohydrates are called FODMAPs or Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. Not wanting to overdo the science bit but not all carbohydrates are absorbed into the small interesting; FODMAPs pass along your gut into the large intestine where billions of bacteria cause them to ferment which may result in bloating and other IBS symptoms.
FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods, many of which we consider to be healthy such as some fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses therefore following a diet that restricts the consumption of FODMAPs should only be for a short period and under the guidance of a dietician who can give you the relevant information and ensure that the rest of your diet is balanced and meets your nutritional requirements.
So this is my challenge for the next 45 days I shall be posting throughout, providing lots of info about management of a healthy, fibro friendly diet and all being well creating some useful low FODMAP recipes.