Endometriosis is a disease that is known to affect about one in 10 women worldwide.
This condition involves the growth of endometrium-like tissue in areas outside the uterus including the ovaries, abdomen and bowel.
The cause of the condition is not yet known and as of now there is no cure for it.
However, there are certain types or food that may either increase the risk of endometriosis or decrease it. So you need to make some changes to your diet in order to lower the symptoms of this condition.
So here are some good and bad foods that you need to be wary of in order to control the symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #1: Eat Lots of Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are packed with minerals, vitamins and fiber. By filling your plate with a combination of these items, your body will receive a good measure of essential nutrients and lower your intake of empty calories.
These types of foods are especially beneficial for women with endometriosis. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that a higher intake of fiber lowers the levels of estrogen in their body. This indicates that a high-fiber diet may be very suitable for women with endometriosis. And fruits, vegetables as well as whole grains are indeed the best sources of dietary fiber.
These foods also provide antioxidants, which are very useful in preventing inflammation. According to one study, women with endometriosis who followed a high-antioxidant diet for four months had experienced an increased capacity for antioxidants and a decrease in markers of oxidative stress.
Learn more about the Endometriosis Diet
Endometriosis Diet Tip #2: Increase Intake of Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fats comprise of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats that are found in fatty fish, as well as other animal and plant sources. Certain fats such as plant oils that contain omega-6 fats can promote pain and inflammation. But omega-3 fats are assumed to have the opposite effect, that act as the building blocks of your body’s pain- and inflammation-relieving molecules.
And seeing as endometriosis is associated with increased inflammation and pain, having a high ratio of omega-3 fats over omega-6 fats in your diet can be quite beneficial for women with this disease.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #3: Limit your Intake of Red Meat
It has been reported that red meat, including processed red meat, can increase the risk of several health-related problems. It also states that replacing red meat with another source of protein can reduce the risk of inflammation, which is usually associated with endometriosis.
One study concluded that women who consumed more meat as well as ham had an increased risk of endometriosis, as compared to those who are little ham or meat. However, two other studies failed to reach that conclusion.
There is some evidence which suggests that a high intake of red meat could be associated with increased levels of estrogen in blood. And since endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, there is a greater chance of contracting it if estrogen levels are high.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #4: Keep Away From Trans Fat
Trans fats have been touted for being unhealthy for the past couple of years. According to research, trans fats can increase the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and reduce “good” HDL cholesterol, which thereby increases the risk of death and heart disease.
Trans fats are made when liquid unsaturated fats come in contact with hydrogen and then turn solid. Manufacturers often use trans fats to give their products a longer shelf life and also a more spreadable texture. As a result, it makes them ideal for being used in a range of fried and processed foods such as fries, donuts, crackers and pastries.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that from 2018 onwards, trans fats have been banned to be used in food products due to the number of dangers they pose for our health.
Endometriosis: Foods to Eat, and Foods to Avoid
Endometriosis Diet Tip #5: Cut Back On Processed Foods
Processed foods are typically high in unhealthy sugar and fats, low in fiber and essential nutrients and can promote inflammation and pain, which ultimately increases the risk of endometriosis.
Cottonseed, corn and peanut oil consist of omega-6 fats that can increase uterine cramping, pain and inflammation. And the only counter, as mentioned earlier, are omega-3 fats that are found in fish, flax and walnuts that can reduce pain, inflammation and cramping.
As such, you must limit your intake of crackers, chips, pastries, candy and fried foods to decrease endometriosis-related pain.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #6: Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine
Health professionals firmly recommend women with endometriosis decrease their intake of alcohol and caffeine. Various studies have revealed that women with endometriosis consume more quantities of alcohol than those without the disease.
However, this does not prove that a higher intake of alcohol causes the condition. It could very well mean that women with endometriosis tend to drink more alcohol due to the disease.
In fact, there are several other studies that do not show any link between alcohol intake and endometriosis.
The same goes for caffeine. Even though there have been a few studies that claim caffeine or coffee is linked with a higher risk of endometriosis, a large review does not conclude this to be true.
But in spite of the results, alcohol and caffeine have been associated with increased levels of estrogen, which is associated with endometriosis.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #7: Try A Gluten-Free Diet
Another solution to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis is by following a gluten-free diet. The ones who are not often recommended for this diet are those who do not have celiac disease or a specific gluten sensitivity. It can be low on fiber and nutrients, while high in refined starches.
Nevertheless, there is evidence indicating that gluten-free diet can be beneficial for those with endometriosis.
One study involving 207 women showed that after following a 12-month gluten-free diet, 75% of them experienced a significant decrease in pain. This study didn’t include a control group, therefore, the placebo effects is unaccounted for.
Even so, another study involving a group involving 300 women found similar results.
Endometriosis Diet Tip #8: Add Some Soy to your Diet
Some experts recommend avoiding soy if you have endometriosis, but some evidence suggests that it may decrease the risk of this disease.
The theory behind it is that the phytoestrogens in soy block the effects of estrogen, which is turn can reduce endometriosis. The net result can be an anti-estrogen effect.
Supplements to Consider for Endometriosis
Apart from foods to eat, and foods to avoid if you have this condition, there are some supplements you may want to consider as well. Check with a naturopath for advice most specific to your situation, or consider the following:
Vitamin E + C
One small study gave some people suffering from Endometriosis a daily Vitamin E + C supplement. The results showed a decrease in pelvic pain and inflammation.
Zinc and Vitamins A, C, and E
Another study examined the effect of zinc, along with these three vitamins. The results showed a higher level of antioxidant markers.
Curcumin is a widely known supplement used to treat various menstrual disorders naturally. It helps to inhibit endometrial cells and tissue growth.
Endometriosis: Healing Through Nutrition
If you want to overcome the pain of endometriosis, making some chances in your diet could have big pay-offs. This books offers some solid advice for implementing some changes.
In this book, you’ll find the following:
- How Endo affects the body and what you can do to cope with it
- What role food has in this disease
- Which foods are harmful
- Which foods are healing
- Practical menu suggestions.
The book is written by a nutritionist who has worked closely with people who have endometriosis for years and has seen some great results.
“After just three weeks of implementing the major changes that this book recommends, I noticed some huge changes in my quality of life. Thanks so much!”
You can check it out for yourself over on Amazon:
Endometriosis Diet: Have your Say!
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