Endometriosis Diet – Know What Foods are Best
Opting for an endometriosis diet can greatly help you in alleviating the symptoms of your condition. It can also even help in preventing the disease from worsening. Basically, your diet must include fresh and nutritious foods.
According to Everyday Health, a diet for endometriosis includes these hallmarks of healthy nutrition:
- Freshness. Buy the freshest food you can find and eat it while it’s fresh. Avoid highly processed foods full of additives. Cook with fresh foods, but also eat some raw vegetables and fruit every day. To minimize exposure to pesticides, eat organically grown produce whenever possible.
- Variety. Eat a wide variety of foods every day.
Your daily diet should provide 75 grams of good quality protein from sources like meat and game, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. Also include nuts, seeds, and legumes (such as beans), two portions of red or orange vegetables, two green leafy vegetables, and two fruits, including berries, which are high in antioxidants.
Certain foods rich in key nutrients contribute direct effects to a diet for endometriosis:
- Vegetables with B vitamins. The diet needs to have sufficient fiber and B vitamins from green vegetables to help the body deal with the constant breakdown of circulating estrogens. Green, leafy vegetables can also help the nervous and immune systems, and magnesium relaxes smooth muscles found in the intestines and uterus. The best vegetables: those in the cruciferous family, such as cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, radishes, horseradish, and watercress.
- Iron-rich foods. Two types of iron are available in the foods we eat, heme iron from protein sources and non-heme iron from plant sources. Non-heme iron is available in green, leafy vegetables, beetroot, dried apricots, and plain chocolate. Heme iron comes from red meat, eggs, and fish.
- Omega fatty acids. Include 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed vegetable oil in your meals daily. Avoid trans fats, and keep saturated fats low. Sources of omega fatty acids include oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and Pacific halibut, and tree nuts, seeds, and extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil.
- Fiber. Getting 30 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains including rye, oats, rice, corn, millet, and buckwheat to keep your intestinal tract healthy and promote the excretion of excess estrogens.
- Water. Drink four to six 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeine, refined sugars, sweeteners, soda (including diet), and alcohol when struggling with endometriosis or trying to get pregnant.
Source: Everyday Health
The diet plays a very important role in making sure that you will be able to prevent endometriosis from getting worse and slowly start the healing process. There is also what is called as the macrobiotic diet, which could help women who suffer from the disease.
According to Reproductive Infertility, a macrobiotic diet is a dietary regimen which involves eating grains as staple food and is supplemented by vegetables while avoiding the use of highly processed and refined foods or most animal products. A macrobiotic diet is most beneficial for those women with endometriosis. This diet allows the immune system to be calm, while correcting the hostile environment left upon the misplaced endometrial cells.
There are also specific indications as to what type of foods should be eaten in relation to the seasons. In spring, foods which are lighter in quantity are to be taken. This includes fresh greens, wild plants, fermented food and grains. In summer, diet includes fruits, sweet corn, summer pumpkins and greens with large leaves. For autumn, foods which are more concentrated are indicated. Examples are root vegetables, winter pumpkins, beans and cereals. For winter, round vegetables, pickles, root vegetables, buckwheat and fried rice are recommended.
Prostaglandins are naturally occurring fatty acids which are derived from dietary sources. Since endometriosis is an estrogen-sensitive condition, and estrogen surge is brought upon prostaglandins, it is important to maintain a diet that is less likely to bring about prostaglandin synthesis in the body. Essential oils such as Omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in evening primrose oil, flax seed and walnut oil help in relaxation of the uterus. Saturated fatty acids should be limited because this type of fat produces more prostaglandins. Sources include butter, lard and animal meat.
Fiber not only aids in digestion and elimination, it is also thought to help eliminate circulating estrogens in the body. Whole grains excluding wheat and rye, beans, peas, brown rice, vegetables, fruits and oatmeal provide excellent sources of fiber.
Foods that are thought to modulate estrogen levels include mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage and turnips. Those foods which contain phytoestrogens block estrogen receptors and can be helpful locking out estrogen. Examples of these foods are red and purple berries, garlic, apples, parsley, fennel, nuts and seeds, celery and carrots.
Foods rich in B vitamins help degrade estradiol to estriol. Estriol is the form of estrogen which can easily be excreted. In addition, green leafy vegetables help the nervous and immune systems. Magnesium is another mineral which helps relax the smooth muscles of the intestines and the uterus. Certain vegetables have substances that help activate liver enzymes and help in detoxifying chemicals. Through this, excess hormones such as estrogen can be eliminated. These vegetables are broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Other cruciferous vegetables which are good include turnips, kale, radishes, horseradish and watercress.
Source: Reproductive Infertility
By following an endometriosis diet, you will be able to help your condition in more ways than one. And, you will also feel the other health benefits of the food that are included in an endometriosis diet.