Endometriosis is a painful disorder wherein the uterus tissue of a woman grows beyond the walls of her uterine. This causes irritation and inflammation in the often affected areas including the bowels and the ovaries. Based on research, it affects 11% of the female population in the U.S. ages 15 to 44. It is very important for women not to belittle or disregard endometriosis as it may affect various aspects of their lives such as their ability to exercise, fertility, mood, digestion, and menstrual cycle.
One of the known ways to deal with this kind of condition is through the consumption of healthier foods. Here are the most important things you need to know about the endometriosis diet and how it can positively affect the disorder.
What to Eat When You Are on This Diet
It is important to have a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet to fight the pain and inflammation tied to endometriosis. Eat foods that are full of minerals and vitamins. Experts recommend plant-based items and those which are rich in iron like seeds, nuts, and fortified grains. Other notable greens include beans, broccoli, and other dark leafy vegetables.
- Salmon is one of the most popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Making this a regular part of your diet would bring lots of anti-inflammatory benefits. Tuna and mackerel are alternate options if this kind of fish is unavailable. Mackerel is a notable choice because although it is small, it has an omega 3 content comparable to that of a bigger fish.
- Almond is another great food to eat for women with endometriosis. Perfect for individuals who prefer non-animal food sources, almonds are rich in polyphenols, vitamin E, and other antioxidants.
- Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds also have omega-3 fatty acids. According to experts, these super anti-inflammatory foods are excellent to have especially for breakfast. They can be used as toppings for smoothies and cereals.
- Dark green vegetables are highly nutritious and are great inclusions in this specific diet. Chard, spinach, and kale are the best in this category, while iceberg and romaine lettuce are not that great in terms of anti-inflammatory value. Known as a great source of antioxidants, broccoli is an excellent addition to your diet because it contains the cancer-fighting elements sulforaphane and lutein.
- Green tea will greatly benefit women suffering from endometriosis because it contains EGCG, a compound being researched for its potential to restrict the growth of endometrial cells.
- Turmeric is an excellent source of health benefits that are good for the heart and the immune system. The body can absorb it better by combining it with hemp seed oil or other kinds of fat. A very healthy vegan milk would include almond, hemp seed oil, and turmeric.
- Dark berries are noteworthy addition to any endometriosis diet. They contain high levels of antioxidants compared to many vegetables. Raspberries, blueberries, and other similar variants are great to have especially in the form of smoothies.
- Artichokes are worth mentioning because of their potential to decrease levels of estrogen in the body. They are good ingredients that can help the liver in detoxifying estrogen. Together with lemons and parsley, they can effectively trigger the function of the liver.
What Foods to Avoid When on This Diet
Aside from knowing what foods to eat, women can benefit a lot by knowing the different kinds of foods to avoid when on this kind of diet. As much as possible, limit the consumption of processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Also discouraged are red meat and food with trans fats. Likewise, restrict your intake of margarine, dairy, eggs, refined grains, gluten, and sugar.
Prepare and cook your food ahead of time. With careful planning, you can be sure that you are closely following an endometriosis diet. Focus on foods that contain loads of essential fatty acids like omega-3 fats. The top options include herring, sardines, and salmon. Also recommended for individuals on practicing the diet are flax seeds, chia, walnuts, and trout. In general, fibrous foods are always great to have like whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Soy is another kind of food being considered as beneficial for individuals with this kind of disorder.
With the right endometriosis diet and other lifestyle changes, you can weaken the inflammation and other symptoms that are associated with the flare-ups. Remember that estrogen can trigger the continuous growth of endometriosis tissue on the outer parts of the uterus. A diet with low levels of this hormone is really good to have. The same can also be said to a diet comprised of healthy fats and antioxidants.
To improve the symptoms faster, change the focus of your diet towards low-inflammatory, plant-based meals. Patients will feel much better and function more efficiently as compared to when they are not on an endometriosis diet.
Aside from healing the symptoms, having an endometriosis diet also resulted in other benefits. Patients have reported better moods and greater energy after going on such a diet. Once they experienced these health benefits, their overall health improved together with their lifestyles.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Pain is the most common symptom of women suffering from endometriosis. It may manifest in different forms like painful urination, intestinal pain, and cramps. During menstruation, the pain may worsen especially for younger women. This will significantly affect their routines including school or work. For others, back pain and bowel conditions will impact the lives of patients.
The diagnosis of endometriosis can be challenging and may take more than a year. Patients can get easily confused by the symptoms, sometimes mistaking them for bad cramps. Good thing endometriosis awareness has greatly improved during this age of social media.
Surgery is the only treatment for completely removing the growth of endometrial cells. Patients usually undergo this kind of procedure together with a hysterectomy. For individuals who prefer nonsurgical options, they can always try other means of coping with the condition. Possible options include heating pads, pain medicines, and the use of NSAIDs. Others prefer methods like acupuncture, endometriosis diet as well as mindfulness techniques.