The size of the uterus in a female body is generally three inches long and two inches wide. Endometriosis is a situation where the cells that should be growing inside the womb grow outside it. It is quite common, and most females with endometriosis lead a healthy and active life.
That is why the diagnosis of endometriosis is sometimes difficult. Endometriosis can affect at an early stage as a girl’s first period. Menopause may not end the symptoms of endometriosis.
Half of the women suffering endometriosis, also suffer from infertility. An appropriate diet for endometriosis could help you deal with this health condition.
The uterus is one of the most active muscles in a female body.
Diet For Endometriosis
To treat endometriosis effectively, you can use these diets mentioned below.
1. Vegetables and High-Fiber food
Vegetables, fruits, and high fiber food should be a part of everyone’s diet. These foods are universally beneficial. The reason for including these items in your diet for endometriosis is that it decreases the risk of endometriosis. These foods have an anti-oxidative effect and help to reduce inflammation.
They are also rich in minerals and vitamins. A study conducted on 504 women concluded that women who consume more green leafy vegetables are at a lower risk of endometriosis(1). Also, vegetables are rich in fiber and help flush out excess estrogen from your body.
One study on 242 females concluded that females who consumed lots of dietary fiber had lower levels of estrogen estradiol and estrone.
Include vegetables, fruits, and high fiber food in your diet for endometriosis. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fruits could lower your estrogen level and help fight endometriosis.
You should have at least five servings of vegetables daily as a part of your diet for endometriosis. These veggies must include green leafy vegetables. There is no fixed intake of fruits, but you could easily relish a couple of servings in a day.
2. Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten causes hormonal imbalances in various ways. It can cause malabsorption of vitamins, fats, minerals and can also cause leaky gut. It contributes to the inflammation of organs and can lead to auto-immune reactions.
Also, some studies indicate a link between endometriosis and celiac diseases as chronic inflammation related to celiac disease might lead to the onset of endometriosis. A gluten-free diet also benefits those who do not have celiac disease.
A study was conducted on 156 endometriosis patients by making them follow a gluten-free diet for a period of twelve months. This study concluded that 75 percent of the females experienced an improvement in painful symptoms associated with endometriosis(2).
You should strictly exclude food items that contain gluten. Food items that contain gluten are grains like wheat, oats, rye and barley, and in few processed food. You should eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, gluten-free proteins, and dairy products.
You can always opt for gluten-free food for your diet for endometriosis. There are plenty of gluten-free food options like quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, fish, poultry, legumes, fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You should replace trans fats with omega-3 fatty acids in your diet for endometriosis. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be beneficial for females who have endometriosis.
A study conducted on the fat intake of seventy-one thousand females made three observations. The first observation was that the females who consumed more trans fats were 48 percent more likely to suffer from endometriosis as compared to those who had less trans fats.
Second, the females who consumed more animal fat, especially palmitic acid, were 20 percent more likely to have endometriosis as compared to those who eat less fat. Third, females who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids were 22 percent less likely to suffer from endometriosis.
Another study concluded that substituting 1 percent of calories from trans fats with omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the risk of endometriosis by 50 percent.
You need to remember that you are merely replacing the trans fats that you consume with the more healthy omega-3 acids. Avoid foods rich in trans fats like fast food, baked, and fried food. You could get your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, and fortified food.
You could include 250-500mg of Omega-3 fatty acids in your endometriosis diet plan.
[ Read: Treating and Coping with Endometriosis Naturally ]
4. Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP means fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides and polyols. In layman terms, these are short-chain carbohydrates that are primarily responsible for Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS).
These carbohydrates fail to get properly digested in the small intestines. They reach the colon and get fermented by the bacteria in the gut. The result is abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and other problems. There is strong evidence that suggests a linking of IBS with endometriosis.
A low FODMAP diet aims at curing IBS by eliminating all such carbohydrates from the menu. A study conducted on 58 females who were suffering from both endometriosis and IBS, observed that 72 percent of them experienced fewer bowel symptoms by following the low FODMAP diet for four weeks.
Eat vegetables like bean sprouts, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber and fruits like oranges, banana, strawberries, nuts, and seeds, etc. in your diet. Stay away from foods that contain FODMAP for instance stone fruits, dairy products with lactose, artificial sweeteners, etc.
It is difficult following such a diet which involves the exclusion of FODMAP. Thorough knowledge is necessary. So, it is best if you consult a dietician.
5. Avoid Trigger Foods
You should eliminate trigger foods from your endometriosis diet plan. You might be eating all that you should, but you could still witness flaring up of symptoms.
The reason might be that you are still consuming foods that worsen the condition and add to the pain you are going through. These foods can add to the inflammation and lead to hormonal imbalances. You should follow a low estrogen diet for endometriosis.
Also avoid processed foods, red meat, high-fat foods, sweets, and non-organic foods. You should immediately quit smoking and consuming alcohol. Try to limit caffeine consumption. Try to follow a low estrogen diet for endometriosis by avoiding foods that could raise its level like avocado, grapefruit, etc.
Do not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day. You should opt for fish, chicken, or turkey instead of red meat. You could take sweet fruits or other healthy options to satiate your sweet cravings.
These are the appropriate diet for endometriosis. Try to eat healthy as your diet, by and large, governs your health condition.
Several other factors could benefit you, like moderate exercise, stress management, enough sleep, plenty of water, and so on. You should always consult your doctor before trying a completely new diet. Your doctor or dietician could help chalk out the details of the food and its suitability for you.
1. What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Endometriosis?
The risk factors associated with endometriosis are genetics and environmental factors. The cause of endometriosis could be hereditary or could be caused by environmental toxins.
2. What Are the Most Effective Home Remedies for Endometriosis?
The most effective home remedies for endometriosis are
- Essential oils for endometriosis
- Moderate exercise
- Warm baths
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain
- Diet for endometriosis
3. What Vegetables and Fruits Are Beneficial for Endometriosis?
Vegetables like broccoli, beans, and dark leafy greens are beneficial for endometriosis. Fruits like banana, oranges, lemon are good for endometriosis. You should include these fruits and vegetables in your diet for endometriosis.