Endometriosis is a very common health issue in women, though many of us might not have heard this very term.
Today, endometriosis is estimated to affect as many as one in ten women across the world. So what is endometriosis?
It is a disease that affects the reproductive system in which the endometrium-like tissue grows outside the uterus in areas like the ovaries, abdomen and bowel. This endometrial tissue is actually supposed to be found in the uterus only.
Endometriosis is a medical condition where the body tissues outside of the womb, mainly in the pelvic area behave like the lining of the womb. These tissues thicken and break down leading to pain and potential fertility problems.
Painful intercourse, painful periods, heavy bleeding during periods, painful bowel movements and infertility are some of the symptoms of endometriosis.
Lots of studies have been done to find the reason for endometriosis; however, the actual reason has still been unexplored. Hence no cure has been found yet for this disease.
It has been proven that certain foods can definitely help to decrease the risk of endometriosis and some women have found that by changing their dietary style, they were able to reduce the symptoms of this disease.
In this article we shall discuss some of the dietary tips to fight endometriosis.
1. Include Omega-3 Fats:
Omega-3 fats are healthy, anti-inflammatory fats that can be found in fatty fish and other animal and plant sources. They balance out inflammatory hormones which cause a lot of pain with endometriosis. Oily fish, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy vegetables, avacados and pasture-raised eggs are a few major sources of Omega-3 fats.
2. Avoid Red Meat:
Red meat, especially processed red meat, contains a lot of LDL or bad cholesterol and is linked to a higher risk of certain diseases. Replacing red meat with other protein sources may lead to reduction in inflammation, which is very much associated with endometriosis.
3. Eat Plenty Of Fruits:
Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Dietary fibre helps the body to excrete hormones from the body. It provides antioxidants which help to combat inflammation. Eating fruits with high fibre is an excellent strategy for women with endometriosis.
4. Eat Plenty Of Vegetables:
Veggies are like fruits, containing vitamins and high fibre. They are major sources of nutrients and vital antioxidants to heal our bodies. The fresher the vegetables, the better. Organic vegetables are the best. Some of the vegetables that help to combat endometriosis in women are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale and these are some of the vegetables with high fibre.
5. Whole Grains:
Whole grains are foods that contain the entire kernel or grain. In other words, the entire kernel is edible. Examples of whole grains are oatmeal, whole cornmeal, popcorn, whole rye, brown rice, barley, quinoa and spelt. When these grains are refined, the nutritional value is lost.
Whole grains are more wholesome and are rich in vitamins, minerals, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin E and antioxidants. Also, whole grains are rich in fibre, though the fibre content varies from grain to grain and is an excellent way to fight endometriosis.
6. Avoid Alcohol:
It has been found that women with endometriosis tend to consume more alcohol than women without this disease. Though this is not a proven fact, it is assumed that women with endometriosis might get tempted to consume more alcohol as a result of the disease.
7. Limit Intake Of Caffeine:
Like alcohol, there are no proven results that intake of too much of caffeine can cause endometriosis. However, it is a known fact that too much of caffeine intake can cause oestrogen levels to rise. Thereby, it is advisable to either eliminate or reduce the risk of caffeine intake.
8. Cut Down On Processed Foods:
Cutting down on the intake of processed foods in general, is good for everyone to get rid of many diseases, including endometriosis. Foods such as pastries, chips, crackers, candy and fried foods if eliminated, can help to reduce endometriosis-related pain.
9. Avoid Trans-fat:
Researches have shown that trans-fats can increase the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and decrease the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in the body. This results in the increased risk of heart disease and death. For women with endometriosis, it is advisable to avoid trans-fats because studies have shown that women who ate higher amounts of trans-fats had 48% increase in the risk of endometriosis.
10. Include Iron-rich Foods:
Including iron-rich foods in your diet can replace iron that could be possibly lost during heavy periods, as a symptom of endometriosis.
Though the above-mentioned foods are very important to fight endometriosis in women, the most important part is to keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration adds to the aches and pains of endometriosis. Water helps to remove toxins and waste from your body.