READ ME: The 5 foods you should eat everyday if you have endometriosis
As a woman with endometriosis there are lots of foods you can include in your diet but as a Nutritional Therapist and sufferer of endometriosis a lot of women want to know:
“What foods can give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to nutrient density?”
So today that is exactly what I wanted to concentrate on.
I wanted to give you 5 foods you should be eating everyday if you have endometriosis and they are quite easy and simple to include in your diet with a little bit of thought and planning.
First up is berries i.e. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.
Why should you be including berries in your diet everyday? Well actually for a few different reasons.
Firstly berries are rich in Vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant.
Anti-oxidants are really important for women with endometriosis and in 1 study women who were supplementing with 1000iu of Vitamin C per day had a:
• reduction in everyday pain of 43%
• reduction in dysmenorrhea ("pain associated with menstruation") of 37%
• reduction in dyspareunia ("pain with sex") of 24%
• and overall a significant decrease in peritoneal fluid inflammatory markers
Vitamin C is also really important to support the adrenals glands (i.e our stress glands). The more stressed out we are, the more Vitamin C our adrenal glands will use up so its worth remembering if you are going through a particularly stressful time which lets face it endometriosis can be at times.
Remember Vitamin C is water soluble (i.e we can’t store it) so that’s why its important to ensure we are getting it into our diet EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Both fresh or frozen is fine….try including in porridge, granola and yogurt in the morning or even a smoothie. They are also great used as an alternative to jam (I have a recipe for chia jam right here).
Endometriosis is linked to an impaired immune system which means we need to be doing everything possible to support it.
In endometriosis our ability to deal with pro inflammatory markers called cytokines is compromised.
The more cytokines we have, the more inflammation we have resulting in more endometriosis symptoms.
Research shows that components in turmeric primarily curcumin are able to manage the overproduction of these cytokines.
Fresh turmeric is best but this isn’t always practical and it can be difficult to get into your diet everyday.
Try grating fresh turmeric into soups, curries and stews…surprisingly it doesn’t have a very strong flavour and if you like the flavour of ginger in a green smoothie for example you may like the taste of turmeric in it too as it tastes very similar.
Fresh turmeric can be frozen so try portioning it up and putting into the freezer. Powdered turmeric is also a great alternative but try if at all possible pick up some in an asian supermarket.
You could also consider a supplement of turmeric which widely available (Wild Nutrition is one of my favourite brands).
You could also try subbing out your afternoon coffee for a super simple turmeric latte made with some heated nut milk and turmeric powder.
First up: What exactly are cruciferous vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetable are also known as brassicas and they include vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and turnips (think of anything that looks sort of like a flower)
Cruciferous vegetables are useful for endometriosis for a number of different reasons.
Firstly they are full of fibre which is essentially food for our good gut bacteria. The stronger our gut bacteria is the stronger our immune systems are which is so important for women with endometriosis.
Secondly cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called Indole-3-carbinol which helps to properly metabolism excess oestrogen.
One thing I always try and get clients to eat is more oily fish. That’s because oily fish is full of Omega 3 fatty acids which are really important building blocks of healthy hormones and also help to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins which help to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.
Unfortunately due to a number of reasons people do find it difficult to get oily fish into their diet so chia seeds can be a great way of supplementing additional Omega 3’s and are usually a lot easier to get in there.
Try making a chia pudding for breakfast, some chia jam, or adding some chia seeds to your porridge or smoothie in the morning. They can also easily be added to a salad or even into some baking if you are trying out a homemade bread (gluten free of course!)
As if you needed another reason to be eating more spinach?? But why is it so important for endometriosis?
A study from 2004 showed that women who ate green vegetables roughly twice a day or more (14 times or more) were 70% less likely to have endometriosis than those who ate green vegetables less than 6 times a week.
Spinach is also full of iron, folic acid, fibre and lots of other plant nutrients.
One of these nutrients is called alpha lipoic acid, and a 2015 study suggests the consumption of alpha lipoic acid (in addition to other anti-inflammatories) can help reduce the size of endometrial cysts and reduce inflammation.
The folic acid in spinach could also be helpful for endometriosis. Folic acid, along with other vitamins and minerals, is inversely related to the risk of endometriosis.
Try including a couple of portions of spinach and other green leafy a day by having some with your breakfast, blending into a smoothie, or adding into a stew, soup or curry. Frozen works fine too.
If you haven’t already…don’t forget to sign up for my free toolkit where I share with you the 3 things that you are doing everyday THAT ARE MAKING YOUR ENDO SYMPTOMS WORSE. You can sign up by using the form below.
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