Five important dietary and lifestyle changes to help manage your endometriosis:
1. Eat the rainbow: Research has shown us that women who ate green vegetables 13 times or more per week (roughly twice a day) were 70% less likely to have endometriosis. A study published earlier this year concluded that Carotenoid rich foods (especially citrus fruit) also positively affected symptoms of endometriosis.
2. Eat more fibre: Fibre feeds your beneficial gut bacteria and encourages bowel movements for oestrogen clearance. Also, indole 3 carbinol, found in fibre-rich vegetables are really helpful in clearing out oestrogen. In particular, the brassica family, which includes broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, are full of these compounds. Beetroot, carrots, artichokes, watercress, onions, garlic and leeks all stimulate the liver to aid the process.
3. Add phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens mimic oestrogen. By interacting with oestrogen receptors, these plant compounds can reduce the effect of your natural oestrogen when necessary. Long thought to reduce symptoms associated with the menopause, phytoestrogens are found in soy products, lentils, beans and flaxseeds (also known as linseeds).
4. Add Omega 3 fats: Omega-3 works along the same pathway as anti-inflammatory medications including Ibuprofen. It’s found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herrings so aim for two-three portions each week. If you’re vegetarian or vegan include chia and hemp seeds plus walnuts.
5. Eliminate gluten: There is a large body of evidence connecting gluten sensitivity and endometriosis. In one large study, 75% of women reported a significant reduction in pain and other symptoms when following a gluten free diet over 12 months.