Nutritional Tips to Improve Endometriosis

14 October, 2020
Experts recommend that women with endometriosis eat an iron-rich diet. Read today's article to discover more nutritional tips to improve endomitriosis.

Foods and certain nutrients can help many body functions and improve the symptoms of several conditions. With this in mind, in this article, we’ll discuss how your diet might help improve endometriosis.

Today, experts consider endometriosis to be a disease of unknown origin that doesn’t have a direct relationship with food. However, we know that there are a series of factors that, in one way or another, influence the disease. For example, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, pain, digestive problems, etc. Through healthy eating, we may be able to improve these factors and our quality of life.

What is endometriosis?

What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an alteration of the uterine walls that’s related to infertility in 40% of cases.

Endometriosis is a disease that affects women during their reproductive life and involves the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. In general, these endometriosis foci are located in the pelvic area (peritoneum, ovaries, intestine, or bladder). However, less frequently, they can also appear in other areas.

It’s a common disease with a high prevalence among women of childbearing age, affecting between 5 and 10% of the population. Likewise, this condition is closely linked to infertility, as it occurs in 40% of cases.

Read also: 7 Main Causes of Female Infertility

How diet can improve endometriosis

As with most diseases, diet and lifestyle play a key role. In this case, the right diet can help minimize hormonal imbalances, abdominal swelling, and pain. At the same time, it can also reduce the digestive problems caused by endometriosis.

To improve endometriosis, you should eat a diet that consists of fresh, organic foods that are free from pesticides. These ingredients promote a decrease in inflammation, as stated in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Among these products we find:

  • High-quality protein from meat and game, fish, and eggs
  • Raw nuts, seeds, and legumes
  • Raw green leafy vegetables or red oranges
  • Blackberries and other fruits rich in antioxidants

Other recommendations to improve endometriosis:

In addition to fresh foods, we’ll indicate which particular nutrients could be positive in helping reduce the symptoms of this condition:

1. Vitamin B

Pieces of brocolli.
Green leafy vegetables are rich in group B vitamins, which allows regulating the amounts of estrogen in the blood with the help of fiber.

When it comes to improving endometriosis, remember that excess estrogen induces the growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Estrogens are primarily female steroid sex hormones which the ovaries and the adrenal glands produce.

An increased amount of B vitamins, especially in a healthy liver, can convert estradiol into estriol. This is the form through which estrogen can bind to fiber so that the body can eliminate it. B vitamins are present in cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts.

2. Iron-rich foods

Women with endometriosis should eat an iron-rich diet, as heavy bleeding can deplete the body’s iron supply.

With that in mind, it’s important to note the two types of iron that we can obtain from food. On the one hand, we have heme iron, which comes from meat and eggs, grazing animals, and high-quality fish. On the other hand, non-heme iron comes from green leafy vegetables, beets, and chocolate. This second group presents the problem of being less absorbable than the first.

Remember that iron deficiency contributes to the appearance of anemia. This disease is characterized by tiredness and a constant state of fatigue. What’s more, studies have shown that anemia influences the quality of life of those who suffer from the disease.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids

According to a study involving 70,709 nurses in the US, women who consumed the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids were 22% less likely to experience endometriosis.

This study took place over the course of 12 years and appeared in the journal Health Reproduction.

4. Fiber

A variety of foods that are rich in fiber.

This nutrient helps to improve the digestive tract and other body, like the control of certain hormonal imbalances.

Fiber is mandatory for patients with endometriosis since it maintains the health of the intestinal tract and boosts the elimination of excess estrogen. Be sure to consume fiber from sources such as green beans, cauliflower, fruits, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, among others.

Read also: Causes of Endometriosis During Menopause

5. A low-gluten diet

At this time, it’s impossible to point to a direct relationship between celiac disease and endometriosis. That being said, some studies reveal that after a gluten-free diet for 12 months, the symptoms of endometriosis decrease. 

In any case, it’s not a question of eliminating gluten completely from your diet. This is an important point since only those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance should follow a gluten-free diet.

A balanced diet to improve endometriosis

Finally, don’t forget to combine a healthy diet with some form of exercise that you enjoy. Even if your endometriosis symptoms don’t decrease as much as you would like, eating a healthy diet provides other important health benefits.

  • Joseph SV., Edirisinghe I., Freeman BM., Fruit polyphenols: a review of anti inflammatory effects in humans. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2016. 56 (3): 419-44.
  • DeLoughery TG., Iron deficiency anemia. Med Clin North Am, 2017. 101 (2): 319-332.
  • Trans fats linked to increased endometriosis risk and omega 3 rich food linked to lower risk. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embriology, 2015.
  • Marziali M., Venza M., Lazzaro S., Lazzaro A., et al., Gluten free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Minerva Chir, 2012. 67 (6): 499-504.