The Most Nutritious Diet For Women With Endometriosis

· July 26, 2015
To improve the condition, we must change our diet by reducing our consumption of processed foods containing artificial additives, avoiding gluten and including more fruits and vegetables. 

Endometriosis is a little-known disease that many women suffer from, and a large number of them are undiagnosed. The lack of knowledge about this disease makes women who suffer from it feel misunderstood and with a significant lack of support, aside from not knowing about the possible natural treatments available.

In this article, we will explain what this condition is, as well as provide nutritional guidelines that can be useful for women with endometriosis, which causes symptoms including infertility and severe cramps. 

What is endometriosis?

The endometrium is the lining of the uterus that is renewed every month with menstruation. In this disease, some endometrial fragments can be found on the outer surface of nearby organs within the pelvis, such as the ovaries and bowel.

The most common symptoms of this disease are:

  • Infertility
  • Pain before or during menstruation and / or during sex
  • Irregular periods
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Emotional problems due to the illness

The cause of this disease is unclear but it could be related to an imbalance of the immune system. There may also be a genetic component.

Check out:

4 Signs of Irregular Periods

Foods that make the illness worse

Many women have noticed a great improvement by eliminating some foods from their regular diet. Here are the most damaging:

  • Red meat and sausages
  • Hydrogenated or trans fats, which are found in margarine, baked goods, etc.
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Alcohol

In general, we should reduce the consumption of processed foods containing artificial additives.

Sugar

What about gluten?

Some nutritionists have found that many women who suffer from endometriosis also have some degree of intolerance to foods containing gluten, and when gluten is eliminated, great improvements have been noted when following a strict and long-term diet.

Gluten is found in these cereals and seeds:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Farro
  • Kamut
  • Bulgur

Therefore, we should avoid or cut down on foods such as flour, bread, pastries, pasta, couscous, fermented beverages from these cereals, battered foods, some cold cuts, cheeses and pates, some candy, etc.

Whole wheat bread

We must be attentive to product labels, as some may surprise us. Whenever we can, we should try to find foods that are stamped “gluten-free“.

To cope with this major change in our diet, we should also know the foods that we can eat as they don’t contain gluten:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Buckwheat (actually not a wheat)
  • Tapioca
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk and dairy derivatives (watch the cheeses)

You may like:

Gluten-free Buckwheat Rice Bread: Easy and Delicious

Beneficial foods for women with endometriosis

On the other hand, there are foods that can be very beneficial for women with endometriosis. Try to consume them as part of your daily diet.

  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, chard, etc.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, broccoli, turnip
  • Ground flax seed oil or cold-pressed
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Green teaLeafy greens are great for women with endometriosis

Recommended supplements

Besides following the nutritional advice above, these supplements can be very beneficial to complement your diet:

  • Magnesium: This mineral is highly beneficial to our health. In the previous article, we explained its importance and how to consume it.
  • Grape seed extract: Its high content of antioxidants is very beneficial for this disease.
  • Chasteberry (vitex agnus-castus): you can consume it for at least three months, as it requires long-term exposure, but the benefits are also long term.
  • Dong Quai: an excellent Asian plant for all kinds of female disorders.
  • Dandelion: this herb is a great cleanser for your liver and kidneys. We can take it as an infusion or as a supplement.

We recommend always consulting with a medical specialist before undergoing any treatment, because although they’re natural, supplements also have contraindications and side effects.

Also, women with endometriosis must follow strict medical control during pregnancy.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article on the best diet for women with endometriosis.

Images courtesy of Uwe Hermann, chiot’s run and asdfawev.

Marziali, M., Venza, M., Lazzaro, S., Lazzaro, A., Micossi, C., & Stolfi, V. M. (2012). Gluten-free diet: A new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Minerva Chirurgica. https://doi.org/R06125821 [pii]

J., J., M., L., E., Z., & M., W. (2016). The role of diet in endometriosis risk. Revista Espanola de Nutricion Humana y Dietetica.

Harris, H. R., Chavarro, J. E., Malspeis, S., Willett, W. C., & Missmer, S. A. (2013). Dairy-food, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D intake and endometriosis: A prospective cohort study. American Journal of Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kws247

Low Dog, T. (2001). Conventional and alternative treatments for endometriosis. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.