As you probably know, endometriosis is a painful condition that affects women’s reproductive health and has no cure.
Although you can’t cure this condition, there may be ways to help prevent symptoms, such as following an endometriosis diet. With the right foods, it’s possible to reduce pain and inflammation and feel better.
Read on to learn what you should eat and avoid with endometriosis and how a meal prep service can make this easier!
What is the endometriosis diet?
The endometriosis diet is a way to reduce inflammation and control estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is a hormone that contributes to the development of endometriosis, so it makes sense that reducing your overall estrogen load could help prevent or treat your symptoms.
The best way to do this is through diet: lowering the amount of estrogen-containing foods you eat can help decrease your total body exposure to this hormone by making sure it isn’t produced by your liver when breaking down other foods.
Why follow the endometriosis diet
The endometriosis diet aims to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle by improving your digestion, hormone balance, and weight loss. The goal of the endometriosis diet is to reduce inflammation in the body so that symptoms like pain and fatigue can be managed more effectively.
If you’re looking for a way to manage your endo without medication or surgery, this guide will help you understand why following an anti-inflammatory diet could help improve your symptoms and overall quality of life.
The main idea behind this type of eating plan is that certain foods cause inflammation in the body (known as “pro-inflammatory foods”), while others can reduce inflammation (“anti-inflammatory foods”).
Is the endometriosis diet researched
The endometriosis diet is a fodmap diet. Fodmaps are short for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. They are simply carbohydrates that the body can’t digest well.
If you have endometriosis, you may find that your symptoms improve by eating a low fodmap diet because these foods cause gas and bloating which can irritate the skin around your uterus and cause pain during sex or exercise.
The problem with all of these diets is they’re not researched yet because researchers don’t have enough funding to do it right now; however, if you follow one of these diets and it makes your symptoms worse then stop following it right away! You don’t have to purchase expensive shakes or do big financial investments to follow the endometriosis diet. So you can always just try it and if it works for you, stick with it. And I learned that it’s even cheaper than eating like I’d normally would because I’m eating a whole lotta less processed food (expensive) and more filling, healthy and natural food (cheaper, because I’d eat less of it).
Foods that help
For the most part, you should avoid foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Try to focus on whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like chicken or fish, dairy products (lactose low) like yogurt or cottage cheese (make sure it’s not sweetened with added sugar), whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
It’s also important to eat plenty of fiber — this will help keep your digestive system moving smoothly so you don’t get constipated. Beans are a great source of fiber because they have both soluble and insoluble fiber; for example black beans have about 13 grams per cup! But I also got IBS from my endo and can’t do beans and lentils so well – so make sure you try out what works best for you!
Foods that make it worse
Now here’s the sad part. I’ve parted with foods that I love so so much, like coffee. I would drink about 4 cups of coffee a day, but I’m sticking with coffee alternatives like decaf, matcha, chicory and curcuma lattes now. So curious about the other things? Here’s the list of things you should try to avoid, or at least eat less of:
- Dairy products
- Caffeine (in coffee, tea and chocolate)
- Alcohol (especially beer)
- Red Meat
- Processed foods with artificial ingredients. These include anything with MSG or nitrites/nitrates. You should also avoid aspartame, saccharin and other artificial sweeteners and food dyes such as FD&C Red Dye #40.
- Note: This is not an exhaustive list of all the foods to avoid! Your specific symptoms may react to different foods than those listed above. Like I sad, I can’t do beans, onions or lentils anymore. If you are unsure about how your body reacts to a certain food, it’s important to keep a food journal so that you can track what affects your endometriosis symptoms the most over time.
Learn more about what food you should eat to prevent pain and flare ups!
There are also some foods that will ‘heal’ you. You can try them for yourself to see if they work for you. Foods that are proven to help:
- Turmeric, curcumin and ginger have been shown to lower inflammation. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, chia seeds and flaxseed oil may help with pain by reducing inflammation as well. You can also get these from cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna.
- Probiotics can help restore healthy bacteria that may be lost during menstruation. A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to healing women’s health conditions including endometriosis.
How to meal prep
Meal prep is ideal for anyone who wants to eat healthy and avoid the temptation of fast food. It’s also a great way to make sure you have meals ready when you come home from work or are too tired to cook after a long day.
Meal prepping when you feel good, can make the week easier at time you don’t feel your best. If you have some healthy, endo diet friendly meals prepped, you’ll be able to stick to the diet better. Preparing meals for the week is a great way to save time, money and energy. Make sure you have everything you need when it comes time to cook. Be sure to have all of your ingredients prepped so that you don’t waste time in the kitchen.
To get started, think about what types of foods you’re going to prepare and what timespan they’ll be eaten over. You can’t start your meal-prep journey if you don’t know how much time or ingredients you have available!
A good meal plan can help keep you organized and on track with your eating goals. It’s important to plan ahead if you want to stay healthy while still enjoying delicious food!
It may take some trial-and-error before finding a healthy meal prep routine that works well with your lifestyle, but once you do, prepare yourself for a stress-free week filled with healthy food options at every mealtime!
Endo-friendly meal services to use
Feel like paying to make life easier? I can definitely recommend using a meal service that delivers endo-friendly meals.
Endometriosis diet cookbooks
Because endometriosis can make you feel like lost and tired in the kitchen, it’s important to have recipes that are easy to follow and don’t require an entire afternoon of prep work. If you’re cooking for yourself, preparing the meal will take less time than it would if there were two or more people eating with you.
In addition to helping with stress management and other symptoms of endometriosis, cooking at home can keep your food budget down. Eating out is expensive (especially when compared to buying groceries) and so having a few go-to meals in your arsenal can be a great way to save money while still getting what you need nutritionally.
We’ve a big list of endometriosis cookbooks to help you navigate new recipes and ideal meals for your weekly meal prep.
Endometriosis is not an easy condition to live with. There are many complications that it can cause and the pain can be debilitating. By following the endometriosis diet, you will be able to reduce your symptoms and increase your quality of life.