We can’t guarantee that changing your diet will erase ALL fibroid symptoms but it can’t hurt to give a healthy diet a try. Many have found that changing their diet helped to relieve some of the symptoms of fibroids.
Estrogen Related Foods
There are a few ways that your diet could affect your fibroid symptoms. First of all, it’s thought that certain foods may affect the estrogen levels in your body. Fibroids come from too much estrogen in the body. Eating low estrogen foods is a good idea, along with eating foods that may lower estrogen levels.
Foods That Affect Estrogen
Mushrooms may block the production of an enzyme called aromatase, and some consider them aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase is a building block of estrogen, so it could be helpful to eat foods that block it. White button mushrooms were the subject of studies for this reason. However, all mushrooms are aromatase blockers. Some mushrooms you can try are: white, shiitake, cremini, or enokitake.
Soy Bean Products
Lately there has been abundant misinformation about soy products and their relation to health. Soy has phytoestrogen and some studies have suggested that it can aggravate fibroids. Phytoestrogens and isoflavones found in soy are actually estrogen reducing agents in the body. Soy is also high in protein and is a complete protein- meaning that it has the same amino acids as meat. Some soy products to try include: tofu, edamame, soy milk, tempeh, miso and meat replacement products.
Whole grains are high in polyphenols, which may lower estrogen. They are all around healthy, very satisfying, and great for the digestive system. Some whole grains include:wheat, rice, barley, millet and oats. Some gluten free whole grains include: quinoa, amaranth, rice, buckwheat, millet, corn and teff.
This group of veggies may slow estrogen production in the body. These veggies are also high in fiber- which everyone needs. Fibroid sufferers should try high fiber foods, as they promote regular bowel moments. Fibroids and constipation are a bad mix. The blockage in the colon will add pressure to the fibroids- causing discomfort. Some cruciferous veggies include: broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, collard greens, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Fruits and Veggies with Beta-Carotene
Research has shown that in certain cases of uterine fibroids and leiomyomas in the reproductive system may be related to beta-carotene deficiency. You will know if a fruit or vegetable has beta-carotene because it will be very pigmented. Most people know that orange foods have it, but did you know that leafy greens and a host of fruits have it too? Here are some foods with high levels of beta-carotene: dark leafy greens, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potato, cantaloupe, apricots, bell peppers and carrots.
Foods to avoid when you have fibroids
One of the most common reasons we eat dairy is because it is high in calcium. Though advertised as health foods, dairy products the fact is that they are very high in estrogen. This estrogen comes from another animal, so it’s more likely to affect our human bodies. African American women are at a greater risk aggravating fibroids with dairy. Another tip to boost calcium is to be sure you are supplementing with Vitamin D daily. Instead of dairy, try some of these high calcium foods: orange juice, non-dairy milk, tofu, broccoli, collard greens or spinach.
There is some evidence that consuming over 500 mgs of caffeine a day may increase estrogen in women. For women over 35 the risk was greatest for those who drank more than 3 cups a day, there was a higher risk of fibroids. Caffeine also affects the way that the liver processes estrogen. Liver health is crucial for overcoming hormonal problems. There are some ways to boost energy without caffeine. Here are some food and drink options for boosting your energy: drink at least 72 ounces of water throughout the day, ginger tea, bananas, hummus, whole grains and fatty fish.
Recent science shows that there does seem to be a correlation between alcohol intake and fibroids. Women who were current drinkers had more risk factors than those who never drank alcohol in a study. There were more risk factors for those who drank for longer periods of time in their life. Liver health is important for metabolizing estrogen, so it’s important to avoid alcohol.
White Flour and Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates cause high spikes in your blood sugar. There isn’t much nutritional value in foods like white bread, potato chips or white rice. These foods tend to only boost the level of sugar in the body. Whole grains are so much easier to come by these days, so it’s easy to replace your processed food with them.
Red Meat and Processed Meats
All meat from animals is high in uric acid. Uric acid is like caffeine and thus has may be a cause of increased estrogen. Meat also has high levels of animal hormone. That means it may affect the estrogen levels in the body. Processed meats also have the above issues but are also high in sodium. They are high fat and often contain additives which can negatively affect fibroids. If you must eat meat, try fish or chicken as they are leaner and more nutritious than red meat. Try some of these delicious meat alternatives: tempeh, tofu, jackfruit, seitan, TVP and lentils.