Endometriosis is a potentially debilitating inflammatory condition effecting 176 million women worldwide. The condition comes with many unwanted side effects which can affect women on a daily basis, including pain, fatigue, nausea and infertility. Removing inflammation causing foods from the diet as much as possible and consistently fuelling yourself with nutrient rich foods can help to ease some of the symptoms of Endometriosis over time.
With that in mind, endometriosis sufferer and certified lifestyle and nutritionist coach, Kelly Sephton, who is an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand, USN, shared with us her top 5 nutritional tips that are helping her to control the symptoms of my Endometriosis:
- Avoid refined sugar as much as possible. This includes foods such as biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweets and sugary drinks. Sugars are hidden in unlikely products such as breakfast cereals and bars, yoghurts, juices and sauces so be sure to check the nutritional information on labels. If sugars are showing as high then its best to avoid that food or keep it a minimum. I have a massive sweet tooth so to satisfy this I bake my own reduced sugar treats and always keep a bar of dark chocolate stashed in my fridge which naturally contains less sugar than regular milk or white chocolate.
- Keep processed foods to a minimum. This includes foods like microwave meals, pizzas and convenience take away fast foods. These foods often contain a lot of ingredients that can irritate Endometriosis, therefore leading to potential bloating, nausea and pain. So I don’t feel like I’m missing out I like to bake my own pizzas at home from scratch, creating a gluten free base and fresh toppings of my choice like lean meat and vegetables.
- Include oily fish in your diet on a regular basis. Fish like salmon or mackerel are great choices. If you’re not a fish eater it can be taken via supplementation in the form of liquid or capsules. The fatty acids found in oily fish are said to help reduce inflammation in our systems, subsequently helping to reduce pain which is associated with this condition. I tend to consume 3 portions of oily fish on a weekly basis.
- Ensure to include foods which are high in iron in your diet on a regular basis. This will help to replace iron that may be lost through prolonged heavy periods which are a common symptom of Endometriosis. Dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, broccoli and kale are iron rich foods. Try to include at least two servings of these in your diet on a daily basis.
- Alcohol consumption is thought to irritate Endometriosis and add to the symptoms and side effects. This is because alcohol can be extremely inflammatory and affects the livers function in a negative way. The liver detoxifies waste products form our bodies including excess hormones, so a healthy well-functioning liver is very beneficial for sufferers of Endometriosis.
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As a rule of thumb a healthy, balanced diet which incorporates the pointers above will benefit anyone who is suffering with Endometriosis. Consistency over time is key to feel the benefits. It’s also important and beneficial to compliment a good nutrition plan with regular exercise and a positive mindset.