Foods that are perfect for women experiencing Endometriosis or heavy periods
Periods are in itself not a pleasant time of the month for most people who menstruate because of cramps, aches, mood swings, bloating and endless personal side effects.
In today’s times, with menstruators trying to mark their place in the unfair world, with twice the effort, the last thing they want is to be held back because of Endometriosis or in simpler terms, heavy period flow. Although in medical terms, this problem is much more complicated than it seems since it is the uterine wall that gets thicker and eventually sheds, causing heavy blood flow. So the thicker the wall, the heavier the flow. Periods are in itself not a pleasant time of the month for most people who menstruate because of cramps, aches, mood swings, bloating and endless personal side effects.
A heavy blood flow, thus, does not really come as a pleasant surprise then. We share Dietician Vidhi Chawla’s perspective comes to your conundrum. Using the right diet will just provide relief to the problem by preventing thicker uterine walls.
Foods that can be consumed at such times
Green Tea: Green tea contains, EGCG, (Epigallocatechin gallate) a plant compound that has anti-oxidative properties which help against cellular damage. It also has anti-angiogenic, anti-fibrotic, anti-proliferative and proapoptotic properties which help with the prevention of endometrial walls forming outside the uterus. Drinking green tea with honey, therefore, is a good remedy.
Probiotics: Probiotics are living bacteria inherently present in the body and influence your gut health especially since your gastrointestinal health is at stake too. Although probiotics need to be stimulated externally for them to be beneficial. Furthermore, during periods your vagina is more prone to yeast infections, urogenital infections, bacterial vaginosis, etc, all of which can be kept at bay by consuming probiotics that keep the vaginal microbiome in balance. Good sources of probiotics include yoghurt, Korean Kimchi and even Kombucha.
Magnesium: Magnesium is said to be a natural relaxing agent and is key in reducing the number of prostaglandins released. But as your progesterone and estrogen levels increase, it is on the account of the magnesium. So while munching on those period snacks, try including healthy snacks with the magnesium content. It is also helpful in soothing the smooth muscles of the uterus. Rich sources include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables and organic dark chocolate.
Turmeric: Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property helps with repairing the endometriosis lesions which play a role in heavy blood flow. It also prevents the estrogen’s widening effect from spreading to the muscles thus helping with cramps as well and blocking certain inflammatory proteins. You could consume turmeric with lukewarm milk or even add particular amounts to your salads, smoothies, juices and even rice.
Iron Rich Food: For people who bleed excessively, it becomes even more crucial to restoring the iron content in their bodies. When your body is up for bleeding every month, it is not just the blood that is thrown out, but various essential nutrients and minerals too. Iron is one of the prominent ones. Iron deficiency upsets haemoglobin levels thus creating more oxidative stress on the body. Hence, iron-rich food should be consumed to encourage haemoglobin formation and calcium deposits in the bones, deficiencies that are caused by endometriosis. This can be pulled in from vegetables like spinach, fruits like pomegranate, bananas, fish, sprouts, whole wheat grains like quinoa and even certain teas like hibiscus tea.
What not to eat
While it is easier to look at what more to get into your diet to support your body with endometriosis, it is harder to learn what you cannot eat. It is advisable to not consume the below category of foods as they will only alleviate the pain and discomfort during periods caused because of the disorder.
It is advised to eat food that does not cause inflammation as well as raise the estrogen levels in the body.
Red Meat: Although it is high in iron, it is advised not to consume as they raise prostaglandins in the body so it will do less benefit and more harm.
High-Fat Dairy Products contain arachidonic acid which aids the synthesis of prostaglandins which increases blood flow and causes cramps.
Sugar is by nature inflammatory which will worsen the cramps, and it upsets the already oscillating sugar levels of the body.
Caffeine stimulates estrogen which worsens the blood flow and thus makes matters worse, by increasing the cramps.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be consulting with your gynaecologist in case of extreme and unbearable symptoms.