This article focuses on the three foods that affect fibroids that were mentioned most in my research for this article. We’ll talk about two foods fibroid sufferers might eliminate, reduce or change and one to add to or increase in their diet.
Uterine fibroids are extremely common. My sources estimate that at least 20% and possibly as many as 80% of American women have uterine fibroids. The majority of fibroids (especially if you consider the 80% number) aren’t troublesome but for those that do experience symptoms, they can be debilitating. While it isn’t known for sure what causes fibroids the main suspects are heredity, hormones (especially excess estrogen) and having a high level of body fat.
I personally know three women whose fibroid symptoms (not the actual fibroids; but the problems caused by the fibroids) went away or significantly declined after they either eliminated meat and dairy or changed to only hormone free meat and dairy. Prior to these dietary changes, one of these ladies had such horrible monthly pain and heavy bleeding that she had to take at least 3 days off work and was barely functional for a whole week every month. Now it’s as if she doesn’t even have the fibroids anymore. Of course, this could just be a coincidence, but it certainly seems like it’s certainly worth a try.
Fibroids and Food: Standard Dairy
I truly believe that we are what we eat. If fibroids are influenced by excess estrogen then it makes sense that reducing the amount of estrogen in our foods should help the fibroid situation. Mothers who breast feed their children are usually warned by their doctors that any medicines they take can influence their baby’s health and to stick only to what is recommended or prescribed. Similarly, the growth hormones and other chemicals given to dairy cows can infiltrate the dairy products and affect the person consuming them. Women with fibroids would be wise to either switch to organic, hormone-free dairy products or eliminate dairy from their diet (substituting with another calcium source). Ideally, the dairy that is consumed should be low in fat as excess fat consumption contributes to being overweight and obesity is thought to be linked with increased fibroid risk.
Fibroids and Food: Standard Commercial Meat
Today a lot of the nonorganic meat, particularly red meat, comes from animals pumped full of artificial hormones. Eating the meat can cause your body to absorb some of those hormones, which can affect your own body’s hormone balance and possibly worsen fibroid symptoms. A lot of meat is also high in fat and eating high fat foods can lead to weight gain. As mentioned above, excess weight has also been cited as a potential risk factor for fibroid problems (fat produces estrogen; the more fat a person has the more estrogen her body is likely to produce). By either eliminating meat from your diet or switching to only organic hormone free meat, you may reduce or eliminate your fibroid symptoms.
Fibroids and Food: Green Vegetables
Now for the good news. It’s possible that significantly increasing your intake of green vegetables, especially leafy greens may not only help reduce fibroid symptoms but also help protect against developing new fibroids. Greens are packed with nutrition and beneficial phytochemicals. Personally, I aim for at least four cups of greens a day (three cups of raw leafy greens and one cup of cooked green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or green beans) along with other colorful vegetables. Eating this large quantity of healthy vegetables fills me up (preventing me from snacking on less healthy options) and, by themselves, most vegetables are very low in calories. Just be careful not to eat them with loads of dressing or other high calorie toppings if you want to keep your heart healthy and waistline trim.
I hope this article helps you or someone you love lessen their fibroid woes and wish you all the best of health.
Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman