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Food, lifestyle and endometriosis




Sadly, endometriosis is an all-too-common condition for women, current estimates are one in 10 of us are diagnosed with the condition and yet it still remains an enigma in terms of its cause and the best treatment options.

It is a complex condition to manage however research recognises just how important diet and lifestyle can be in its management.

There are many things to consider including nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins, genetics, sugar consumption, immune and digestive system health, stress, hormone balance and medications. Read on for a few tips, but for more support get in touch.


The shift from work in the office to home has meant that many of us have less opportunity to get outside in the daylight. Natural light affects our circadian rhythm and hormones including serotonin which not only supports mood, but also regulates inflammation and how we experience pain.

As the months get warmer getting outside exposes us to the sunshine that is so essential for us to make vitamin D, which is anti-inflammatory and essential for immune system function. Women with endometriosis have been shown to have lower levels of vitamin D and endometriosis severity correlated negatively with vitamin D status.


Escape the confines of the office or working from home and get outside each day to enjoy the daylight, whether it’s a lunchtime walk or enjoying a morning cup of tea or coffee outside.


Ask your GP to check your vitamin D status.


Because the immune and digestive system are interlinked, endometriosis is often responsible for digestive problems and vice versa. 70% of your immune system resides in your gut which makes it a good place to start and one of the best things you can do to support your gut health is to take a look at your fibre intake.  


Fibre is present in all plant foods, from fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, and lentils, to wholegrain oats, rye and buckwheat. Start slowly, and gradually build up your fibre intake to avoid digestive symptoms.


Studies have also suggested that plant foods rich in carotenoids maybe helpful in endometriosis. Pro vitamin A carotenoids are plant pigments that are converted to vitamin A, in the intestine whose many functions include supporting the immune and reproductive systems.

Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta cryptoxanthin are all pro vitamin A carotenoids and you can find them in orange and green vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, red peppers, apricots, oranges and satsumas.

Roast a tray of cubed butternut squash, sweet potato and red peppers and serve warm with a leafy salad and a sprinkling of feta cheese or try this lovely spicy butternut squash soup.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil

1 red onion sliced.

1 inch piece of root ginger

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1.5Kg butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

I70ml coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)

1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice.

Vegetable stock to cover (approx. 1 pint).

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat warm the oil and add the onion, ginger and curry paste. Cook for 1 minute. Add the squash and coat with the paste mixture. Add 1 pint of vegetable stock, ensuring the butternut squash is fully immersed. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the squash is tender. Blend until smooth then return to the pan and stir in the coconut milk, warm through. Add fish sauce (optional) and lemon juice, stir, and serve.

 

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