Bloating, painful cramps, and heavy bleeding are some of the most common symptoms of fibroids. These symptoms can show up anytime for fibroid sufferers, but they’re especially known to make their debut right before and during your menstrual cycle.
Let me start off by saying that painful periods are common but NOT NORMAL. Contrary to popular belief, there are things you can do to reduce period pain associated with fibroids proactively.
One of the biggest ways to reduce period pain and fibroid symptoms is through your diet. Some foods are the culprit behind painful cramps and bloating and can even feed fibroid growth.
These five foods to avoid with fibroids (and perhaps in general), especially in the weeks leading up to your menstrual cycle.
1. Refined Sugars and Carbs
If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably already know that refined sugars and carbohydrates are low in nutrients and high in calories. That’s why they’re often referred to as foods with empty calories.
What’s even worse is these foods are known to cause blood sugar spikes that negatively impact gut health and create inflammation. They can even trigger a hard-to-end cycle of cravings.
2. Conventional Meat and Seafood
Conventional meats and seafood are usually raised under inhumane conditions that cause animals stress. This stress leads to livestock that has more inflammatory fat and is more prone to infections that may impact people that consume them.
These animals also often eat feed that contains a number of ingredients that you probably wouldn’t even consider eating yourself.
Meat raised conventionally is also usually processed with dyes, preservatives, and other additives to make them appear more appealing in stores and increase their shelf life. When it comes to finding foods to avoid with fibroids, this one might be one of the easiest if you are already vegetarian or generally avoid meat and seafood already.
I love a cute cocktail or a full-bodied glass of red wine just as much as the next girl. However, alcohol is a toxin that has to be processed through the liver. Not to mention, these drinks usually have other items from this list like sugar.
Consuming alcohol adds to the liver’s workload and slows it down from ridding the body of other waste including excess estrogen and xenoestrogens. Since excess estrogen may be a contributing factor to fibroid growth, you want your liver to spend its energy ridding your body of things you don’t have as much control over.
Caffeine is another substance that adds to the burden of the liver. It’s also linked to higher estrogen levels and higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
There is one caveat for this one though. Green tea has been shown to inhibit tumor growth due to its high antioxidant content. Matcha has even been shown to promote a healthy liver. So consuming organic green tea or matcha may help you find a happy medium.
It’s best to consult a wellness practitioner about whether caffeine is recommended for your individual health situation.
5. Processed Foods
For the sake of this post, I’m considering anything that comes in a package a processed food. I do get that these items seem more convenient, but there’s a big trade-off.
Packaged foods usually contain hidden sugars, gum, thickening agents, gluten, processed soy, seed oils, and other additives that negatively affect gut health and cause inflammation. Food companies have also gotten really skilled at marketing their foods as safer or healthier when they’re not.
If you absolutely have to buy these foods ALWAYS flip the package over and check the ingredients list. Look for items with very few ingredients that you can pronounce, no added sugars, and an organic label.
As a general rule of thumb, at least 80% of your diet should be whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you choose to eat animal products, they should come from sources that have high standards for how their animals are raised and/or caught.
These are here for a reason: they are THE foods to avoid with fibroids.
What do you think of these 5 foods to avoid with fibroids? While some might be more difficult to avoid than others, my advice is to start small. Try eliminating just one item from this list at first, and see how you feel. After all, just one small step in the right direction can have an impact on your overall health, so why not give it a shot?