Fibroids and endometriosis are conditions that affect many women in Nigeria today. Endometriosis occurs when uterine lining cells grow outside the uterus; fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the uterus. Both conditions can trigger pain and fertility problems. Your physician may recommend traditional therapies to prevent or treat fibroids or endometriosis, but there are foods that fight these conditions that you may include in your meal plan. Always consult a health care provider before trying a new therapy or altering your diet, especially if you have a special health condition.
1. Foods Rich in Fiber
The daily recommended intake of fibre for women stands at 25g, although you need less as you get older — 21g if you are over the age of 51. This is critically important if you have fibroids or endometriosis. Boosting fibre intake to 30 g per day reduces the amount of oestrogen in your body, the hormone that triggers fibroid growth. Additionally, eating a high-fibre, plant-based diet may help protect you from endometriosis. Choose fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain foods such as pasta and bread to increase your fibre intake.
Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are many Nigerian foods that are naturally high in fibre. You probably know about beans, lentils and nuts. You’ve also read on our blog (www.planbwellness.com) where we mentioned that fruits and green-leafy vegetables are generally high-fibre foods. But which ones are really beneficial? Below is a list of surprisingly high-fibre foods that are hardly mentioned;
Pears: Pears have more fibre content in them when they are unpeeled. The skin contains all of the fibre and nutrients. One medium pear with the skin intact has about five grams of fibre in it.
Avocado: is actually a high-fibre fruit, but people normally use it as a vegetable. Two tablespoons of fresh avocado has about 2g of fibre in it. An entire avocado has 10 grams.
Broccoli: Cooked broccoli has about 5grams of fibre in it. Fresh broccoli contains even more than that. Broccoli is also famous for having nutrients and properties that help prevent cancer.
Chocolate: Dark chocolate has many health benefits, including being high in potassium and iron. Cocoa powder, mostly used for baking, is also a good source of health benefits. Cocoa powder has over 33grams of fibre per 100grams – that’s over 100 per cent of your recommended daily intake. Dark chocolate can have up to 17 grams of fibre per 100 grams, which is half of your daily intake requirement.
Please Note – Only cocoa powder and dark chocolate have enough nutrients to be consumed. White chocolate and milk chocolate are mostly sugar, and are bad for you. They should be consumed sparingly, since they have no health benefits whatsoever.
Peas: Peas are versatile, cheap and good for you. A cup of peas contains a little over 16 grams of fibre before you cook them. Even if you cook them, they still have nine grams of protein in them per serving.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Add cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli or Brussels sprouts to your meals in order to avoid fibroids or stop further growth. Compounds that exist in these good-for-you vegetables fight changes in tissues in your body, which can prevent the formation of noncancerous growths, including fibroids.
3. Fatty Fish
Including fatty fish in your diet, the kind that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, may reduce your risk of endometriosis. A study published in the June 2010 issue of the journal “Human Reproductions” indicates that female study participants who consumed the most omega-3 fats demonstrated considerably less risk — 22 percent — of an endometriosis diagnosis than those who eat the lowest amount. If you have fibroids, you can benefit from eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well; these fats reduce the formation of scar formation and decrease inflammation associated with the condition. Wild (not farmed) salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, trout, halibut, herring, and sardines are among the best sources.
3. Foods High in Lycopene
Supplement your meal plan with foods high in lycopene, a compound that provides certain fruits and vegetables — such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon — with their colouring. Research featured in the February 2008 issue of “Nutrition Research” suggests that a diet that includes lycopene may reduce risk of fibroid growth. Pretty much anything with tomatoes in it is rich in lycopene. That includes whole tomatoes, tomato-based soups, sauces and salsas, and also ketchup, baked beans, BBQ sauce and salad dressings derived from tomatoes. One cup of canned tomato sauce has 34 mg of lycopene.