Endo, Fertility, and Nutrition
By: Danielle Case
Endo is an inflammatory disorder and certain foods can exacerbate the inflammatory response in your body thus making your symptoms and endo adhesion's worse. These foods include diary, soda, sugar, processed meats, refined grains (think white bread, white pasta etc) and trans fats (deep-fried food, margarine.)
- Foods that help dampen the inflammatory response in the body include nuts and seeds, tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, oily fish, and fruit.
- Due to the fact that processed foods contains lots of inflammatory foods eating whole foods, those that are in their natural, unaltered state, are the best for you. So try to eat more fruits, vegetables, organic meats and whole grains. They will provide you with a lot more nutrients and should help lessen endo flares.
- And while you’re trying to include more whole foods, try to buy organic where you can. Pesticides and herbicides can disrupt your natural hormone balance, which can have a negative effect on your fertility and could lead to miscarriages. Eating all organic isn’t accessible for everyone though so I recommend looking up your country’s equivalent to the ‘Dirty dozen and clean fifteen’. This is a list of fruits and vegetables that you should buy organic because they have high pesticide content and ones that are much lower and therefore fine to buy not organic.
- There are a number of vitamins that are really helpful for endometriosis and fertility, they are:
- Vitamin C can help progesterone production in the body. This is good for people with endometriosis as it’s an estrogen dominant condition so producing more progesterone can help balance the hormones and help to reverse symptoms. Vitamin C rich foods include berries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, guava, and dark leafy greens.
- Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to infertility so it's really important to include it in your diet; while it doesn’t affect endo, it’s something to consider if you’re trying to have a baby. You can get it naturally from the sun but for those of us who live in less sunny parts of the world taking a supplement would be helpful to ensure you’re getting enough of this vitamin.
- Vitamin E is a great anti-oxidant and it boosts your immune system. It's also great for the body's essential regeneration and circulation, therefore can help repair endometriosis. Vitamin E rich foods include leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
- Lastly as I mentioned about why vitamin C is helpful, endo is estrogen dominant and there are a number of foods that can help calm this. The cruciferous family of vegetables contains a compound called indole-3-carbinol in them that helps promote the production of less potent forms of estrogen. These vegetables are cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage.