Fibroids are abnormal cells that are not cancerous or life-threatening but may cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Fibroids grow in or around the uterus (womb) and are also called uterine fibroid, leiomyoma, or myoma.
They are often made up of muscle tissue or cells and occur in different sizes. Some may be as tiny as a seed or grow up to the size of a soccer ball.
Although the cause of fibroids is still largely unknown, they are some risk factors that may increase your chances of developing them. They include:
- Family history
- Increased BMI (obesity)
- African ethnicity
- Early menarche
- Never given birth
- Hormonal imbalance
- High blood pressure
About 20-50% of women who have fibroids do not show any symptoms (pain, heavy bleeding) but even if you are free of symptoms, it is important to make vital changes to your diet.
A healthy diet can help balance out hormones.
Foods to avoid if you have Fibroid
Hormones play a role in increasing the size of fibroids. Restricting the following foods will ensure that your hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone are balanced.
While ensuring that your blood pressure and weight are under control.
Foods and drinks to avoid include:
1. Red meat
Studies have revealed that consumption of red meat may lead to increased levels of estrogen in the body.
To prevent high estrogen levels, it is best to adopt a diet low in processed meat and trim off the excess fat from your chicken or turkey.
2. High-fat dairy products
Conventional high-fat dairy products contain high levels of steroids and hormone-disrupting chemicals that may increase fibroid growth.
They may also be addictive and lead to weight gain.
3. Refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates like pasta, white rice, white bread, and cake spike blood sugar levels which in turn increases insulin levels.
And high insulin in the blood may disrupt hormone balance and cause weight gain.
4. Salty foods
High sodium foods raise your blood pressure levels and disrupt your overall body balance.
They are also hard on the liver, which is the organ responsible for detoxifying toxins and balancing hormones.
5. Soy products
Soy is rich in phytoestrogens – natural compounds that act like estrogen in your body. They increase estrogen levels – high estrogen levels boost fibroid growth.
Tofu, soybean powder, soy milk, and soya drink are examples of soy products you should restrict.
6. Soda and sugary drinks
Sugary drinks high in sugar and fructose corn syrup are greatly discouraged if you have a fibroid. They spike blood sugar levels, cause inflammation, and weight gain.
Cultivating a habit of checking your food labels, will help you identify foods with added syrup and sugar.
7. High-fat processed foods
Junk foods contain lots of fat, sugar, and salt that disrupt hormone balance. These types of foods are addictive and cause rapid weight gain.
They also increase cholesterol levels in the blood which ultimately increases estrogen in the body causing increased fibroid growth.
Excessive alcohol consumption puts a strain on your liver and weakens the immune system. This makes it difficult for the liver to perform its major function of balancing hormones.
One study also found that African-American women who drank alcohol, particularly beer increased their risk of fibroids.
Limit alcohol to help reduce your risk.
Foods to eat if you have Fibroids
A healthy diet rich in fruits, fiber, and vegetables will reduce fibroid growth and improve your overall health.
However, always remember to buy organic foods that have little or no chemicals. As fresh foods rich in pesticides may still disrupt hormones. Examples of food to eat include:
9. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals that help prevent fibroid growth.
One study revealed that women who consume citrus fruits are less likely to develop fibroids.
So start loading up on citrus fruits today!
10. Green leafy veggies
Green leafy vegetables contain flavonoids and other phytochemicals that act as antioxidants.
Antioxidants are chemical-like substances that help our body fight disease-causing free radicals.
These chemicals are abundant in spinach, pumpkin leaves, jute, and greens.
11. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens, brussel sprouts, and lettuce are examples of cruciferous vegetables you should be eating because they’re loaded with dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Their high fiber content helps to cleanse out your colon, removing toxins and excess estrogen.
One human study showed that indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables reduced the activity of estrogens in the body.
12. Whole grains
Dietary fiber improves satiety, reduces constipation, and helps you lose weight.
13. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes contain a type of dietary fiber called soluble fiber. This type of fiber prevents spikes in blood sugar, aids weight loss, and slows the growth of fibroids.
Studies also show that fiber may help to increase the fecal excretion of estrogen, which may reduce its levels in the body.
14. Fatty fish
Fatty fish contain omega-3-fatty acids that help fight inflammation that could contribute to fibroid growth.
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are good examples of fishes that you should add to your diet.
Chicken and turkey are great alternatives to red meat for anyone with fibroids. They are rich in protein and do not contain estrogens.
However, always remember to go for organic meat products and trim off excess fats before cooking.
16. Vitamin-D-rich foods
Vitamin D can be easily gotten from the sun, but if you’re black and live in cooler climates, you may be at risk for a deficiency.
One study showed that fibroid size correlated inversely with serum vitamin D levels in African American women. This means that vitamin D deficiency increases the growth of the fibroid.
Examples of food that are rich in vitamin-D include:
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified whole-grain cereal
- Egg yolks
- Fatty fish
- Fortified juice
17. Potassium-rich foods
Foods rich in potassium will help lower blood pressure and reduce fibroid growth.
Examples of potassium-rich foods include:
- Citrus fruits
- Collard greens
- Oat bran
18. Beta-carotene rich foods
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that converts into vitamin A in the body. A diet rich in beta-carotene helps promote fertility and prevent fibroid growth.
Food sources of beta-carotene include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Red and yellow peppers
19. Green tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants. One study found that epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant found in green tea, fights inflammation and reduces high estrogen levels. This, in turn, reduces fibroid growth and blood loss.
So start drinking green tea, if you haven’t started already.
Drinking plenty of water first thing in the morning and before every meal will help speed up detoxification.
Water also ensures your hormone levels are balanced at all times.
You can spice it up with lemon for additional benefits.
The bottom line
Fibroids can be uncomfortable and painful.
However, adopting these dietary changes will help to balance out hormones and reduce fibroid growth.
Remember to speak to your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes or starting new supplements. Wishing you great health!
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