Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Diet to Help Uterine Fibroids & Ovarian Cysts

Dec 5, 2010 | By Maura Banar

Diet to Help Uterine Fibroids & Ovarian Cysts
Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Many women experience uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts, also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, during their childbearing years. Uterine fibroids are benign fibrous growths that develop in the uterus, and ovarian cysts are fluid-filled pockets that develop on or in the ovaries. Both usually go undetected because they don't cause significant discomfort, but some women experience symptoms such as pain, particularly in response to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. The actual cause of fibroids and ovarian cysts is unknown, according to the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation, but it appears that diet plays a role.

Step 1

Emphasize complex carbohydrates such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain products and avoid simple carbohydrates such as white flour products. According to, women who have PCOS also have an increased risk of developing adult onset diabetes. Eating simple carbohydrate foods can raise blood sugar levels quickly and is associated with obesity. Complex carbohydrates contain generous amounts of fiber, which helps slow digestion and decrease the risk of high blood sugar. Eating more fiber also helps you eat fewer calories overall, since fiber fills you faster and fiber-rich foods are generally not calorically dense.

Step 2

Reduce your consumption of foods high in fat. Naturopathy Online explains that the hormone estrogen can cause the growth of uterine fibroids and high-fat foods place a strain on the liver. The liver is the organ that is largely responsible for processing fat and if it is overloaded it might not be as efficient. As a result, you will probably have more estrogen in your body, which can lead to additional fibroids or growth of existing ones. Additionally, a diet that is high in fat also increases your risk of obesity, which according to is a risk factor for developing ovarian cysts.

Step 3

Drink water rather than beverages that contain caffeine such as soft drinks, coffee and tea. According to Naturopathy Online, caffeine is a source of naturally occurring substances called methylxanthines. These substances, according to Dr. William E. Richardson of the Atlanta Clinic of Preventative Medicine, can impair the effectiveness of certain enzymes in the body, which leads to a buildup of toxins. The toxins pool in small areas in the body and can form as cysts or fibroids. recommends that you drink a minimum of 64 oz. of decaffeinated beverages daily.

Step 4

Eat dark green, leafy vegetables with lunch and dinner. Naturopathy Online explains that these vegetables, which include seaweeds, are a good source of substances such as iodine. A lack of adequate amounts of iodine in the diet has been found to be associated with the growth of fibroids. Additionally, the Atlanta Clinic of Preventative Medicine explains that dark leafy greens might help to neutralize toxins that can lead to fibroid growth. recommends foods such as dark leafy greens as a source of phytochemicals. Women who have PCOS have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and phytochemicals, as well as phytonutrients, might help decrease this risk.

Step 5

Avoid red meat, dairy products and eggs, and instead focus on high-quality protein foods such as fish, beans, legumes and skinless white meat poultry. A diet that is low in sources of saturated fats also tends to emphasize unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are heart healthy. explains that women who have PCOS are at increased risk for heart disease and should focus on eating healthy fats, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, the Atlanta Center for Preventative Medicine explains that a diet high in saturated fats is a risk factor for developing fibroids.

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