Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the surrounding areas of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are extremely common and is said to affect 75% of women at least once in their lives. They are in fact one of the most frequent reasons for gynecologic surgery. If you have fibroids, some symptoms you might experience include:
- Swelling and discomfort your the lower abdomen
- Heavy, excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Frequent urination.
- Painful urination.
- Lengthy menstrual periods.
- Constipation/ Irregular bowel movements.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Backache or leg pains.
- Reproductive problems, such as infertility.
Foods to eat to shrink your fibroids naturally
Although no one really understands exactly the process which create fibroids in the first place, most studies show that excess oestrogen in the body is a major culprit behind the formation of fibroids in the body. If you fall under the category where your fibroids are as a result of excess oestrogen there are natural steps you can take to balance out your hormones through foods and nutritional supplements, while avoiding major surgery and possibly losing your womb in the process. These steps if adhered to, will also prevent the fibroids from coming back. Adding the following foods to your diet will help reduce your fibroids naturally
Flaxseed (also known as linseed in ground form) is a superfood that has been cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. There is scientific evidence that shows that this superfood is beneficial even for people who do not have fibroids – it can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. . Flaxseeds are a good source of fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids which help balance out your oestrogen levels and protect against tumour growth and inflammation. Benefits of flaxseeds include;
- Lowering bad cholesterol levels.
- Reducing the risk of heart attack.
- Diabetes management.
- Weight management.
- Reduction of hot flushes.
- Reduction in the risk of breast and prostate cancer and much more
More importantly, flaxseeds contain a very high level of lignans – about 75-800 times the amount of lignans contained in other plants.
Why are lignans important?
Lignans are naturally occurring antioxidants which can act as antiestrogens to reduce fibroid growth. They assist in balancing your hormone levels and preventing excessive oestrogen because of the phytoestrogens they contain. Phytoestrogens are plant-based oestrogens that are structurally similar to those that the body produces. However, the difference is that these phytoestrogens act as antioestrogens and by working in a way that forces the excessive oestrogen in the body to be eliminated, resulting in an oestrogen balance. Flaxseeds are an extremely important addition to the diet of anyone who wants to shrink their fibroids naturally.
Beans and lentils are prime sources of fibre, which is a key component in weight control. Legumes have a low impact on blood sugar and are a low-glycemic option. It is for this reason that they are a great dietary incluion for shrinking your fibroids. Incorporating legume-based meals such as bean porridge, vegetarian chilli, Indian lentil soup, and black beans and veggie burritos is a good way to shrink fibroids naturally
Fresh Fruit and Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables and fruit can help detoxify the liver and eliminate excess oestrogen in the body. Leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin K and have anti-inflammatory effects, aiding in blood clotting and curbing excessive menstrual bleeding. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, apples, tomatoes, and broccoli have been shown to contain high anti-oxidants and fibre content and are therefore an ideal diet inclusion for the treatment of uterine fibroids.
Organic foods/products are produced naturally, without chemical aids. Chemicals like pesticides employed in the production of non-organic products can have a negative effect on hormones and oestrogen levels. Of course, hormonal imbalance is a key factor in the cause of fibroids so you will want to avoid non-organic foods.
Beta-Carotene Rich Foods
Beta-Carotene is converted into vitamin A during the digestion process. Vitamin A promotes the growth of tissues which help in battling fibroids. Foods rich in beta carotene include carrots, spinach, kale, peppers, lettuce, spinach, pumpkins.
Whole, unprocessed grains are rich in antioxidants and fibre and have a lower glycaemic index than processed food. In planning a diet for treating your fibroids, switch to brown rice, millet (okpa), oats and barley.
Fibroids may cause excessive, heavy menstrual bleeding which can lead to anaemia. Food rich in iron replenishes the substantial loss of iron caused by the excessive bleeding. Food like liver, grass-fed beef, nuts and seeds, eggs, brown rice and legumes are a great source of iron.
Plant-based milk products
An article in the 2011 edition of More Magazine explored the possible negative consequences of pouring regular consumption of dairy. According to the article, dairy products – specifically milk, yoghurt and cheese – contain oestrogens which could significantly increase a woman’s “hormone load”. If you do enjoy some milk with your morning beverage or cereal, switching to plant-based milk such as coconut milk, almond milk and tigernut milk could help eliminate the introduction of additional oestrogens which could cause fibroids.
Nutritional Supplements that can help shrink your fibroids naturally
Fibroids are made of types I and III collagen, and some natural herbs work by reducing the growth of these types of collagen. Herbs such as chasteberry (Vitex) is used along with vitamin supplements with much success.
Vitex or Chasteberry
Chasteberry is a herb that is also known as Vitex agnus-castus. The plant is a deciduous shrub that is native to Mediterranean, European and Central Asian countries. Vitex helps to eliminate excess oestrogen by enabling the production of progesterone and thus creating a hormonal balance.
Dong Quai has two very different effects on the uterus, being able to stimulate contractions and also to relax the uterus thus inhibiting contractions. Which effect you get depends on how you prepare the herb. Dong Quai’s relaxing effect on the uterus comes from the volatile oils contained in the root.
This herb contains phytoestrogens which help to relieve menstrual pain while working to protect the liver and reduce inflammation.
Fish Oil capsules
Omega 3 is found in fish oil and works by regularising hormone production.
Vitamin B is needed by the liver to stabilize oestrogen levels.
Essential oils are known to lower cortisol levels and reduce oestrogen production. Frankincense oil, Thyme, and Clary sage are some of the best oils to treat fibroid. The essential oils can be applied to your lower abdomen twice daily.
Herbal teas that contain dandelion root, milk thistle, chasteberry, yellow dock and red raspberry are beneficial to the reproductive system and uterus. They assist in reducing inflammation and balancing out oestrogen levels.
Foods to avoid if you have fibroids
Of course even though the definite cause of fibroids has not been found, there are foods and certain lifestyle changes a person may choose to adopt to reduce the chances of getting a uterine fibroid.
- Refined Sugar.
- Processed meals.
- Refined carbohydrates.
- Non-organic diary.
These foods can have negative effects on the body, causing inflammation, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and overstressed liver. Consumption of these foods should be minimized as much as possible or completely avoided.
Some fibroids are painful and could cause discomfort and swelling of the abdomen, excessive bleeding during menstruation, pain during sexual intercourse and frequent urination, while some cause no pain, symptoms or discomfort. Complications with reproduction may arise if necessary treatment is not sought. You would do well to take measures to prevent getting a uterine fibroid by eating healthy, limiting exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals, exercising, and overall body care.