You can’t always prevent fibroids, but after developing these benign growths, dietary changes can be helpful. Why is diet so important? Recently, we learned that balancing hormones like estrogen can improve your symptoms and prevent further fibroid growth. And one of the easiest, least-invasive ways to balance those hormones is by making small changes in your diet. With that in mind, let’s explore the best and worst foods for fibroids. We hope it helps you start planning your menus—and your simple lifestyle swaps!
The Worst Foods for Fibroids
What you eat can dramatically impact your hormone levels. And balancing your hormones naturally is a great way to begin addressing your fibroid symptoms. As such, changing your diet is a great first step when you’re exploring fibroid treatment options.
Ready to get started? First, let’s focus on removing these menu items from your rotation.
Eliminating the Worst Foods for Fibroids
• Processed, Fatty Meats – Non-organic red meat has tons of added hormones, including estrogen.
• Full-Fat Dairy Items – Non-organic milk and cheese are packed with hormones, steroids and pro-inflammatory compounds.
• Salty Snacks and Staples – When you eat salty food, your liver has to work overtime to process these items. As a result, it gets distracted from other important jobs, including balancing your hormone levels and removing toxins from your system.
• The Wrong Carbohydrates – Refined carbs—white pastas, breads and rices, along with processed cakes, cookies and other sweet treats are some of the worst foods for fibroids. They can change your estrogen levels, possibly triggering fibroid growth.
• MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – There is some evidence to suggest that this food additive ups your risk for weight gain and obesity. Since carrying excess fat cells impacts your body’s estrogen levels, it may be worth avoiding MSG.
• Soy. Packed with phytoestrogens—compounds that mimic estrogen—consuming too much soy could leave you with high estrogen levels. And that could boost fibroid growth. Plus, new research suggests that a diet heavy in soy can cause fertility problems for women; affect fetal development; or lead to early puberty.
• Refined Sugar – Too much sugar intake can lead to weight gain, inflammation and hormonal imbalances.
• Caffeine – Excess caffeine stresses your liver just like salt does.
• Alcohol – Too much alcohol causes inflammation harms your immune system. Plus, when you cut back on alcohol or go completely dry, your body may have an easier time keeping your hormones balanced.
Best Foods to Eat with Fibroids
Now that we’ve dealt with the worst foods for fibroids, let’s look at the ones you can start adding to your diet. Not only are they tasty, but they could also support your general wellness journey while improving fibroid symptoms!
• Organic products
• Foods that are high in fiber, especially crunchy vegetables such as broccoli. (They make you feel fuller, helping you eat less and drop excess weight)
• Leafy green veggies
• Foods like sweet potatoes and carrots that are rich in beta-carotene. Bonus: these healthy treats can also boost fertility!
• Iron-rich foods such as legumes or grass-fed beef (in moderation)
• Whole grains
• Apples, oranges and other citrus fruits, since Studies reveal that eating at least two daily servings of citrus fruit can lower your fibroid risk.
Supplements could also help prevent or slow fibroid growth by balancing hormones. (Great options include Vitex, fish oil, and B-complex vitamins.) Plus, if you choose a fish oil supplement, you may also help reduce internal inflammation. But always speak to a healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine.
Herbs and Natural Remedies
While this is a murkier area of supplementation, scientifically speaking, some herbal remedies could help address fibroid symptoms. These include:
• cinnamon twig
• peony root
• peony root bark
Also, sipping green tea may help manage fibroid symptoms, while adding castor oil could specifically target constipation caused by fibroid growth.
Try This Recipe to Manage Fibroid Symptoms
Want to jump right into incorporating fibroid-friendly foods? Try this delicious and healthy Food Network recipe.
• Rainbow carrots
• Olive oil
• Kosher salt
Toss 3 bunches baby rainbow carrots, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt on a baking sheet; arrange in a single layer. Roast at 450 degrees F, turning once, until tender and slightly browned, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and chopped chives.
When Diet Won’t Control Fibroid Symptoms
While the worst foods for fibroids could amplify your symptoms, even the best diet and lifestyle choices won’t offer a permanent solution to your pain and discomfort. So, if you’re living with heavy periods, painful sex, frequent urination, pelvic pain or constipation, we invite you to explore Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive solution that will actually shrink or eliminate your tumors.
Many women choose UFE instead of hysterectomy because it allows you to avoid surgery, lets you keep your uterus, helps improve your symptoms—and your quality of life.
Contact us for more information, or to schedule an appointment with our interventional radiologists at Dallas Fibroids.