The Endo Diet has been cited by many women with Endometriosis as a lifesaver! In this article I am going to share the outline of what exactly the Endo Diet is and how to do it faster and better to increase your results to successfully manage your Endometriosis.
What exactly is the Endo Diet?
The Endo Diet is based on a basic premise of reducing inflammation within the body and avoiding foods which trigger this reaction. To give you a quick summary, these are the foods which are generally recommended to be eliminated within the Endo Diet:
- Processed foods
I know when I first read this list, I instantly dismissed the idea of following it. My life revolved around these foods and I considered food my only saving grace when trying to live with Endometriosis.
BUT! WAIT! I would really like to share some insights on why you should consider these foods as harming your health and thereby your Endometriosis.
Here are some insights which I hope will make you reconsider:
1. Gluten has been shown to increase inflammation and can limit iron absorption. Iron is crucial for the transportation of oxygen around the body and if you have low amounts of it, chances are you will feel tired more frequently. With Endometriosis, it is fairly common to experience heavier than normal menstrual cycles, so it is very easy to become iron-deficient. In this study, it was found that eliminating gluten from the diet would decrease Endometriosis pain and associated symptoms by 75%. (Marziali 2012)
2. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and high omega 3 fats has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Endometriosis. A serving of two greens per day indicates a reduced risk of 70%! (Parazzini 2013)
3. There seems to be some varying data on the benefits of meat for women with Endometriosis. Some research cites that it doesn’t have an effect but others indicate that it could contribute to more trans-fats and thereby inflammatory responses within the body. There is no indication if this meat was organic, grass-fed meat, which would make a big difference. (Fjerbæk2007)
I like to incorporate meat as I know there are many elements within our diet which we can only get through meat. B12 for instance is a common vitamin that many vegetarians do not have enough of, which in turn hampers health. (McBride 2002).
How do you make the transition to the Endo Diet better?
1. Pick one food group to eliminate at a time and don’t try and do them all at once. Whichever one you feel you would miss the most is likely to be the one which is causing you the most problems. Sugar is probably the one I found the hardest and has shown to be the most dominant in reducing pain and symptoms with Endometriosis.
2. Shift your focus. I really hate the word “diet”. To me, it indicates restriction and lack, the last thing we need with Endometriosis, and it certainly doesn’t make us feel EMPOWERED! Shift your focus and think of all the foods you haven’t tried before and that are out there to explore. When you think of the western diet, it is actually fairly boring—bread, pasta and lots and lots of brown food! Think color, think exotic and try new cultures. Make this a fun adventure to explore what is out there to try.
3. Make this about nourishment. Think of every meal as something that either nourishes you or takes away from nourishment. Processed foods, sugars and things that are hard to digest take away energy and detract from feeling good. What is easy to digest and full of good nourishment? Focus on those foods.
How to make the transition to the Endo Diet faster?
The easiest way to stick to change is to see results. So, I am going to share 3 tips on getting results faster to encourage you to stick with it.
1. Give yourself a challenge to eliminate the key food group that is most prevalent in your life. I usually go with a 4 week challenge. Pick one, let’s say gluten, and challenge yourself—or even better, do it with someone—and see how well you do. Give yourself a reward when you have completed it!
2. Help your body along with the detox of some of these foods by exercising and moving your body at the same time. It can be a simple movement that you do every morning for 10 minutes or even better, join a Yoga program and practice Yoga every day.
3. Support your new found diet with mini boosters to help the body. These could include a daily freshly squeezed juice, shiitaki mushrooms and a liver cleanser like L-Methionine. You will get rid of the imbalances faster and feel better sooner.
This is a fairly simplistic overview of the Endo Diet and I want to give you the full picture on how you can truly use food as a source of healing for your body. It is incredibly effective and can truly transform your whole experience with Endometriosis. The best part is, you don’t need a doctor or anyone to tell you how to eat! You can finally feel empowered about this choice—what goes into your mouth!
To really guide you effectively, I encourage you to join my program, REACH beyond Endo. This is an online step by step program which guides you on the best diet for Endometriosis, based on my personal experience, 1000s of other women’s experiences and of course sound research.
QUESTIONS: Start the conversation and share your experiences:
- Have you noticed a correlation with pain levels and your Endometriosis?
- Do you currently follow the Endo Diet and has it helped you?
- What foods do you think are the hardest to stay away from?
Marziali, M., Venza, M., Lazzaro, S., Lazzaro, A., Micossi, C., & Stolfi, V. M. (2012). Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Minerva Chirurgica, 67(6), 499–504.
Parazzini, F., Viganò, P., Candiani, M., & Fedele, L. (2013). Diet and endometriosis risk: A literature review. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 26(4), 323–336. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2012.12.011
Fjerbæk, A., & Knudsen, U. B. (2007). Endometriosis, dysmenorrhea and diet—What is the evidence? European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 132(2), 140–147. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2006.12.006
McBride, J. (2000, August 2). ARS : B12 Deficiency may be more widespread than thought. Ars.Usda.Gov. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm