Dietary Interventions

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A well-nurtured body is a more resilient one. A healthy diet and stress reduction can help alleviate not only the symptoms but also the imbalances that underlie endometriosis. Diets high in fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and flavonoids required to decrease inflammation and oxidation. Nutritional status affects the immune response, inflammation, and hormone regulation. Studies have demonstrated that dietary vitamins and minerals protect patients against immune suppression caused by dioxin exposure and that dietary fiber promotes fecal excretion of dioxin.59 The phytochemical indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, and mustard greens, may prove to be clinically useful for treating endometriosis because this phytochemical modulates estrogen levels. Liver function can be improved by increasing intake of artichokes, burdock root, beets, dandelion greens, lemons, carrots, onions, and garlic. Diets high in EFAs and low in dairy products and red meat decrease AA and thus act as inflammatory mediators. GLA is found in black currant seed, borage oil, and evening primrose oils. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish including herring, salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines, trout, and kipper. Studies suggest a correlation between endometriosis and caffeine consumption; caffeine should therefore be strictly avoided.60 In addition, alcohol should be limited because of its potential estrogenic effects and depletion of B vitamins.

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