This week, we’re going to talk about natural period pain remedies. These are topics that have become really popular on YouTube recently — specifically diet and exercise regimens to prevent endometriosis. Now, there’s a lot of information on YouTube right now — some of it good, some of it not so good.
We’re going to talk about the good stuff!
Don’t have time to read this post? Watch the video here instead!
So we’ll jump right into it.
Women who have endometriosis are less likely to consume a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D, and trans unsaturated fats. Now, a lot of the effect that we’re talking about here (we presume) is due to the antioxidant effect of these different dietary elements. But you’ll notice that there’s not a specific recommendation for a certain diet there — these are just trends that we see are beneficial.
Now, the diets for women who do have endometriosis tend to have a higher concentration of red meats, saturated fats, alcohol — and you’re gonna hate this one — coffee.
And that’s it! That’s the best available evidence, and those are the dietary guidelines. In general — if you’re talking about fruits — you want to stick to the fruits that are high in antioxidants. So any berry (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry) and also foods like pinto beans, russet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.
There is evidence that green tea also has some benefits (about 20% of all tea that’s consumed is green tea). And although there are other notable health benefits, it does specifically have a protective effect with endometriosis (in some studies).
The active ingredient is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (say that three times fast!), or EGCG for short. So effectively, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — and the effect of this is to reduce the inflammation. It also specifically decreases uterine contractions. So time to ditch that coffee and grab some green tea.
What about exercise? So the large meta-analysis that reviewed a number of other studies looked at exercise in general (yoga, specifically), electrotherapy, and acupuncture. And although there (again) was no causal relationship, it did find a trend of benefit for all of those therapies — and actually, a statistically significant benefit with acupuncture.
So my number one recommendation? It’s got to be diet.
We talked about specific diets to avoid and specific diets to embrace when it comes to endometriosis. But it really belies a much bigger problem in this country. We have billions of dollars of pharmaceuticals that are produced and prescribed every year — essentially because patients have neglected their diet for decades, and now they have metabolic syndrome and hypertension and diabetes as a result.
Anything that is added to a food to prolong its shelf life will likely shorten your life. So try to stay away from processed and fried foods. And, you know, it’s really just in the preparation as well. If you look at a normally prepared french fry at a fast food restaurant, all of the fats are denatured and it creates an inflammation in your body when you consume it. If you just take the same potato and air fry it, it has the same taste and all the health benefits — and none of the negatives.
So stick to a healthy diet, guys — and we’ll see you next time!