Hormones Matter TM

Eating Whole Foods and Uterine Health

May 14, 2012  |  Eve Agee, PhD

Share
Eve Agee -1

Even though professional guidelines encourage gynecologists to discuss nutrition as a preventative tool for menstrual and menopausal symptoms, and research shows that diets full of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and essential nutrients can prevent and alleviate PMS, endometriosis, and other uterine issues, most women are not told by their doctors that nutrition can be the key to uterine wellness.  Consequently, many women may not realize that whole foods nutrition can be an excellent tool to help heal and prevent uterine health problems and create hormonal balance.

Non-western healing traditions from around the world have promoted using whole foods, herbs and nutrients to help prevent uterine problems for millennium.  Now modern research confirms that eating a whole foods diet provides women with vitamins, minerals, and fats that are needed for many specific uterine processes. When we do not give our bodies these crucial building blocks, we lack the materials needed to balance our hormones or support our uterine functions.

Diets filled with refined foods are low in nutrients and high in sugar and transfats, disrupting the hormonal system, increasing inflammation, and creating imbalances in the uterus. Continual lack of nutrient support significantly reduces hormonal and uterine function. These eating habits can eventually lead to a whole host of uterine problems, including PMS, infertility, endometriosis, and peri-menopausal symptoms.

The good news is that by providing your body with the nutrients you need to build strong healthy tissue, you can correct uterine imbalances that currently exist and develop overall health and vitality. Start by increasing the amount of whole foods such as vegetables and fruit you eat.  If possible eat dark green leafy vegetables several times a week.  Add in a rainbow of other vegetables and build up to filling at least half of your plate with vegetables when you eat. To help stabilize your hormones and give your body the nutrients it needs, eat complex carbohydrates and protein for breakfast and lunch and incorporate healthy fats into your diet by eating foods such as walnuts, ground flax seeds and avocados.  Never skip meals.

The chemicals commonly found in our conventional food supply contribute to hormonal imbalances in women. High levels of chemicals from pesticides used to grow conventional fruits, vegetables, and grains negatively affect the uterus. If possible, choose organic vegetables and fruits and other whole foods to lower exposure to pesticides and protect uterine health.  The Environmental Protection Agency warns that people are exposed to large amounts of toxins from factory farmed meat and dairy. Women who consume large quantities of meat and dairy raised with growth hormones and high levels of unhealthy fats often develop excessive estrogen conditions, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids.   Experiment and observe how you feel when you eat only organically raised, hormonally free meat and dairy, and if you currently have endometriosis, fibroids, or other uterine health issues, see if eliminating all meat and dairy from your diet for 6 weeks decreases your symptoms.

Healthy nutrition combined with regular exercise and ample sleep will help you reduce stress and create uterine wellness and prevent uterine health imbalances.  Start by adding in more healthy food choices to your meals and gradually modify your diet to support your uterus.

About the author: Dr. Eve Agee, Ph.D. is a medical anthropologist, life coach, and best-selling author of The Uterine Health Companion: A Holistic Guide to Lifelong Wellness (Random House), Winner of the International Book Awards for women’s health.  To receive a free chapter from her best-selling books and her gift package, go to www.eveagee.com/freegifts .

For more information about cross-cultural practices to preserve uterine health read:

Did you know you could be taking care of your uterine health?

Or to learn more about how diet affects the menstrual cycle and PMS read:

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Fertility & Menses

Decreasing Dysmenorrhea

How to Eliminate PMS