Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas, are usually non-cancerous growth that develops in the uterus of a female human. These growths are very common in women. It occurs in about 30% of women in their late 30 and affects up to 80% of women by the age of 50. While fibroids are generally not life-threatening, they are seen to cause significant pain and discomfort, and can even lead to infertility in some cases.
Some symptoms of fibroids may include
Heavy bleeding during menstruation, with a need for multiple pads. It is usually very disturbing.
Having symptoms of anaemia which may include dizziness and fatigue.
Having periods last more than 7 days.
Having progressively heavier menstrual cycle as the months go by.
Pain during sexual intercourse.
Bloating and constipation.
Blood clot in the period.
It has been established from studies over the years that diet and nutrition can play a significant role in the development, prevention, and management of fibroids. Some specific foods and nutrients may either promote or inhibit the growth of fibroids in a woman. It is very important for everyone who has a woman in their lives or is a woman to understand these relationships because they are invariably at risk of fibroids.
In this article, we will look at a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence linking diet and fibroids. We will explore the impact of specific foods and nutrients on fibroid growth and development. Understanding the link between diet and fibroids can help women make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
The Role of Diet in Fibroid Development
Did you know that what you eat can affect the development of fibroids? Fibroids are growths that can happen in a woman's uterus, and they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. While fibroids are not cancerous, they can be a big problem for some women.
Over the years through scientific studies, it has been established that some types of food can make fibroids grow faster, while others can help to slow down their growth. The fast-evolving food industry and its abundant availability over the years have made some of our eating patterns very harmful to our health. The most influential foods that support the growth of fibroids are fatty foods, processed foods, and red meats.
1. Foods high in fats:
Foods that are high in fats especially unsaturated fatty acids, trans fats, and cholesterol are heavy contributors to faster fibroid growth in women. To reduce your fat consumption, you should reduce eating out generally and avoid deep-fried foods at all costs. You can prepare your foods using other methods of cooking other than deep-frying.
2. Processed foods and fibroid:
Processed foods are the poisons in fine packets, tins, and cans. Processed foods are very disruptive to the body’s normal biological functions and coordination. Whole foods are made to go through rigorous processes to develop simple foods which rid the final product of all the nutritional benefits of the original food substance. The industrial production processes, preservative substances, and packing materials are what alter the body and give room for rapid fibroid growth.
3. Red meats:
There are controversies as to if red meats are healthy consumptions for humans or not. They could have been without causing health complications up to a century ago, But animal foods in the last 50 years have been something to really worry about. Studies have identified red meats to be a player in rapid fibroid growth.
Surprisingly overconsumption of Calcium has been identified to be another nutrient that supports fibroid growth. The dairy industry has often pushed milk to us as a calcium source for bone density and growth. The bone isn’t made of calcium alone, so you do not exclusively need calcium for your bone, but a collection of minerals and micronutrients. The heavy deposition of calcium in the body has been linked to the rapid formation of fibroids in women. This is why it's important to get the right amount of calcium from various healthy sources like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Consistently eating a diet that is high in fat, red meat, and ultra-processed foods can make fibroids grow faster. And on the other hand, eating a diet that is high in fruits, seeds and nuts, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber can help to slow down fibroid growth. Remember, what you eat always has a big impact on your health, so it's obligatory to make healthy choices if you desire good health!
Nutrients deficiency and Fibroid Growth
In addition to specific foods, let us look at some nutrients that have a tremendous impact on the growth of fibroid and its development.
A. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is very pivotal in our body’s function. Having access to adequate Vitamin D in the body has been studied to reduce the risks of fibroid in women. Studies have found that women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop fibroids than those with adequate levels. This is because it is understood that vitamin D helps to regulate the body’s immune system, which can in turn affect the growth and development of fibroids.
Here is how to get vitamin D available to your body. Spending a good amount of time outside in the morning sun is a great way to trap energy from the sun that will lead to the formation of Vitamin D in your skin. Sun is the greatest source of Vitamin D, get it. Taking supplements too can be another way.
Antioxidants are compounds that support the body’s immune system to protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. Most often, inflammation and cell mutation are the effects of free radicals in the body, which then contribute to the development of fibroids. Eating an antioxidant-rich diet can help to prevent cell damage and inflammation and reduce the risk of fibroids.
Some of the best sources of antioxidants include fruits and green vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables like berries, leafy greens, soursop, beetroots, papaya, tomatoes, etc., are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Iron is known as the major mineral that is essential for the production of red blood cells, which help to transport oxygen throughout the body. While iron is important for overall health, research has shown that too much iron can also contribute to fibroid growth and development.
This is because iron can stimulate the production of free radicals, which can cause inflammation and damage to cells. Women who have fibroids may be at a higher risk for iron overload since heavy bleeding during menstruation can cause a loss of iron.
To manage iron levels, it's important to eat a balanced diet that includes healthy sources of iron like lean meats, seafood, and leafy greens. It's also important to talk to your doctor about whether you need to take an iron supplement.
In summary, vitamin D, antioxidants, and iron are three important nutrients that can affect fibroid growth and development. By eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds nuts, and lean protein sources, you can help to manage your risk of fibroids and promote overall health.