The Endometriosis Diet - The Benefits of Nuts for Endometriosis
Many of us with endometriosis get bloating and personally for me, nuts don't help with that! For myself and many others, they are really hard to digest, yet they are also very helpful for endometriosis. Nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, these protect the nut, but make it difficult for us to digest and also causes issues with nutrient absorption. For more information on this, you can read a great explanation on Wellness Mama.
For ages I was soaking my nuts overnight and then leaving them out to dry, but they never really dried fully and I was paranoid about bacterial growth and so stopped doing it. I finally got a dehydrator for Christmas and it has changed my life! I can now eat nuts everyday without worrying about them causing extreme bloating (soaking works!) and it has just felt so good to know that I am taking in the nutrients that I need. I have a relatively cheap dehydrator - you don't need anything too fancy, unless your planner to go crazy and use trays and trays! I honestly think one to two trays are enough. There's some some affordable ones on ebay and amazon, you could probably pick one up for about £29.99 - £40. You can get specific about how long you soak nuts for, which is easily googlable, but as a general rule of thumb, overnight will be long enough!
Nuts to Eat on the Endometriosis Diet
Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium, you only need 2 brazil nuts a day to reach your daily selenium requirement. Selenium is important as it helps our body fight abnormal cell formation thanks to its antioxidant properties.
Almonds help us reduce levels of inflammation. They contain essential fats omega 3 which help our bodies produce natural anti-inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Endometriosis growths in our bodies cause high levels of inflammation and pain, so it's useful to reduce this with omega 3. Just so you know, prostaglandins also cause inflammation to help protect the body when something is wrong, but in this case, we're referring to the ones which reduce inflammation. Almonds are also very high in vitamin E, which has been show to reduce menstrual cramps in studies.
Like almonds, walnuts contain omega 3. If you like me, you don't eat fish, bumping up you consumption of nuts will help you increase your fatty acids and balance the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio (we have an abundance of omega 7 in our diets and it is leading to
Variety is key - Pecans and hazelnuts also contain good levels of omega 3 and both are great in desserts as their flavours are a little more indulgent and special.
Note - Peanuts and cashews nuts seem to be in debate online. I've read reports that they're inflammatory and I've also read that they're anti-inflammatory. The best shout is to ask a nutritionist - if that seems expensive, tweet one! I'm sure they'll be happy to help. Once I have the right information, I'll update on here.
Endometriosis Diet Recipe Ideas
I eat about a handful of almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts for a snack mid morning, but if you're not keen on nuts you could put them in a smoothie or make up your own nut butter (add some vanilla powder in, it's amazing). Seeds are great sprinkled on oats for breakfast or in salads to make them a little more interesting. You could make up your own breakfast muesli with pecans, coconut shavings and cacao nibs and make a beautiful hazelnut cream with hazlenuts, oat cream and cacao powder.