Living with a chronic health condition such as uterine fibroids can really challenge your overall well-being. Fortunately, there are ways to boost your day-to-day functioning. Paying close attention to maintaining a high level of nutrition can even help get you through some of the heavy bleeding that is often one of the more difficult symptoms of fibroids.
Eating for Energy
If your energy is low, make sure your iron levels are sufficient, but on top of that, making some dietary changes can make you more energetic, too.
The BBC’s nutrition experts say the same thing your mother insisted on for years… eat breakfast! Eating a hearty breakfast made up of complex carbohydrates and protein gets your metabolism moving for the day and engages your brain for the morning.
According to Harvard Medical School, there’s no reason to give up your morning cuppa. Use that caffeine to your advantage. The recommended deadline for caffeine use is 2:00pm, since if you don’t sleep properly at night, you’ve sabotaged the next morning before it’s even started.
Keep up your complex carbs – these are the whole grains, pulses, (beans, peas and lentils) low-fat dairy products and fruits and vegetables. These foods take a longer time to break down in your body, keeping you fuller for longer and keeping your energy level fairly steady, rather than the quick ups and downs provided by simple sugars.
Eating small quantities more often, rather than more occasional large meals, will also help to keep your metabolism running smoothly, rather than the start-stop cycles that can result from the more traditional three large meals over a day.
Be an artist – eat all the colors, making sure you balance your diet with a good variety, including vitamin B, which comes mainly from animal products such as lean meats and dairy, as well as fortified soy milks and cereals.
Staying hydrated helps keep you from feeling sluggish, helps your body thermostat run evenly, and holds down the urge to snack on quickly available junk food.
On top of all that, you may still be down. Fibroid symptoms can do that. Ask your doctor if you might need to be taking a daily multivitamin as well.
Eating to relax
So, keeping your energy level up is great… if you want to have that energy. But what happens when you need to wind down for some relaxation? In alphabetical order, asparagus, avocadoes, bananas, berries, brown rice, dark chocolate, honey, milk, oranges, oysters, soup, tea and walnuts hold many helpful nutrients toward relaxation.
Some key nutrients in common here are vitamin C, as found in berries and oranges, the omega 3 found in walnuts and zinc found in copious amounts in oysters. More complicated members of this list include milk, containing tryptophan, which helps the body to produce serotonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Another complicated entry on this list is avocadoes, rich in glutathione, which blocks intestinal absorption of fats that cause oxidative damage. Bananas operate along a similar vein as avocadoes.
What about the superfoods?
The word “superfoods” is being thrown around a lot lately. Exactly what these foods are is still a little fuzzy. While technically, The EU has banned the practice of putting any health claims on food packaging unless there is significant scientific evidence backing up the claim, this hasn’t stopped the buzz over certain foods that many believe have more power to fuel and heal us than other foods. The University of Wisconsin Madison states, “We consider foods that are very high in nutrients, beyond carbohydrates, fats and proteins, to be super foods. In general, all unprocessed fruits, vegetables and beans can be considered super foods.”
The common denominator in foods that are generally referred to as superfoods in recent years is: “… those rich in antioxidants (such as beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, flavanoids and selenium) and omega-3 fatty acids.”
While the generally-accepted list of “superfoods”, including blueberries, goji berries, dark chocolate, oily fish, wheatgrass, pomegranate juice, green tea, broccoli, garlic and beetroot is still up to the scientists to fine-tune, this list does include a variety of nutrients, no processed sugars and a range of tastes. As such, it’s a wonderful start for a diet that will fortify your body to fight the inherent malaise that can appear as a symptom of fibroids.
Life today moves quickly and fibroid symptoms are tough. Give your body the boost it so desperately needs by eating real, whole, decent food. This may require some shopping, cooking and taste-tweaking, but that’s okay. It’s all part of the great adventure called life. Help yourself enjoy it to the fullest extent possible.