March is Endometriosis Awareness Month!
What is Endometriosis?
As defined on the Endometriosis Australia website, “Endometriosis is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body. More than 830,000 (more than 11%) of Australian women suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life with the disease often starting in teenagers… Whilst endometriosis most often affects the reproductive organs it is frequently found in the bowel and bladder and has been found in muscle, joints, the lungs and the brain.”
Endometriosis & Gut Health
by Elyse Comerford, Integrative Nutritionist
If you are suffering with endometriosis, then focusing on the health of your gut is a great way to start addressing the root cause. Endometriosis often comes with digestive symptoms, and the health of the digestive system impacts on hormone production and detoxification.
When approaching endometriosis through a gut-healing diet, it is important to build good foundations first. There is no one meal or food that will fix the issue, but rather an overall approach that will contribute to alleviating symptoms.
The basic steps for building good foundations for gut health:
- Focus on eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods with additives, preservatives, refined sugar and toxic oils
- Avoid exposure to xenoestrogens by using natural body care products and cleaning products, and eating organic foods
- Focus on healing and repairing the gut lining using meat stocks. If you don’t know what meat stocks are, watch this video
- Focus on balancing the microbiome by including probiotics and fermented foods in your diet
- Support the liver with detoxification by using herbs, teas, juicing, and epsom salt baths
- See a practitioner for further support with hormone balancing
The soup recipes that Jo has included below focus on healing and repairing the gut lining, and providing optimum nutrition. Try the Cream of Broccoli Soup for a really simple, nourishing meal! The inclusion of brassicas is a good idea for meals (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens), as they help with the detoxification of oestrogen.
If you have issues with FODMAP foods, it is important not to remove and avoid these completely. Sulphur is essential for detoxification pathways, and these foods are also essential for feeding our butyrate producing bacteria. By focusing on healing the root cause you can resolve your intolerance to these foods, with much better outcomes. If FODMAP foods are an issue, reduce them to a very small amount while you focus on healing the gut, and slowly increase them as tolerated.
For more information or support for working through a gut healing diet, visit:
Elyse & Jo also offer an 8 week online program to help you to transition into a whole food, gut-healing diet. To find out about this program, visit:
Elyse Comerford & Jo Whitton
Soups based on meat stocks are nutritionally dense, easy to digest, and an important part of a healing diet. Here’s a few of my favourite soup recipes, including my recipe for Cream of Broccoli Soup below. If you have issues with FODMAPS foods, see Elyse’s tips above.
- Bone Broths & Meat Stocks
- Healing Chicken Soup
- Coconut Lemon Chicken Soup
- Creamy Bacon & Vegetable Soup
- Chicken & Fresh Turmeric Soup
- Beef Osso Buco (with nightshade free version)
- Meatball Soup
- Cream of Broccoli Soup (below)
Visit the “Soup” category for more soup ideas!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
This gentle, comforting soup is perfect for those days when energy levels are low and you need both nourishment and a “hug-in-a-bowl.” It’s one of my favourite ‘quick and easy’ meals, and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Broccoli and cauliflower are part of the brassica family, and contain Indole-3-carbinol which promotes metabolism of oestrogen. Endometriosis goes hand-in-hand with high oestrogen levels, so a brassica soup based on an easy to digest, short-cooked meat stock is great both for the gut-healing properties and the oestrogen-lowering properties.Print