Have you ever been fired up to make a change in your life, then found that you had no idea where to start? Or that it became so difficult to execute that you just stopped?
Recently I was asked for snack ideas. That got me thinking. Sometimes we have the motivation, but not the inspiration. We want to make healthy changes, but we don’t know where to begin.
Here are some of my favorite snacks for endometriosis:
Protein is essential for helping the body heal and repair — super important after surgery! It keeps us fuller longer, and supports healthy blood sugar levels. A protein shake made from a plant-based source such as hemp, pea, or rice can be a great way to help stabilize your energy levels. Go for a high-quality protein powder; some contain digestive enzymes that can be helpful for stomach issues. One of mine has added turmeric, which is thought to help with inflammation.
If you have time, add a healthy fat (an avocado or nut butter), greens (spinach), and even a tasty superfood like raw cacao for its high levels of iron and magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to be helpful with reducing period pain. Women with heavy periods often lack iron; this can cause further fatigue.
Nut butter and fruit
I eat low-sugar fruits most of the time. I save high-sugar fruits for mid-cycle, but not frequently as I’m sensitive to sugar. Fruits are packed full of vitamins and fiber, and are a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet for endometriosis. Depending on how your body responds to sugar, you may want to minimize your intake of sugary fruits such as dates and mangos. Not only can the high sugar content trigger inflammation, but it could also raise your blood sugar levels and cause hormonal instability.
The fiber in fruit helps slow down the release of sugar naturally. Adding nut butter to your apple can help stabilize your blood sugar levels by slowing down that process even more.
Berries and yogurt
Even the best diet can further aggravate inflammation if we don’t have a healthy gut. Many of us with endometriosis have digestive issues such as intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Those issues can damage the gut lining. When this happens, gaps in our stomach lining allow larger particles of food to seep through. The immune system reacts to these particles, and the reaction causes inflammation.
If we’re constantly aggravating the immune system because our gut health isn’t great, the inflammation will continue to build. That’s why it’s important to figure out what foods irritate the gut, and to address any conditions with nutritionists or specialists. It’s also important to create a healthy environment in the gut.
Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir contain beneficial bacteria that help balance gut microbiome (provided that we’re taking a variety of prebiotics and probiotics).
You can create an easy yogurt parfait with dairy-free yogurt, low-sugar berries, coconut chips, nuts, seeds, and anything else you’d like to add. Berries are high in antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Dark chocolate trail mix
This has to be my favorite! Try making your own trail mix by combining chunks of sugar-free dark chocolate with nuts for a healthy source of fat, protein, and fiber. Add dried or dehydrated low-sugar fruits like mulberries, blueberries, or freeze-dried strawberries for the antioxidants.
Other easy snack ideas include:
- Chia pots;
- Vegetables and hummus, with extra olive oil or nuts sprinkled on top;
- Organic and free-range boiled, peeled egg with spinach and other veggies;
- Roasted crunchy chickpeas (be mindful that for some of us, chickpeas can worsen bloating);
- Gluten-free, high-fiber, seeded bread topped with nut butter and berries or avocado.
Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.