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Sugar is the food that most practitioners say to reduce or eliminate if you have fibroids. Sugar is considered a pro-inflammatory food, because it causes your immune system to release antibodies and other hormones that stimulate your body to fight off diseases and foreign materials. Consuming sugar daily over-stimulates your immune system, and these pro-inflammatory responses stay elevated, eventually leading your body to attack itself. Sugar also promotes higher insulin levels, which can lead to lower sex-hormone-binding globulin, which helps your body by binding excess estrogen and deactivating it. The increased estrogen feeds your fibroid tumor and can lead to more severe bleeding, pain, fatigue and other symptoms, according to authors Johanna Skilling and medical doctor Nelson Stringer in "The First Year: Fibroids."
Meat and Poultry
Many animals raised for food are given steroids to promote their muscle growth for meat. These steroids leave metabolites available to humans who consume the animal's flesh. According to Skilling and Stringer, although the Food and Drug Administration states that the levels of steroids used to treat animals produced for food is safe, the metabolites, or byproducts of steroids, can be stored in the animals' body fat. Ingesting the metabolites can lead to higher estrogen activity in your body, causing fibroids to grow. If you must eat animal products, choose organically fed and grown without hormones.
Coffee and Tea
Caffeine isn't directly related to uterine fibroid growth, but it can increase the symptoms you experience. If fatigue is a major issue because of heavy bleeding, drinking coffee and tea will make it worse, because they both decrease the amount of iron your body can absorb. These two drinks contain tannins, which are
polyphenols that bind iron, reducing the absorption of the mineral from the foods you eat. Decaffeinated coffees and tea also contain tannins, along with red wine, and all limit iron absorption.
Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
Dairy products, such as milk yogurt and cheese, contain arachidonic acid, which is an essential fatty acid made from linoleic and linolenic acids. When your body receives too much arachidonic acid from animal products, your body releases prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory immune system products, according to Skilling and Stringer. Another point to consider is bovine growth hormone, used to stimulate milk production in post-partum cows. Bovine growth hormone also increases production of a substance called insulin growth factor-1, which stimulates fibroid growth, according to Skilling and Stringer.
Xenoestrogens are chemical estrogens that are produced when canned food comes in contact with the petroleum-based lining of cans. Xenoestrogens act as weak estrogens in your body and can increase your circulating levels of the estrogen your body makes, according to physician and xenoestrogen expert, Elizabeth Smith, M.D. These xenoestrogens block your body from using estrogen and make it available for your uterine fibroid to grow.
Enriched Processed Foods
Enriched processed foods, such as white bread, regular pasta and white rice, contain very little fiber. Limiting your intake of enriched processed foods in favor of whole-grain breads, whole-grain pastas and brown rice can lessen any constipation and bloating you may experience with uterine fibroids, according to Skilling and Stringer. Enriched processed foods also raise insulin levels faster than foods with fiber. These higher insulin levels increase the availability of estrogen to target uterine-fibroid growth.