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Guide to Implementing Dietary Strategies for Alleviating Endometriosis Pain


medically reviewed by Dr Neethu

Dr Sooraj Sukumaran

Updated on October 26, 2023

Endometriosis is a medical condition affecting one in ten women. It is a painful and chronic condition where the tissue that usually lines the uterus grows outside. It usually develops in the pelvic area, on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix and other surrounding areas. This tissue breaks and sheds like the lining of the uterus. Since it is misplaced, it has no way of exiting the body, leading to many complications.

Symptoms of Endometriosis include

  1. Pain
  2. Painful Periods
  3. Painful Intercourse
  4. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
  5. Digestive Issues
  6. Infertility

There is no identified cause for endometriosis, and there is no cure for it either. 

Diet has been known to play a major role in managing endometriosis. However, depending on the individual's symptoms, a diet can be customised accordingly. 

This blog will look at foods that can be consumed for pain relief and inflammation reduction.

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A Nutrient-Rich Endometriosis Diet Plan for Pain Relief

Many nutrients have shown the potential to reduce inflammation and pain. 

Let's look at some of them and how they can contribute.

  1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Have anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Fibre in foods - Aid in regular bowel movements, relieving gastrointestinal discomfort. 
  3. Antioxidants, Vitamins C and E - Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation
  4. Turmeric and Ginger - They are natural anti-inflammatory spices.
  5. Vitamin D - Regulates the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Magnesium - Essential for nerve and muscle function and can help reduce muscle cramps and discomfort associated with endometriosis.
  7. Bromelain and Quercetin are found in some fruits and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods to Embrace for Endometriosis Pain Management

Foods to Embrace for Endometriosis Pain Management.jpg

Managing pain and inflammation through dietary choices is essential for individuals with endometriosis. Though no particular diet can cure endometriosis, some foods can help with endometriosis pain. Let's see what's on this list. 


Rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, vegetables have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You can get various vitamins, including A, E, and C, from a colourful plate. Studies have shown these vitamins to be lower in endometriosis patients.


Dark leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale)

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower), 

Carrots, beets, onion, peas, squashes, washed raw salad greens.





Fruits also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Choose a variety of colourful fruits to get a wide range of nutrients, including A, E, and C. 

FruitsRaspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears 


Pro Tip: Choose organic fruits and vegetables for reduced pesticide residue associated with hormone imbalances. 


Full of Omega-3 fatty acids, fish is an anti-inflammatory food. Choose higher-fat, deep-sea fish as they have more significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.

FishWild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and black cod


Lean Meat, Poultry and Eggs

They are lower in saturated fat and can better control cholesterol levels. 

Lean Meat, PoultryHigh-quality skinless poultry, turkey, grass-fed lean meats, free-range eggs


Beans and Legumes

Beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fibre. They have a low glycemic index and help stabilize blood sugars.

Beans and LegumesBlack beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils


Cold-Pressed Vegetable Oils

Oils are high in Omega-3s and antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats that raise good cholesterol (HDLs) and lower bad cholesterol (LDLs). Expelled cold-pressed oil is best since it is not chemically treated and heated at lower temperatures to extract the oil. When cooking with oil, use lower temperatures as higher temperatures increase the production of trans fat. 

OilsExtra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, flaxseed oils, nut-based oils, canola oils


Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are full of Omega-3s, which are anti-inflammatory. They are excellent sources of B vitamins in addition to phosphorous. 

Nuts and SeedsAlmonds, walnuts, ground flaxseed, pecans, hemp seeds, avocado, natural peanut butter, chia seeds


Whole Grains

Whole grains contain added B vitamins and added fibre, which promote a healthy digestive tract and reduce spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation.

Whole GrainsBrown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, steel-cut oats, gluten-free noodles or pasta 


Low-fat Dairy or Dairy Alternatives

Vitamin D has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines that contribute to possible inflammation associated with endometriosis. Choose organic dairy products to reduce the amount of hormones added to your foods. 

DairyLow-fat cheeses (Swiss, mozzarella, parmesan), fat-free yoghurt, cottage cheese, skim or 1% milk.



Water is vital for the overall proper functioning of the body and removes metabolic waste products. 

Water SourcesPure water, fruit-infused water, herbal teas, sparkling water with lemon


Foods to Limit and Avoid

  1. Dairy Products, especially those derived from non-organic sources, may contain added hormones and antibiotics.
  2. High-fat red meats can be a source of arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation in the body. They can also contain added hormones and antibiotics.
  3. Processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, causing inflammation and potentially intensifying pain. Sugar can also contribute to hormonal imbalances.
  4. Gluten-Containing Grains: Gluten can be pro-inflammatory and may irritate the gut.
  5. Caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and stress, which can worsen pain and discomfort. It may also lead to increased estrogen levels, affecting endometriosis symptoms.
  6. Alcohol can cause inflammation, disrupt hormones, and impair liver function, potentially making managing endometriosis symptoms more challenging.
  7. Certain foods containing high-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating. These include foods like onions, garlic, beans, and some fruits.
  8. Soy Products contain phytoestrogens, which can mimic estrogen in the body. This can lead to hormonal imbalances and worsen endometriosis symptoms for some individuals.
  9. Trans fats, often found in processed and fried foods, can promote inflammation and should be avoided.
  10. Spicy foods can irritate the gastrointestinal system and lead to digestive discomfort, which can worsen endometriosis-related gastrointestinal symptoms.

Learn more about Balancing Hormones Through Nutrition here.

A Sample Endometriosis Diet Plan 

A Sample Endometriosis Diet Plan.jpg

Vegetables4-5 servings per day minimum (one serving = 2 cups salad greens, ½ cup vegetables cooked)
Fruits1-2 servings per day (one serving = 1 medium-sized piece of fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit, ¼ cup dried fruit)
Fish and Seafood3-5 servings per week (one serving = 4 oz. of fish or seafood)
Poultry3-5 servings per week (one serving = 3 oz. of poultry or skinless meat)
Beans and Legumes2-4 servings per week (one serving = ½ cup cooked beans or legumes)
Cold-Pressed Vegetable Oils2-4 servings a day (one serving one teaspoon of oil)
Nuts and Seeds1-2 servings a day (one serving = 2 walnuts, one tablespoon of flaxseed, one oz. of avocado, 1 tbsp. of peanut butter)
Whole Grains3-5 servings a day (one serving = ½ cup cooked grains)
Low-fat Dairy or Dairy AlternativesThree servings a day (1 ounce of cheese, 8 ounces serving of milk/dairy-free milk, 1 cup of yoghurt) 
Water8-8 oz. Glasses of water, half a gallon (64 oz.)


Wrapping Up

While there is no cure, a combination of medical treatment and dietary choices can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. A careful selection of foods and close monitoring of how your body reacts to each food can help customise your diet plan to relieve endometriosis pain. 


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