Another common perimenopause symptom is uterine fibroids. Approximately 40 percent of women have fibroids by mid-life, and usually, they don’t cause problems. However, fibroid removal accounts for nearly one-third of all hysterectomies performed annually in the United States, many of which are completely unnecessary. The fact is, many fibroids will likely shrink and may even disappear with menopause.
As with estrogen dominance, another premenopause symptom, fibroids can be largely controlled through diet. You need a wide range of nutrients to help balance your hormones and reduce your estrogen levels, decrease cramping and inflammation, and generally improve your physical and mental well-being. Increasing your intake of the foods listed below will provide the necessary nutrients to produce these effects.
1. Whole grains are excellent sources of B vitamins, as well as vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Fiber in whole grains absorbs estrogen, helps remove it from the body, and normalizes bowel function.
2. Legumes contain fiber and are high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. I am especially fond of soybeans, which help regulate estrogen levels.
3. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of nutrients that can relieve menstrual cramps, including vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
4. Seeds and nuts, especially flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, are wonderful sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs), the raw materials necessary for the production of prostaglandins.
5. Fish contains linolenic acid and is an excellent source of minerals, especially iodine and potassium. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout are especially good for women with menstrual cramps.
6. Oils containing vitamin E help to balance mood, and ease fatigue and cramps that occur at the onset of menstruation for women with fibroids. Good oil sources include sesame seeds and wheat germ.
7. Avoid saturated fats; dairy products such as yogurt, milk, cheese, and cottage cheese; salt; refined sugar; caffeine; and alcohol.