What are Ovarian Cysts?
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is found within or attached to an ovary. Most women of reproductive age develop small ovarian cysts each month. They are harmless and usually have no symptoms though some cause may produce bloating, lower abdominal pain, or lower back pain. These cysts are related to ovulation and usually dissolve during each menstrual cycle.
However, some women can develop large ovarian cysts that do not dissolve and cause symptoms such as pain, bloating, fatigue and nausea. These cysts may need to be surgically removed or observed overtime by a professional gynecologist.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Some of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts that you may experience include:
- Abdominal or lower back pain. This dull aching pain occurs within the pelvis and is intense especially during intercourse.
- A feeling of fullness, pressure or bloating in the abdomen
- Increased urination and the inability to completely empty the bladder during urination.
- There may be spotting or abnormal bleeding in some cases.
- Sometimes, a cyst may burst causing sudden sharp pain on one side of the lower abdomen.
- Constant fatigue and tiredness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight gain
Diet for Ovarian Cysts
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates
When it comes to many ailments, modifying the diet is one of the first steps to managing symptoms and promoting healing. Obesity and excess levels of insulin are risk factors for developing fibroids, PCOS and ovarian cysts.
Adding nutrient-rich and antioxidant-packed foods is one of the ways to nourish your body and feed it with necessary nutrients to heal.
Avoiding specific foods is considered a treatment for ovarian cysts. Certain foods can throw our hormones out of balance, which leads to the development of ovarian cysts that do not dissolve on their own and cause problems.
However, restricting or eliminating certain foods that you indulge in also plays a big part!
Limiting or avoiding such foods can help balance hormones and keep the overall reproductive system healthy.
Below, let us see the list of foods to avoid with ovarian cysts:
List of Foods to Avoid with Ovarian Cysts
1. Dark Meats
Avoid consumption of red meat such as pork, beef and lamb. These foods can cause ovarian cysts to form and aggravate existing cysts as well! Dark meats are also high in fat which is another reason you should avoid them.
2. Fried Foods
Consuming a lot of fried food such as French fries, deep fried chicken, etc are among the list of foods to avoid with ovarian cysts. This is because eating a lot of fried foods can cause rapid excess weight gain. The refined vegetable oils used to fry these foods are artificial and contain chemicals that disrupt hormones.
3. Foods Rich in Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat that is unhealthy when consumed in excess. It can raise the level of cholesterol in the body. Foods rich in saturated fat include diary including butter, cheese & cream, etc, dark meats such as pork, beef and lamb, packaged foods & confectioneries, junk food and more.
4. Foods High in Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is one of the worst foods when it comes to ovarian cysts. Foods high in refined sugar include soft drinks, processed juices, cakes, pastry, cookies and sweets. Refined sugar causes a huge imbalance in the hormonal levels which causes formation of ovarian cysts or irritates existing ones.
Intoxicants like alcohol are a big no-no when it comes to foods to avoid with ovarian cysts. They disrupt our body’s hormonal balance which causes ovarian cysts to be produced. Completely avoid alcohol when you’re trying to shrink ovarian cysts.
6. Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeine is a big culprit when it comes to dehydrating the body and increasing inflammation. If you are prone to ovarian cysts, please avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea sodas, soft drinks, etc. They are highly likely to cause new ovarian cysts while worsening the existing ones.
7. Simple Carbs
Simple carbs refer to foods containing simple carbohydrates. They have a high glycemic index are quickly digested, absorbed and metabolized which causes a sharp rise in blood glucose and calls for high levels of insulin to be produced. Simple carbs such as wheat, refined flour, white bread and short grain rice are foods to avoid with ovarian cysts.
8. Starchy Foods
Another category of foods to avoid with ovarian cysts includes starchy foods such as potatoes, corn, pasta, bread, etc. You can restrict or limit consuming these foods because they lead to spikes in insulin within a short period of time, lead to rapid weight gain and lead to formation of ovarian cysts.
It may not be easy completely cutting out certain foods such as bread, rice and pasta, so you can limit their consumption. Also, swap the white versions of these foods for the brown versions! For example, eat brown bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, etc.
That’s it! There is your list of foods to avoid with ovarian cysts! Share your thoughts in the comments below.