Ovarian cysts can cause some distress and discomfort for those who have it. However, this condition is manageable by noting the foods to avoid when you have ovarian cysts. In effect, you should consider the healthier alternatives for these foods.
The ovaries are the two organs in the female reproductive system located on the upper side of the womb, placed at either side. Now, these glands sometimes develop sacs of fluid developing into cysts. These cysts can form due to various causes. There are common types that form due to normal reproductive processes like follicle cysts and corpus luteum cysts. Some benign cysts are less common such as endometriomas, dermoid, or cystadenomas. Also, some women develop several small cysts in the ovaries. This condition is called polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.
As mentioned, there are various causes of developing ovarian cysts. Other common causes are hormonal imbalance, endometriosis, pregnancy, or pelvic infections. Ovarian cysts do not manifest many symptoms. If they would, women would feel pelvic pain, pain in the lower back or thighs, and pain during sexual intercourse. Also, some ovarian cysts cause an irregular menstrual cycle, heavier or lighter menstruation, or extreme premenstrual syndrome. Nevertheless, these symptoms can be managed by shifting to a healthier diet and avoiding certain foods that heighten it. Here’s a list of five foods to avoid and what you should choose to eat instead.
Caffeine can be found most commonly in coffee, tea, or soda. If you have an ovarian cyst, you should be thinking of giving up that morning cup of coffee. It can be a challenge for some women since having caffeinated beverages have become a part of their daily routine. These drinks would usually pump up our energy to go through all out activities within the day. Who wouldn’t want to miss that coffee appointment with a friend or a colleague? Also, some people perceive tea as a healthier option, but unbeknownst to them, this beverage also has high caffeine content. If you have an ovarian cyst, tea and soda are beverages you should skip.
What does caffeine do anyway? The general rule is to keep things in moderation, but how do we even determine moderate? With this in mind, the best way is to avoid caffeine as much as you can. Caffeine is known to be a stimulant, and it may cause some harm in the body. Studies show that caffeine from coffee, tea, cocoa, or sodas can irritate and even induce the formation of specific ovarian cysts. Also, caffeine also affects the hormonal balance in the body. Remember earlier that hormonal imbalance may cause ovarian cysts. Therefore, caffeine is one of the foods to avoid when you have ovarian cysts.
If you choose to not consume caffeinated foods or beverages, what should you eat then? There are various alternatives that can boost your energy within the day that are not caffeinated. The best bet is on water. This can readily quench your thirst without any added harmful chemicals to your body. It is refreshing and can instantly boost your energy. But if you are looking for something tasty, you can go for fruit smoothies that are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which can give you the energy kick instead of having coffee. Since fruit smoothies are high in fiber, they can also lessen the bloated feeling, which is also a symptom of ovarian cysts. Berries, citrus, and bananas are the top fruits to go with. In effect, you avoid caffeine from aggravating ovarian cysts by developing a healthier body through healthier beverages choices. That’s good health management altogether.
Some women also get their daily dose of alcohol be it from wine for dinner, beer, and pizza, or a few shots of liquor. If you have an ovarian cyst, this routine should be avoided. It is observable how alcoholic drinks are part of our daily lives. It is shown in the number or varieties of wine that would the meal that you will be having. Beer and liquor, such as vodka or tequila, on the other hand, have become part of recreational activities such as a girls’ night out, having some drinks with colleagues, or a simple hang out in a pub. You need not give up on these activities; you should just avoid the alcoholic beverages associated with them if you have an ovarian cyst.
So what is the big deal about alcohol and ovarian cysts? Alcoholic drinks dehydrate and hinder the body from retaining water needed for flushing out toxins and harmful entities from the body. Alcohol, in general, is difficult for the body to process. It intoxicates some of the cells in the body, and it needs to be flushed out. With this, instead of the body performing just its regular functions, alcohol is a harmful addition for the body to deal with. Think about your body as a machine; if you already have ovarian cysts, something is already hindering the mechanism to function properly. If you add motor oil that is not compatible with the machine, which represents the alcohol in the body, the malfunction can become worse or other issues may arise.
What can you drink in place of alcohol then? There many healthier options for you to intake instead of alcohol. As mentioned in the discussion of caffeine, water is the drink to go for. Other than its thirst quenching properties, it helps wash out toxins and harmful things in the body. You can also opt for organic fruit juices for added vitamins and minerals. Cranberry juice can assist the discomfort in urinating, which is also one of the manifestations of ovarian cyst in the body.
3. Dairy Foods
Ice cream, milk, butter, margarine, heavy cream – these are the dairy products that make our food creamier and more delicious. But these are some of those foods to avoid when you have ovarian cysts. It is an extra challenge for women because of the effects of our natural hormonal cycle. Do you ever feel the craving for ice cream especially on the days before your period? These cravings have something to do with the increasing and decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone. But, these desires should be controlled especially if you have an ovarian cyst.
Dairy products come from animal produce. Therefore, they are known source of protein. However, studies show that foods derived from animal products, especially animal fat are harder for the human body to digest. In turn, the nutrients from them are also more difficult for our bodies to absorb. It is also true for margarine and processed vegetable oils. Hence, instead of being broken down, the unprocessed dairy foods become harmful and can aggravate the symptoms of ovarian cyst.
Also, the possible hormones given to the animals to produce dairy products can be passed on to the product itself. As a result, these hormones can affect the balance of hormones in a woman’s body, which can also help develop ovarian cysts.
If you are to avoid dairy products, what would be a good source of protein as an alternative? There are several sources of protein and other nutrients from plant foods than consuming animal based products. Most dairy products like milk, cream, ice cream, cheeses, and butter already have healthier alternatives which are plant based. Now, there are different types of vegan milk made from rice, soy, or almond. Soybeans are also made into cream and cheeses.
Healthier alternatives for butter such as olive oil which is also as flavorful. With shifting to plant-based foods, your body can break down their nutrients easier. Since plant-based foods are rich in fiber, they can improve the health of your digestive system and relieves bloating and lessens weight gain.
4. Fried and Processed Foods
Fried and processed foods have become staple food choices when we go to the grocery because they are convenient to get and easy to prepare. You can buy them in the grocery and stock them in the pantry with fewer worries that it will perish early. Some processed foods just need to be heated in the microwave, and voila, you can start eating! Beyond this convenience, we need to examine all the factors that resulted in this processed food. What is in the can or package? How can they not perish for a long time? How do the ingredients affect my body? The same goes with fried food with all the oils used to prepare it.
Processed foods have preservatives that make their shelf life longer. Also, most processed and fried foods use vegetable oils that may have high saturated fat and trans fat. Harmful oils used to preserve foods are factors which may affect bodily processes that also regulate the reproductive system. Better yet, there are healthier alternatives that you can eat rather than fried and processed foods.
As an alternative, go for organic and fresh produce. Red meats and poultry should be consumed in moderation. The best option is fresh fish. Going organic would ensure that what you consume is free from preservatives and harmful fats and oils, which make food digestion more difficult for the body. This means that your food has no chemicals that can harm the processing of hormones in your body.
As discussed, bodily hormones have a direct effect on the formation of ovarian cysts and its symptoms. Roasting or baking your food can help lessen the use of oil in your food. Healthier oil alternatives can also be used such as those coming from plants such as olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
5. Sugary Foods
Other types of foods to avoid when you have ovarian cysts are those that have high sugar content. This is another challenge for women because of our sweet tooth during some part of our menstrual cycle. Don’t you just love to eat that doughnut when everything seems to get so low? Sweets are perceived as pick-uppers when you seem to be drained and wish to have a boost. You would probably observe that a bar of chocolate can help you finish that report that you are writing. However, you should be thinking twice about it as artificial sweeteners, and refined sugars can impact the formation and symptoms of ovarian cyst.
Excessive refined sugar and carbohydrates in the body also signal the production of insulin. Insulin, in turn, can increase essential hormones in our body that causes the formation of ovarian cysts. Also, blood sugar is a contributor in gaining weight and mood changes that are very much related to the symptoms of ovarian cysts.
Regulating or eliminating excessive sugar and carbohydrates from sugary foods can help manage the development and symptoms of ovarian cysts. Instead of indulging yourself with a chocolate bar, go with fruits that are high in vitamins and minerals. They are naturally sweet and high in fiber. Fiber helps with digestion and nutrient absorption in the body. To sweeten your herbal tea or when you are cooking, you can choose to use honey instead of refined sugar. Honey is an organic and natural alternative to sugar which has antioxidants that help the body flush out toxins.
Foods to Choose
In examining this list of foods to avoid when you have ovarian cysts, we can see that shifting to a healthier diet is the way to manage the symptoms of ovarian cysts. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol and switching to healthier beverages such as water, fruit juices, and vegetable juices can help your body become more hydrated, less bloated, and energized. Also, avoiding dairy, fried, processed, and sugary foods have also been recommended by other health management diets. This regimen can even help you manage your weight. This can help with the overweight issues caused by hormone imbalance as a symptom of ovarian cyst. Health practitioners have also emphasized on the other harmful effects of preservatives and sugar in our body.
If you wish to keep your body healthy and efficiently manage the symptoms of having an ovarian cyst, you have several healthy options to choose from. Drink more water, natural fruit and/or vegetable juices, and herbal teas that do not have caffeine. These can help in managing pain and weight gain brought about by an ovarian cyst.
You also have healthier food alternatives; instead of choosing produce coming from animals such as red meat and dairy products, opt for foods that come from plants. Nuts and legumes are excellent sources of protein. Fish is another source of meat that is healthy in the body. Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of fiber and nutrients.
You see, you still have a variety of food choices even if you have an ovarian cyst. These food are also delicious and more importantly, healthy. With just a shift in diet and perspective, you can easily manage the formation and symptoms of ovarian cyst.