Nutritional Tips for Women With Endometriosis: 7 Foods to Eat and 7 Foods to Avoid

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Melissa Thompson, PT, DPT, MTC

Dr. Thompson is board certified and the owner of Louisiana Pelvic Health. Her expertise is in alleviating bladder, bowel, and sexual pain symptoms during pregnancy, postpartum, and throughout a woman's life.


In this guide, we share 7 healing foods to eat weekly that help decrease inflammation for women with endo.

We also share 7 foods to avoid that can exacerbate endo symptoms. These foods can actually make things much worse.

Scroll down to learn which foods you should eat and which foods you should avoid.


There is not a perfect diet for everyone as every person’s body is different.

This is a general guide. Test and see what works for you!

7 Best Foods to Eat for Women with Endo

1. Fiber

A study conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition found that diets high in fiber may actually reduce the risk of getting endometriosis.

They state that:

“Plant-based diets and diets high in fibre increase oestrogen excretion and decrease concentrations of bioavailable oestrogen, and thus may lower endometriosis risk”

Not only can high-fiber diets reduce the risk of getting endometriosis, but it can decrease the symptoms associated with endo.

So, what should you eat?

Lots of fruits and veggies are high in fiber.

Eat foods like:

  • Quinoa
  • Berries
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Squash
  • And more

2. Fruits

Not all fruits are created equal!

Some fruits are extremely high in sugar and have a high glycemic index (essentially meaning that they can increase inflammation).

Fruits like bananas, dates, and pineapple have relatively high glycemic indexes. This doesn’t mean you should always avoid them. Just make sure to monitor how you feel when you eat them.

Focus on low-glycemic fruits that are antioxidant rich.

A high antioxidant diet can improve the peripheral antioxidant markers for women with endometriosis.

They found that:

“The application of the HAD in women with endometriosis increased the peripheral enzymatic superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity after 3 months of intervention in comparison to the control diet group.”

So, what should you eat?

Lots of low-glycemic, high-antioxidant fruits:

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • And more

3. Vegetables

Having lots of green veggies has been shown to reduce the risk of endometriosis, according to scientific studies.  

A study by the Human Reproduction Journal found that:

“Compared to women in the lowest tertile of intake, a significant reduction in risk emerged for high intake of green vegetables”

A diet rich in vegetables can also reduce endometriosis symptoms.

So, what should you eat?

Lots of green veggies, like:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • And more

4. Omega 3s and Essential Fatty Acids

What are omega 3s?

Omega 3s are a source of fat. And, according to Harvard, they’re an essential fat.

And diets high in omega 3s are great for women with endo.

A study by the Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira in Brazil found that:

“Omega 3 supplements can exert an anti-inflammatory role in patients with endometriosis.”

So, what should you eat?

  • Fish (especially salmon)
  • Walnuts
  • Flax Seeds
  • And more

5. Magnesium-Rich Foods

Diets high in magnesium can reduce inflammation for women with endometriosis.

Dr. Axe also found that diets high in magnesium can reduce PMS symptoms, lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and more.

So, what should you eat?

  • Cooked spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Dark chocolate
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • And more


6. Coconut Oil

Vegetable oils and other cooking oils can be really bad for you.

They’re highly unstable and mutate easily - because of this, they can wreak havoc on your body.

Instead, coconut oil is resistant to high heat, making it great for cooking.

It also has tons of anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that make it great for regular consumption.

It has many benefits, from boosting memory and brain function to balancing hormones.

So, what should you eat?

  • Coconut Oil

7. Turmeric

Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory property found in turmeric.

The research found that curcumin can slow the growth of endometriosis and reduce symptoms.

They found that:

“After intervene with curcumin (10μmol/L, 30μmol/L and 50μmol/L) for 96h, the number of endometriotic stromal cells was reduced and cell growth slowed”

So, what should you eat?

  • A high-quality curcumin supplement

7 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid for Women with Endo

1. Gluten

A gluten-free diet has been shown to help women with endometriosis.

A study recently found that:

156 women with endometriosis were asked to follow a gluten-free diet for 12 months, 75% showed a significant change in pelvic pain symptoms.”

Why should you avoid gluten?

Gluten is a protein molecule in wheat that can actually leak through your gut and cause something called leaky gut syndrome.

It is also, most of the time, a highly inflammatory food.


Do not replace gluten with a bunch of gluten-free alternatives, like pancakes, cookies, waffles, and desserts.

Just because something is gluten-free does NOT mean that it’s healthy.

2. Dairy

Dairy and endometriosis do not go well together.

Dairy is just not what it used to be…

A study on endometriosis and diet proclaimed that:

Similarly, dairy products consumed in the USA are different from those consumed in Europe, production methods as well as the amount of fat in the finished products vary greatly”

There’s no true scientific data confirming that increased dairy intake can worsen the symptoms of endometriosis.

But, Chiavaye’s founder, Kaylyn Easton, has found that reducing dairy really helps her.

3. Processed Grains

As you’ll see in the next section, any sort of processed foods are not so great for women with endo.

What exactly are processed grains?

Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.”

Examples include:

  • White flour
  • Cornmeal
  • White bread
  • And more

Why should you avoid processed grains?

Processed grains have gotten rid of most of the nutrients - the fiber, iron, B vitamins, and more.

The grains lack nutrients and often have increased chemicals, which can increase inflammation and make you feel bad.

Why should you avoid dairy?

Many doctors have concluded that dairy does more harm than good.

Here’s what we recommend you do:

Get rid of dairy for at least a week. See how you feel.

Then add dairy back into your diet. See if you feel worse. If you do, get rid of dairy completely.

4. Processed Foods

It’s pretty self-explanatory that processed foods aren’t going to be so good for you.

Foods like:

  • Candy
  • Frozen dinners
  • Ice cream
  • Cereal
  • And more

Are not high in nutrients - instead, they’re high in sugars, chemicals, and more nasty stuff your body doesn’t want.

The Indian Journal Of Medical Research concluded that:

“For an optimum nutrition it is necessary to remove grains, processed foods, sugars and starches from the diet.”

Why should you avoid processed foods?

Medical News Today shares 9 reasons why you should avoid processed foods.

Some reasons include:

  • High in sugar
  • High in high-fructose corn syrup
  • Made for overconsumption
  • And more

5. Processed Soy

Processed soy cannot only negatively influence the symptoms of endometriosis, but soy may actually cause endometriosis.

A recent study concluded that female babies that are fed a soy-based formula may be at higher risk for developing endo.

“It is biologically plausible that a hormonal exposure during infancy, such as soy formula, may increase endometriosis risk in adulthood”

Not only can soy cause issues for your gut and endo symptoms, but “Soy also contains goitrogens - substances that depress thyroid function,” according to Dr. Mercola.

Why should you avoid processed foods?

Soy has been linked with increased risks of getting endometriosis, worsening endo symptoms, and a host of other health-related problems.

6. Alcohol

Thankfully, this section isn’t as bad as you think it is.

Alcohol has been shown to increase estrogen levels in the body. And with increased estrogen, your endo symptoms can suffer.

But, a doctor recently offered advice to women with endo.

She said that no more than one drink per day is probably fine.

Why should you avoid alcohol?

Like we stated above, you don’t have to AVOID alcohol at all costs.

Having no more than 1 drink per day will probably be totally fine.

Here’s our recommendation, though:

Everybody is different. Some women with endo can have alcohol and be totally fine. Other women can’t.

So, test to see how you feel. Keep your diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle the same and then add in alcohol for a week or two. See how you feel.

7. Coffee

Oh, the morning cup of coffee (or 3 cups of coffee…)

Coffee can’t be so bad, right?

Unfortunately, coffee has been linked with data that could make endo symptoms worse.

Why should you avoid coffee?

Unfortunately, coffee has been shown to increase inflammation and therefore also exacerbate endometriosis symptoms.

Therefore, we recommend that you ditch coffee for now.

After you get your diet and lifestyle stabilized, try adding in coffee for a week or two.

Keep everything else the same but the additional coffee.

And see how you feel. If you don’t notice any negative changes, then coffee may be fine for you. If you notice some symptoms getting worse, then you should probably avoid coffee and become a tea-drinker.


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