More Fish, Lower Endometriosis Risk

Affecting as many as 1 out of 10 women, endometriosis is a painful and dangerous gynecological condition in which tissue from the endometrium — the lining of the womb — begins to grow in the abdomen, outside the uterus.  The fluctuation of this tissue with the menstrual cycle can cause bleeding, pain, even infertility. Fortunately, research suggests eating the right foods might reduce endometriosis risk.

Of particular interest: While saturated fat from red meat and pork greatly increases endometriosis risk, healthy fats from fish and nuts may actually offer protection.  A recent Harvard study in Human Reproduction of over 70,000 women found that those with the highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a 23% lower risk of endometriosis. Conversely, European researchers found that women who ate red meat 7 days a week had a 100% increased risk of the ailment — while women who ate ham three or more times a week had 80% more risk than those who ate it less than once a week.  Why might this be?  Omega-3 helps with reducing inflammation and is also correlated with other healthier dietary habits.

Meanwhile, minimizing meat — and upping intake of seafood, plus plenty of fruit and vegetables, is bound to benefit all areas of health.  Higher levels of omega-3 have been associated with improving conditions such as dry-eye, hearing loss, joint pain, heart issues and even reducing cancer risk. More fish in the diet may benefit male fertility as well: animal research found that deficiency in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, was linked with limited sperm mobility. As we slide into September, a wonderful way to enjoy fish and veggies is with our favorite Wild Salmon with Bean Stew.

Published September 1, 2013