Anti-inflammatory diet

2018, Responses from: Courtney Hibberd

“I know about FODMAPs and have tried reducing some of the foods that irritate my gut but there’s a lot of stuff on anti-inflammatory diets lately. Like we shouldn’t eat foods that inflame the gut. Seriously, what’s that about?” 

“In terms of managing functional gut symptoms that can run alongside endometriosis, a low FODMAP diet is still one of the most effective dietary interventions we can do.

It is important to note, that a low FODMAP diet is designed to be short-term (~6 weeks) and then a re-challenge is done. This helps to identify which of the four FODMAP groups you are most sensitive to and which groups you can liberate. The ultimate aim is a really varied diet, with only a few restricted foods to maintain good symptom control. It is an elimination diet, so seeing a FODMAPs experienced dietitian can really help make the diet easier to follow and ensure you are getting the best possible nutrition.

Including foods that naturally contain anti-inflammatory properties can easily be done on or off a low FODMAP diet.

Including foods such as walnuts, oily fish (salmon, sardines etc), linseeds (in small quantities as are high FODMAP) or flaxseed oil, leafy greens e.g. spinach, extra virgin olive oil and fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, oranges etc is a good place to start.

Fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens and blueberries are high in antioxidants and polyphenols-which are protective components found in plants, and foods such as walnuts and oily fish contain omega 3 fatty acids which also have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you are looking to overhaul your diet, a good place to start is by aiming for a more Mediterranean style of eating. This involves including higher intakes of fruit and vegetables (aiming for 5-7 serves per day – e.g. 1 cup salad veg or ½ cup cooked veg and a small palm-sized piece of fruit (no more than 2 serves/day)), extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (~1/8th of a cup), a couple of serves of fish/week, decreasing red meat (<2x serves/week) and processed meats and including whole grains.

This style of eating can easily be combined with a low FODMAP diet for maximum gut benefits!”

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