Anti-inflammatory foods for endometriosis

Anti-inflammatory foods can successfully support drug therapy for inflammation or help with chronic inflammatory diseases in the long term. Since endometriosis leads to inflammation, it makes sense to address the issue. There are promising studies that have shown effectiveness of foods against inflammation.

These foods are effective against inflammation:

It is worth to study the topic and try the anti-inflammatory foods for endometriosis. Of course, you will not see the immediate effect as with a pain pill, the successes are seen in the long term. Speaking of “pain pill”, some anti-inflammatory foods are also very effective against pain!

Entzündungshemmende Lebensmittel

Anti-inflammatory foods often effective as tablets

The following foods are particularly effective against inflammation:

  1. Ginger
  2. Pineapple
  3. Papaya
  4. omega 3 fatty acids
  5. morello cherries
  6. Curcuma

We explain what influences they have and how to incorporate these foods into your diet.

1. Ginger


Ginger acts comparable to ibuprofen against pain and inflammation

Ginger is effective against inflammation and reduces cell-damaging oxidative stress. [6] A component of ginger (gingerol, [11] responsible for the pungent taste) also inhibits an enzyme that becomes active in the body when pain occurs. When this enzyme is inhibited, the pain is diminished. The principle works like that of a painkiller, only somewhat gentler on the stomach, milder and more natural. One study was able to show: the effect is comparable to ibuprofen.[11]

The combination of anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects makes ginger particularly interesting for women suffering from endometriosis. Studies on ginger and endometriosis are not yet available, but it can be assumed that ginger can also alleviate inflammation and pain in endometriosis. [12]

Ginger is also effective against nausea and morning sickness. However, all medications, including herbal remedies such as ginger, should be discussed with the treating physician before use in case of pregnancy! Natural products in particular are sometimes underestimated in their effectiveness, but can also have effects on the fetus. [18]

Preparation tip

Ingwertee mit Zitrone

Ginger tea with lemon – against pain and inflammation

It is important that ginger is prepared fresh and is not used as a powder. Only in fresh ginger are the effective essential oils still completely preserved! Whether the ginger is grated raw or cooked as a tea, it does not matter. Candied ginger is also delicious! The more, the better. Ginger tastes good with hearty meat dishes, with vegetables and also with fruit and in desserts. Freshly grated or as juice (from drugstore or health food store) in cold water makes a refreshing ginger lemonade.

Ginger Tea: Ginger tea is especially effective when fresh ginger is simmered in water for 20 min with a lid on low heat. Then let cool and drink. Also delicious with lemon juice as an extra source of vitamin C!

2. Pineapple


Pineapple acts against inflammation with its enzyme bromelain

Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which relieves pain and inflammation and reduces swelling. [10] Bromelain activates the body’s own processes and messenger substances (interleukins), which fight inflammation. The active ingredient from pineapple is also able to relieve pain.[9] Therefore, the “pineapple enzyme” is also often recommended after dental surgery or oral surgery.[7]

In order to absorb the necessary amount of bromelain, you have to include a lot of pineapple in your diet, but you can also buy the active ingredient in concentrated tablet form. Those who only occasionally suffer from discomfort and want to counteract inflammation and pain simply integrate pineapple products such as pineapple juice or fresh pineapple into their daily diet.

Important: the bromelain from the middle part of the fruit (the harder “stem”) is particularly effective and should not be cut out.[7] In canned fruits, this part is completely missing, which is why it is not recommended.

3. Papaya

entzündungshemmende Lebensmittel

Papaya has been used for centuries against inflammation.

The tropical papaya contains active ingredients that are supposed to ensure that inflammatory swellings are reduced, metabolic products are removed more quickly and inflammation is contained. Papaya has therefore traditionally been used for centuries to treat these complaints.[14] The effect has been proven in various studies, but a clinical study on the individual components of papaya is still pending in order to be able to unreservedly recommend papaya as a therapy.

However, previous studies have already shown in the laboratory (“in vitro”) and in practice (“in vivo”) that papaya has anti-inflammatory properties. So it can’t hurt to consume fresh papaya or pure papaya juice from time to time. Which active ingredient in it has such a positive effect has not yet been definitively clarified. By the way: the seeds are also edible and taste spicy like pepper.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 Fettsäuren

Gesunde Omega-3 Fettsäuren bei Endometriose empfehlenswert

A large-scale study found: the risk of developing endometriosis is increased by 22% if the diet contains too few omega-3 fatty acids. [8] Another study showed that increased consumption of these omega-3 fatty acids (in combination with vitamin B) could also reduce pain.

Omega-3 fatty acids support the body’s balanced production of substances (cytokines) that control the immune system, inflammation and cell growth. They also inhibit a group of hormones (prostaglandins) that promote pain and inflammatory processes.

In simple terms, the more omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, the less inflammation and pain that endometriosis lesions cause. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in particularly good fatty acid ratios in linseed oil. Fatty sea fish also contains important omega-3 fatty acids, which are rarely found in plant foods. More on the topic: Omega-3 fatty acids and endometriosis.

5.Morello cherries


Sour cherries are anti-inflammatory foods

The knowledge that sour cherries contain anti-inflammatory substances is still relatively new. One study was able to show that the consumption of 480ml of sour cherry juice daily was able to significantly reduce inflammatory markers in the blood. Sour cherry juice also has cell-protective effects due to its antioxidant properties and can lower blood pressure and unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. [5]

This is probably the effect of the anthocyanins abundant in sour cherries, among others [2]: secondary plant compounds responsible for the intense red to purple and blue coloration of fruits. According to this, other foods rich in these natural pigments should be equally effective against inflammation, for example, hundred and tenberries, blackberries, blueberries , black currants or blue grapes. But so far, the anti-inflammatory effect has been studied only in sour cherries.

The more colorful and colorful the fruits and vegetables, the better, also in terms of many other positive effects with regard to endometriosis. What these are, is written here: How effective fruits and vegetables are for endometriosis

6. Curcuma


Curcuma is effective only in combination with black pepper

Curcuma, a rather uncommon spice in Germany, has fundamental wound-healing [15], cell-protective (antioxidant), and anti-inflammatory properties due to its component curcumin. In laboratory testing, turmeric has been confirmed to lower inflammatory markers and pro-inflammatory messengers in the fluid lining the abdomen (peritoneal fluid) in endometriosis.[3]

In addition, curcumin acts against unwanted cell growth and attachment as well as invasion into tissue (anti-angiogenic, anti-invasive, antimetastatic, antiproliferative). [19] Attachment and invasion of cells into foreign tissues are essential in the spread of endometriosis cells, so these effects, in addition to the anti-inflammatory properties, predestine turmeric as an active ingredient in endometriosis.[1] In fact, an Austrian study is currently underway to explicitly explore the effects of turmeric in endometriosis.

Curcuma, which is also called turmeric or saffron root, is usually sold ground as an exotic spice. In health food stores and health food stores, the root is often offered. Curcuma colors dishes intensely yellow and is much cheaper than saffron. The taste is mildly spicy, which is why you can use turmeric generously for seasoning.

Important: Curcuma works only in combination with black pepper! The bioavailability (effectiveness in the body) of turmeric is increased by piperine from black pepper by up to 2000%. [17] Therefore, one should always use both spices at the same time. Some dietary supplements with turmeric contain both active ingredients in one preparation.

However, it must be emphasized that all these research results are basic science and laboratory studies, i.e. large-scale studies with humans are still missing.

Preparation tip

Curcuma does not appear in European cuisine and it does not go well with all dishes. However, with a large portion of turmeric you can make a delicious drink: “Golden Latte” is a traditional drink from India. It is well suited to absorb a relatively large amount of curcuma with just a few sips.

golden latte

“Golden Latte” is an anti-inflammatory drink

1 teaspoon turmeric

ginger to taste

1 pinch of cinnamon or vanilla or fresh ginger

1 pinch of black pepper

250ml almond milk (unsweetened)

honey to taste

Carefully dissolve the curcuma powder in a little milk and stir in the other ingredients except the honey with the rest of the milk. Bring the mixture to the boil briefly. After boiling, allow to cool slightly and sweeten with honey. Enjoy with occasional stirring. There will always be some dregs that should be consumed with it, as it contains extra curcuma.

Of course, the recipe also works with cow’s milk.

Avoid animal food

vegane Ernährung bei Endometriose

Almost like medicine: vegan diet for endometriosis

In general, animal fats promote inflammatory processes in the body and certain messenger substances in meat have a negative effect on hormone balance. [4] Either way, red meat is not recommended for endometriosis: those who eat more than two portions of red meat per day have a 56% higher risk of developing endometriosis than women who eat red meat less frequently than once a week.

Red meat promotes inflammation and pain. This also has to do with the influence of meat on hormone balance, because the sex hormone estradiol not only promotes the formation of endometrium, but it also promotes the formation of other hormones, prostaglandins. And these are responsible for regulating pain, blood clotting and inflammation in the body. A purely plant-based diet not only reduces the risk of endometriosis, but also inflammatory markers in the blood.


Endometriosis lesions cause inflammation and pain. Certain foods (ginger, omega-3 fatty acids, papaya, sour cherries, turmeric, pineapple) are able to inhibit inflammation. Some foods (ginger, pineapple, omega-3 fatty acids) can even noticeably relieve pain.

Avoiding animal foods and regularly consuming healthy omega-3 fatty acids also ensures that inflammation and pain are significantly dampened. A diet that avoids animal products and favors anti-inflammatory foods is helpful for endometriosis. So how about a delicious “Golden Latte”, a big glass of cherry juice and fresh ginger with tropical fruit salad with papaya and pineapple?


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