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The Endometriosis Diet: Eggs & Soy

Why cut out eggs & soy?

The simple answer is that both contain oestrogen which can exacerbate endometriosis symptoms, but in the case of soy it also goes a lot deeper than that. Traditional processing methods typically found in Asia result in a fairly 'safe' version of the bean, which if used minimally can be part of a balanced endo diet. However modern processing methods involve high levels of chemicals and strip the bean of almost all nutritious value. Rather than dig into it here, you should head to this article by Endo Resolved which explains exactly why soy is such a bad ingredient for endo sufferers.

Happy Egg Company Organic Free Range Eggs
As for eggs, the occasional one in a cake recipe is fine, but for the most part eliminating them will help reduce your symptoms. Also take care to stick to organic, free range eggs - commercial hens are given additional hormones and antibiotics to make them grow faster which will be passed on through their eggs.

Effects on Endometriosis

As endometriosis is largely fed by too much oestrogen in the body, reducing your intake of foods that contain oestrogen will at the least prevent symptoms from getting worse. In best case scenarios symptoms can be completely eliminated. By balancing your hormones you can take advantage of a number of benefits, better explained by this article.

Cutting them from your diet

Depending on the type of diet you already follow it may be fairly simple to remove eggs and, with a little care, soy too. This was the case for me as I did little baking at the time and wasn't a huge soy fan either. Even if they are a large part of your daily diet, there are substitutes and alternatives to both.

Clearspring Tamari Soy Sauce Gluten FreeEgg replacements can be ordered online or found in health food shops. The one I've been using is Orgran No Egg, Gluten Free* and I've found it hugely useful for baking and even making endo-friendly homemade KFC! It doesn't help cakes to rise though, so you may need to add a little extra baking powder when you're baking.

As for soy, while you should limit your intake it is still possible to include some in your diet. Look out for traditionally-brewed soy sauce, which won't contain the excess aluminium and phytic acid that is found in modern processes. I personally use Clearspring Organic Tamari* that's also gluten free (seriously, you'd be surprised how many soy sauces contain wheat!) and I really like it. You can also include traditionally prepared Miso, Tempeh and Tofu, although you'll need to do your own research into those as I haven't tried them yet!

Eating out

This is where is become a little trickier, as to avoid eggs and dairy you often have to choose from the vegan menu but this is often where you'll find the soy products instead. Your best options are to stick to vegetarian, not vegan, where possible and simply ask for no dairy/egg, but this isn't possible. The only real advice I can give in this area is to ask/visit a restaurant before you go there for a meal to see what options are available. In the UK it is now law that anywhere serving food has allergen information for everything on the menu, so it should become a lot easier than it used to be!

Roundup

Avoiding gluten and dairy becomes easy with practice and there are plenty of substitutes out there for them. When it comes to eggs and soy products, it becomes a little harder. You'll find them in places you didn't expect such as soya lecithins in chocolate, or in a free-from products since a lot of vegan substitutes rely on soy instead and egg isn't usually considered an allergen to be removed. However with a little effort and a few replacement ingredients you'll barely notice they're missing. :)


Have you cut out eggs or soy from your diet? How easy did you find it to do?

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