Ovarian cysts aren’t often talked about. Some people might even have them without knowing, as the cysts don’t always cause pain. Other times, cysts can cause issues like pain and pressure. Sometimes you wish they’d just disappear.
So, what about foods that kill cysts? Well… some foods truly can help. These are the ones we’re looking at today. You’ll be familiar with many of these, as the foods are associated with many other health benefits.
Now, let’s be clear. The foods on this list aren’t likely to kill a cyst entirely. They’re not even guaranteed to have an effect (as we’re all very different from each other). However, they may help to reduce your symptoms and clear up your cyst sooner. That has to be a good thing, right?
Foods That Kill Cysts
Chia seeds are deceptive. With their small size, you’d expect them to offer very few benefits. But that’s not how it goes at all.
The little seeds are actually an incredible source of fiber, providing more than 30 grams of fiber per 100 grams. This fiber is valuable, as it helps with hormone regulation and digestion. Those effects could both help your body fight cysts.
There are also plenty of nutrients, including magnesium. The magnesium doesn’t have many direct benefits for cysts, but can help with pain management.
Chia seeds are also pretty interesting to use, as they absorb water and become gelatinous. This is why you can make chia pudding by using chia seeds, some type of liquid, and a few flavoring ingredients.
Nuts and seeds always provide benefits, providing you don’t over-consume them. Pumpkin seeds are particularly good due to their combination of magnesium and fiber.
The seeds are also a source of healthy fats and antioxidants. These features help to reduce inflammation and provide a host of benefits.
Beyond these benefits, pumpkin seeds are simply easy to find. You can even roast them yourself with the seeds from fresh pumpkins.
If you don’t enjoy pumpkin seeds, try sunflower seeds or another type of seed. They all offer benefits.
Then there are almonds. These are often seen as the healthiest type of nut, partly because of their nutrient distribution.
The magnesium is particularly relevant here, as this can help with some of the pain. Additionally, research shows that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are likely to under-consume magnesium rich foods, potentially leading to a magnesium deficiency. A similar effect could easily be true for those with ovarian cysts as well.
Eating almonds regularly should also help to decrease inflammation and improve hormones, partly due to the magnesium and fiber content. This effect mightn’t happen for everyone, but almonds are definitely worth trying (besides, they’re delicious!).
You can also experiment with other types of nuts. While each type of nut has a different nutrient distribution, they all provide plenty of health benefits.
Milk chocolate is mostly a treat food, but dark chocolate is a completely different story. It’s famous for decreasing inflammation, partly due to the powerful polyphenols. There’s a surprising amount of magnesium here too.
The trick is to choose your chocolate carefully. Products with a cocoa percentage of 70% or above will have the most health benefits (the higher the cocoa percentage, the better). It’s best to also find products without too many additives.
Omega-3 Rich Fish
Now we come to fish. These are most famous for their omega 3 fatty acids. You’ve heard about these, right? They’ve been linked to decreased inflammation, better mental health, lower heart disease risk, and a host of other benefits.
The decreased inflammation is most relevant here. The omega 3s can also help with hormone balance, which is perfect when dealing with cysts.
Oily fish are your best bet here, as these contain plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon and sardines are great starting points. Not only are these decent for omega 3s, but they’re also low in mercury.
Even with these, you’ll need to be wise about the amount you consume. Two to three servings of fish or seafood per week is ideal. More than this can mean you’re consuming too much mercury, which puts your health at risk.
Spices aren’t just a way to make your food taste better. They also provide a whole host of benefits and turmeric is particularly famous in this regard.
Turmeric is most well-known for its ability to decrease inflammation. This is exactly what you need, as anti-inflammatory effects may help with swelling and the pain associated with cysts.
Now, there’s no guarantee that turmeric will help at all. This is true for other items on this list as well. Still… turmeric provides plenty of benefits and can be used in many ways. You can even simply experiment with turmeric shots.
Eggs are fascinating, as their reputation has changed dramatically over time. For a long time, they were seen as being unhealthy, largely because of their cholesterol content. However, they’re now recognized as being good for you instead.
That difference is due to changes in how we understand cholesterol. We now know that cholesterol in our diet often doesn’t dramatically affect blood cholesterol (our bodies produce cholesterol on their own anyway). Plus, unlike many other cholesterol rich foods, eggs are low in saturated fat. That low saturated fat content decreases the risk of any heart-related issues.
The vitamin D in eggs is crucial here, as there are associations between low vitamin D levels and ovary-related issues, including PCOS and ovarian cancer. This suggests that getting enough vitamin D helps to keep your hormones where they need to be, while also promoting overall health.
High fiber foods like lentils shouldn’t be ignored, as the fiber helps to balance hormones. The phytoestrogens in lentils, beans, and other legumes may be relevant to, as they can compete with estrogen and further decrease the risk of hormonal imbalance.
Lentils have many other benefits too. After all, they’re an inexpensive source of protein and fiber. They’re also packed with nutrients, making them even more powerful.
Lentils also cook quickly, which makes them fantastic for busy nights when you don’t have much time or energy.
Beans have many of the same benefits as lentils. They have plenty of protein and fiber, plus a variety of nutrients as well. There’s even a decent amount of magnesium which, as we know, helps with pain management.
While beans take longer to cook than lentils, they’re still a very practical ingredient. Soaking them first decreases the cooking time and also reduces any antinutrients.
Broccoli And Cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower are both classified as cruciferous vegetables (a group that also includes Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage). These vegetables are most famous for compounds called glucosinolates, which offer a surprising number of health benefits.
The glucosinolates and other compounds in the greens may help to balance hormone levels. Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables even seem to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, which could make them very relevant to ovarian cysts as well. Additionally, eating plenty of green vegetables appears to be protective against cyst development.
Chicken has many helpful features, but today we’re most interested in the protein content. Getting enough protein is essential for functions throughout your body, including maintaining good hormonal balance and acting as a messenger between hormones.
These effects help to keep you healthy and ensure your body functions well, which could lead to improvements for cysts (or a reduced risk of ever developing them).
Chicken certainly isn’t your only option for protein. We’ve already highlighted plenty of others.
You’ve heard all the controversy about soy, right? We’re often told that soy causes serious problems because it contains estrogen-like compounds. However, soy is also nutrient-dense and can promote health in a range of ways.
As discussed earlier, some theories suggest that the estrogen-like compounds in soy can help with hormonal balance in women. This effect could easily help with ovarian cysts.
That said, there’s a ton of debate about how much the compounds in soy actually affect our hormones. Some authors suggest that the effects are dramatic, while others suggest they’re minimal.
You may need to experiment with soy. See whether consuming soy products (like tofu and soy milk) improves your cyst-related symptoms, has no effect, or worsens them. After all, we’re all different, and foods don’t all have the same effects.
We’re now up to quinoa. This is often categorized as a pseudocereal because it isn’t technically a cereal but has many of the same features. Notably, quinoa offers more nutrients and protein than many grains, making it even healthier.
Quinoa is also versatile. You can use it in the place of rice in many meals, make quinoa-based salads, or use it in many other ways.
Dark Leafy Greens
The category of dark leafy greens includes spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and plenty of others. These greens all provide a variety of phytochemicals, nutrients, and fiber.
Many of these greens are fantastic for their magnesium content, which helps with pain from cysts. Dark leafy greens also have anti-inflammatory effects. Some compounds in the greens may be powerful too, as a high intake of greens reduces the risk of ovarian cyst development.
Leafy greens are fantastic for reducing inflammation too. Then there’s the nutrient content, which is simply outstanding.
Fermented foods are trending these days, mainly because they’re rich in probiotics. These probiotics are healthy microbes that help our guts to function well.
This effect is important, as helping our guts function well then improves hormonal management, which is directly related to ovarian cysts. You’re also getting anti-inflammatory effects, plus plenty of nutrients. Probiotics might lead to other health improvements as well.
There are plenty of fermented foods to choose from, including sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and yogurt. These all offer probiotics, but have their own distinct nutrient profiles. It’s often best to include a variety of these in your diet.
Finally, we have beetroot. Anecdotal reports suggest that beetroot can help with ovarian cysts, perhaps because of the betacyanin.
There isn’t much evidence here, but beetroot is still worth trying. Even if it doesn’t help with your ovarian cysts, beetroot offers plenty of nutrients and tastes pretty good too.
Other Treatments For Ovarian Cysts
The right foods may help to naturally reduce ovarian cysts, but this isn’t the only approach. Sometimes you’ll need a medical intervention instead or to try a home remedy.
Talking to your doctor should be one of your first steps. Your doctor will be able to determine whether you do have an ovarian cyst and the best ways forward.
Doing so is crucial, as your ovarian cyst could be serious and need immediate medical treatment. There might also be some home-based approaches that are unwise given your current health and needs.
Hot compresses are often used for abdominal pain or period cramps, so they’re an obvious choice for ovarian cysts as well. The heat from the compress may help to thin out the liquid in your cyst and help the fluid to drain faster.
Beyond this, the heat helps to relax your muscles, which can then lead to less cramping and pain from the cysts. That has to be a good thing.
Staying active and stretching regularly is important for reducing muscle pain and keeping your body feeling good. These effects are very relevant when you’re dealing with an ovarian cyst.
Exercising also helps you to maintain a healthy body weight, which then has a wide range of health benefits.
Health problems like ovarian cysts are often related to stress, which is frustrating, as stress is a common aspect of modern life. Anything you can do to manage stress may help with your symptoms and could even reduce your risk of developing a cyst.
Stress reduction includes techniques like meditation and mindfulness. These help you to stay connected to the present moment, rather than focusing on the present or the past.
Other times, you may need to actively decrease your stress levels instead. This might include lowering the commitments in your life and focusing on your own needs instead.
Who can dispute the benefits of getting a massage? For one thing, massages are relaxing, so they can help with your stress levels. Some theories suggest that massage therapies can help stimulate the body and improve hormonal balance.
The tension reducing effects of a massage also help to reduce physical pain, making your cyst easier to handle in the short term.
Baths are amazing. They help to relax your muscles, to improve blood circulation, and reduce inflammation. So, it’s no surprise that they help with pain as well.
You could take things one step further and add Epson salts as well. Epson salts are particularly relevant for inflammation and muscle pain, but can help with other sources of pain too, including ovarian cysts.
You’re likely to see other benefits too. For example, hot baths are often associated with improved sleep and less stress, effects that can also help you feel better.