Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, are one of the most common forms of benign tumors in women. They can cause a whole host of symptoms including heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding leading to iron deficiency anemia, abdominal bloating and an array of digestive complaints.  

There are many factors that are thought to contribute to fibroid development, however the exact mechanisms are not fully understood. Genetic factors play a role, in addition to certain environmental exposures. The role of high estrogen in fibroid development is thought to be most relevant when it comes to nutrition and our diet. While many studies on fibroids and food have been inconclusive we do know there are certain components of food and drinks that can increase or decrease our risk.  

Best Foods For Fibroids  


Studies on fish and seafood intake, more specifically omega 3 fatty acids and fibroid prevalence are conflicting. Some studies have shown an increased risk of fibroid development with high intake of omega 3s, while others show omega 3’s can actually slow down fibroid growth. These opposite findings are likely explained by persistent pollutants found in fish, including Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury.  

One type of fish that contains low levels of environmental containments and high levels of omega 3’s is salmon. Choose the wild caught or organic farmed variety to minimize your exposure to unhealthy saturated fats and  anti-biotics.  Bottom feeding fish such as striped bass, bluefish, eel, sea trout and larger predatory fish such as bass and lake trout contain high levels of PCBs and mercury and should be limited. Don’t like fish? No problem! Choose a high-quality, third party tested omega 3 supplement that contains both EPA and DHA.   

Another benefit to salmon, and other small oily fish, is Vitamin D. Interestingly, one study showed that women with normal Vitamin D levels had an estimated 32 percent lower chance of fibroid occurrence in comparison to Vitamin D deficient group. We get the majority of Vitamin D through sun exposure at certain times of the day. The app D Minder can guide you on when to get outside to maximize your Vit D.  

Citrus Fruit   

The Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) found that women who consumed four fruit and vegetable servings per day had a lower risk of developing fibroids in comparison to women who just ate one fruit or vegetable serving per day. The association was strongest for fruit, particularly citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons but also green vegetables. Another study in China found that women with fibroids had a lower consumption of broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and apples compared to healthy women. The reason for this benefit comes down to certain phytochemicals such as quercetin. Other high quercetin containing foods include onions, parsley, sage, tea and dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries.      


The health benefits of regularly consuming curcumin are well documented. Curcumin is the active component of the turmeric spice and has been shown to have anti neoplastic activity, in other words, it can inhibit or prevent the growth of unwanted cells. This is a key mechanism underlying fibroid growth. While many studies have only been done in animals or in test tubes, there is ample evidence to suggest adding turmeric to your food, great in curry dishes or smoothies or taking a daily supplement can be beneficial. To enhance curcumin absorption, choose a supplement that also includes piperine, a component of black pepper.  

Worst Foods For Fibroids  

Microwavable Popcorn  

Often touted as a ‘health’ food, microwaveable popcorn is a no – no for anyone trying to reduce fibroid risk.  The problem is the flavorings that are added, which can contain trans fatty acids (aka trans fats). Studies show trans fats intake is positively associated with fibroid onset. Stick with old fashioned air pop or use your own oil to pop the kernels, such as olive or avocado oil. To make matters worse, many manufacturers add perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the inside of the bags to prevent the butter flavoring from leaking through. PFAS are associated with an array of health issues including increased cholesterol levels and liver problems.  

Check the nutritional label. Even if it states a product has ‘zero trans fats’ many will still contain partially hydrogenated oil which is the main dietary source of trans fats. If a product serving contains 0.5g or less of trans fats they are allowed to round down to zero on the label. Other culprits include peanut butter, coffee creamer, cookies, muffins and other processed foods.  


Studies around alcohol consumption and fibroids are conflicting. The BWHS found that women who consumed alcohol were at an increased risk particularly if their consumption spanned 20 years or longer. Beer had the strongest association with increased risk compared to wine or liquor. The cause of this increased risk is not fully understood but it’s thought that alcohol could increase levels of estrogen in the body by reducing estrogen metabolism in the liver. Alcohol can also disrupt luteinizing hormone. Alcohol’s influence is not just isolated to the liver. Our gut health is also damaged by regular intake that can reduce the removal of estrogen through bowel movements. Try to limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks per week.  


High intake of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda, can place you at a higher risk of fibroids. Caffeine is associated with increased levels of follicular phase estradiol, one type of estrogen that is implicated in fibroids. Caffeine can also disrupt our stress regulating system, known as the hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA), leading to increased levels of prolactin and higher fibroid risk. The good news is that these effects are likely only associated with high levels of caffeine over a prolonged period of time. To lower your risk, try to limit your coffee intake to no more than two cups per day, or switch to a lower caffeine option such as green tea. Green tea extract has shown considerable benefits to lowering fibroid risk by disrupting the replication of unhealthy cells. Drink up!   

Sign up for emails

Receive the latest women’s health content from Viva Eve.

You have Successfully Subscribed!