For women with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, bloating, and other hormone issues, salad can be tricky. On the one hand… “Salad is healthy, right?” On the other hand…”Salad makes me bloated!” is a common refrain in my practice.
When do raw vegetables help vs. when do they make things worse?
Adding raw vegetables is most helpful when the digestive function is improving and there is less bloating. Raw vegetables are essential for blood sugar balancing benefits for women with PCOS or HPA axis dysregulation, and can be beneficial to overcome constipation. But, when bloating or endo belly are a struggle, the digestive enzymes are low, or too much fiber is causing anovulatory cycles, then adding cooked vegetables is a much better plan.
What salad dressings can I recommend if my client has endometriosis or bladder pain and needs to avoid citrus or vinegar?
The salad dressing makes the salad in my opinion! So, in my book, Outsmart Endometriosis, there are recipes for endo and IC friendly salad dressings without the citrus or vinegar to avoid flaring the bladder or pain symptoms.
What about oxalates?
Many vegetables, spinach is a one example, are high in oxalates. That can be problematic for women with yeast overgrowth, which exacerbates oxalate build up, or chronic pain related to high oxalates. For most women, optimizing digestive function with parasympathetic dominant mindful eating practices, chewing slowly and thoroughly, and using digestive enzyme supplements will restore their ability to eat foods high in oxalates. In the short term, eat more low oxalate vegetables, such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, and peppers.
Share this Spring Blueberry Salad (even if your clients have pelvic or bladder pain!)
Blueberry Basil Dressing
1⁄4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1⁄2 cup olive oil or avocado oil
1⁄4 cup packed fresh basil
1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cucumber diced
10 stalks asparagus, steamed and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh blueberries
crumble of goat cheese (optional)
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss with dressing. Serve and Enjoy!