Two or more servings of fruit per day may help women avoid uterine fibroids, a new study finds.
Fibroids are benign growths in a woman's uterus that can be painful and lead to problems with menstruation, pregnancy, and fertility. Black women are up to three times more likely to develop uterine fibroids than white women.
More than 20,000 black women in their 30s were tracked for a decade, beginning in 1995. Researchers found that consuming more fruit was tied to a reduced risk of uterine growths.
About 29 percent of the women reported a new case of uterine fibroids. But, those who said they ate two or more serving of fruit each day were 11 percent less likely to report fibroid development than those who ate less fruit, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It may be the antioxidants in the fruit that reduces fibroid risk, said researcher Lauren Wise of Boston University. The antioxidants may be having a positive interaction with estrogen that somehow helps to lessen the risk of fibroids.
"Many women have assumed that developing fibroids and developing fibroid symptoms is something that they can't do anything about," said Dr. Elizabeth Stewart of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who wasn't involved in the study. "Developing a more healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for overall health and may be good for fibroids."