PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common health condition that affects women of childbearing age. It is mainly caused due to hormonal imbalances. Due to the overproduction of hormones called androgens, multiple cysts are formed in the ovaries of a woman suffering from PCOS.
PCOS is typically marked with irregular periods or no periods at all. Common symptoms include –
- Hirsutism (Excessive Hair Growth)
- Overweight Or Obesity
- Male Pattern Baldness
The first-line treatment for PCOS is nutritious foods. The symptoms could be managed by controlling diet and lifestyle choices. Include these healthy foods that should be added in your diet plan to lower inflammation, promote good insulin levels, and manage your weight as well.
Foods To Eat When Suffering From PCOS
1. Leafy Greens
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, red leaf lettuce, cauliflower, spinach are great options for leafy greens. These are incredibly nutritious and are low in calories, thus, provides nutrition as well as helps in reducing weight too. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are rich in vitamin B, which is beneficial for reproductive health.
2. High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods help in lowering insulin levels and reduces inflammation too. Examples of high fiber foods for a PCOS diet are beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, seeds (chia, flax seeds), and whole oats. Don’t forget to include these foods in your diet.
3. Healthy Fats
Yes, you should surely enjoy some healthy fats. They are good for regulating your hormones. Healthy fats include avocados, nuts, olive oil, nut butter, seeds, and fish such as salmons, sardines. These consist of omega 3, a fatty acid that helps in regulating your menstrual cycle. It helps in increasing blood flow to the uterus. Overall, healthy fats are great foods for fertility and pregnancy.
4. Foods High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important foods to include in a diet if you are suffering from PCOS. These foods help in lowering inflammation and also, combats oxidative stress. The best antioxidant-rich foods are wild blueberries, pecans, dark chocolates, grapes, green tea, strawberries, and spices such as cinnamon and turmeric.
Whole grains such as oats, fruits, nuts, quinoa, brown rice, and barley should be included in the PCOS diet. These are fiber-rich foods and are slow carbohydrates. It slowly releases sugar in the blood at a controlled regular pace. Thus, it helps in managing insulin levels.
Foods To Avoid When Suffering From PCOS
1. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, cereals, white potatoes, and white rice have a high glycemic index. It might cause blood glucose levels to rise, exacerbate insulin resistance, and leads to unwanted weight gain. Therefore, it is better to avoid refined carbs in foods.
Sugar or sugary beverages must be avoided since they may contain 30 grams of sugar that might cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Instead of packed juices or other sugary drinks, have fruits. Fresh fruits are loaded with fibers and are good for health. Examples of sugary beverages and sugary processed foods are soda, bottled smoothies, packed fruit juices, sweetened cereals, cookies.
3. Unhealthy Fats
Unhealthy fats can worsen your health, as it enhances the production of estrogen hormones. These foods can also lead to weight gain. The unhealthy fats include processed foods, fried foods, cream, cheese, red meat, butter, creamy salad dressing, whole milk, and doughnuts.
Gluten in a diet can lead to inflammation, an increase in the production of estrogen hormones, and unwanted weight gain. Examples of gluten-containing foods are white flour, loaves of bread, white rice, semolina, cereals, beer. Gluten can cause insulin resistance, resulting in the risk of developing diabetes.
PCOS has no cure, but it can be managed by choosing a healthy lifestyle, and you would be able to lead a fulfilling, happy life, manage weight, and improve their fertility.
Read Also: Are Hypothyroidism And PCOS Linked?