Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes irregular menstruation as monthly ovulation becomes irregular and androgen (male hormone) levels rise.
This condition occurs in about 5 to 10% of women. Not all, but most women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and have a higher-than-average risk of developing diabetes.
Most of them have PCOS, but they keep ruling it out until they are diagnosed with the disease through proper treatment.
Treat PCOS by making dietary and lifestyle changes
Two ways diet can affect PCOS are weight management and insulin resistance. Insulin plays an important role in PCOS, so managing insulin levels through a PCOS-friendly diet is one of the best ways to manage PCOS. Along with proper diet, proper counseling and regular exercise play an equally important role.
What Can You Include In Your PCOS Diet?
A high-fiber diet can help combat insulin resistance by slowing digestion, controlling blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and improving gut health. Whole grains, legumes, lentils, seeds, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of fiber. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, almonds, beans, lentils etc. can be included in the diet.
Low-protein sources , such as tofu, chicken, and fish do not provide fiber, but are plenty of fortified and healthy dietary choices for women with PCOS.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale (Karamsaag, cabbage) or spinach, are high in vitamin B. Incredibly, more than 80% of women with PCOS are deficient in B vitamins. Vitamin B is rich in nutrients and low in calories, making them ideal for weight loss and nutritious.
Foods rich in antioxidants help reduce inflammation and regulate insulin levels. Examples of antioxidant-rich foods for the PCOS diet include fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries); vegetables (spinach, beet, kale); whole grains (whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice); and unsaturated fats (nuts like pecans, nut butter, olive oil, avocado should be included.
Avoid skipping food. They can lower your blood sugar levels and cause food cravings and overindulgence. Maintaining a routine has the potential to stabilize blood sugar levels which aid in androgen production.
Foods To Avoid Or Eat Less
For a PCOS friendly diet, it is better to stay away from the following foods and balance the right ratio of proteins, carbohydrates, fats for a healthy body.
- Refined Carbs – Sugar, processed food, food packets, instant food, refined wheat, fruit juice in any form, soda, aerated drinks, ice cream.
- Saturated fats, such as meat and mutton, bakery items, too much oil or ghee, fast foods.
- Reduce dairy intake: According to research published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, preventive medication and reducing dairy intake may possibly help some women in the process of PCOS, lose weight and ease some of their hormonal PCOS symptoms. Cutting back on dairy products has been shown to improve gut health for many women and thereby improve the absorption of certain nutrients.
Exercise As A Lifestyle Change
Everyone knows that exercise helps reduce excess calories and promote the process of weight loss . Let’s see how regular exercise is more beneficial than losing weight for women with PCOS.
- Improves insulin sensitivity: Regular exercise especially cardio has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, decrease the risk of diabetes and other problems caused by PCOS.
- Low cholesterol : Women with PCOS are more likely to have high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides . In such cases, good results have been seen with a balanced diet as well as regular exercise.
- Hormonal balance: Exercise also helps to regulate hormones and menstruation.
- Increase in endorphin levels: Exercise increases your endorphin levels, also known as your happy hormone, and it also helps PCOS patients to manage stress and anxiety.
People who have been diagnosed with PCOS are almost three times more likely to develop anxiety and depression than people without PCOS.
Therefore, in order to start a better lifestyle, conscious consumption of diet should lead to PCOS friendly changes that manage symptoms, improve fertility and make it possible to lead a fulfilling life.