Diet and exercise are essential parts of managing PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Because young women with PCOS often have higher insulin (a hormone) in their blood, many have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Knowing the correct types of foods to eat and the types of foods to limit can improve the way you feel and help you maintain weight.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS is a condition in which women have an imbalance of reproductive hormones; often, the ovaries produce an excess of the male hormone, testosterone, and a lack of the female hormone, estrogen. As a result, the body does not go through regular ovulation, so eggs that are not explicitly released each month often swell and cluster around the ovaries, forming cysts.
To be officially diagnosed as PCOS, women likely had problems with at least two of the following three symptoms, according to Doctors high levels of androgen or the male hormone, testosterone (which often leads to the characteristic symptoms of excess body hair , irregular or painful menstrual cycles, or tiny cysts, which often only appear by ultrasound. Ironically, having actual ovarian cysts is not always a vital symptom of the condition.
Additionally, 80 percent of PCOS patients affected by being overweight and having excess abdominal fat. Due to their weight, PCOS patients often have higher sleep apnea, joint pain, and infertility.
Foods That Must Come On A PCOS Diet
The following healthy foods can reduce inflammation, control blood sugar levels, and help maintain a healthy weight to mitigate the side effects of intestinal problems and other uncomfortable manifestations of PCOS.
Green Leafy Vegetables
No matter what diet is easily out, green leafy vegetables are the right choice. They are nutrient-dense and low in calories, making them ideal for weight loss and nutrition. However, the most important thing for people with PCOS is that leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach contain high levels of vitamin B. Incredibly, over 80% of women with PCOS have been found to have vitamin B deficiency! This particular vitamin is linked to many symptoms of PCOS, including:
- Insulin resistance
- Irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth
- Difficulty conceiving
Lean Grass-Fed Meat
Eating lean meat is essential to any healthy diet, and while it may be more expensive than its high-fat alternatives, this additional cost can vary. This is especially true for PCOS sufferers, who may find weight loss more difficult due to hormonal imbalances.
Women who have PCOS are four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and whole grains that contain high levels of fiber that can help control insulin levels.
Foods rich in fiber, such as oats, beans, nuts, dried fruits, or brown rice, are slow-release carbohydrates. It means that they release blood sugar at a slower, more regular rate, and are therefore less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes.
Fat is not the enemy! There are many healthy fats that you can enjoy in your diet, from avocados to bluefish, and these are incredibly important to eat with PCOS. Healthy fats are a source of essential fatty acids, critical components in the maintenance of cell walls. Not only that, but they are critical to the proper balance of your hormones, as well as controlling your weight.
A fatty acid that you can find in sources such as fish or flaxseeds helps:
- Regulates hormones
- Reduces your body’s sensitivity to prolactin, a hormone that can suppress ovulation.
- Increases blood flow to the uterus.
- Increases cervical mucus from egg white that helps sperm to reach the egg
- Help your regular menstrual cycle
Nothing Rich in Antioxidants!
These include Goji berries, blueberries, dark chocolate, and nuts, all of which have high antioxidants. Although these foods are essential for a healthy diet in any situation, if you have PCOS, they become even more critical.
Women with PCOS have been found to have a higher level of oxidative stress, which can then be combated by consuming higher levels of antioxidants in our diet. When choosing these foods, it is essential to observe them about their glycemic index (GI) since some fruits can cause an increase in blood sugar levels that may have implications for diabetes caused by PCOS.