Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or commonly known as PCOS, is a very common health concern but thankfully, we have enough awareness around this issue. Although the problem may seem overwhelming, it really can be handled very easily with a few changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, and of course, a positive approach where you accept your body and nurture it with love. While we have already discussed the syndrome in detail in our article – PCOS, today let’s explore the foods that we can and cannot eat to help cope with this situation better.
FOODS FOR PCOS
What you eat, becomes a part of you. So it’s only natural that you would have to give your body healing foods and avoid anything that can cause trouble. Two of the primary ways that diet affects PCOS are weight management and insulin production and resistance. However, insulin plays a significant role in PCOS, so managing insulin levels with a PCOS diet is one of the best steps people can take to manage the condition.
TYPES OF DIETS FOR PCOS–
There are three types of diets you can adapt –
- A low glycaemic index (GI) diet: Foods with a low GI are digested more slowly. They do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods, like carbohydrates. These are generally the foods high in fiber content and include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods.
- An anti-inflammatory diet: Anti-inflammatory foods may reduce inflammation-related symptoms, such as fatigue. Such AI foods such as berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil help in the same
- The DASH diet: A Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is rich lean protein and consists of fish, poultry, fruits, tofu, vegetables whole grain, and low-fat dairy produce. The diet discourages foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar. Often recommend by doctors, the diet reduces the risk or impact of heart disease.
POSITIVE FOODS FOR PCOS –
- Natural Unprocessed foods
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
- Greens, including spinach, kale, red leaf lettuce and arugula
- Green and red peppers
- Beans and lentils
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Almonds and Walnuts
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, coconuts
- Dark red fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, red grapes and strawberries
- Fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines
- Dark chocolate in moderation
- Spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon
NEGATIVE FOODS (to avoid) FOR PCOS-
- Foods High in Refined Carbohydrates, can cause inflammation, exacerbate insulin resistance, and should be avoided or limited significantly. These include highly-processed foods, such as: white bread, muffins, breakfast pastries, sugary desserts, white potatoes, anything made with white flour (including the regular wheat Atta. You can replace it with multi-millet Atta), semolina, cereals, etc.
- Foods high in Sugar Content, as sugar is a carbohydrate and should be avoided wherever possible. These include – any type of sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sugary drinks (soda, juices, tea, etc.), sweets and desserts.
- Inflammatory foods, such as processed meat and red meats, solid fats (margarine, lard, shortening), any fried foods.
And as a general thumb rule, incorporate the following in your everyday life –
- Try a Low-GI Diet
- Don’t Skimp on Breakfast
- Eat Enough Healthy Fats
- Cut Down on Carbs
- Eat Plenty of Lean Protein
- Stay Active
- Some Supplements May Be Helpful
- No trans fats
- Snack in between–don’t let acidity set in or have late lunches/dinners
- Regular meal timings
- Eat dinner early, try to finish eating by 8.30pm
- Cut out caffeine after 6 pm
With the positive and negative foods laid out clearly, I hope you will make mindful decision about what goes inside your body to help heal it faster and better. And remember, a majority of the healing happens in the head. So stay happy and enjoy your meals rather than eating it as a diet. Spin out some good recipes and make your meals fun. If you want to share your recipes or have any further questions, drop a comment below and I would love to have a chat with you.