PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), is a hormonal condition that can affect a women’s ability to have a child. It causes irregular periods, facial hair, acne, weight gain, and infertility. For women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), losing weight can become a constant struggle. A good way to deal with PCOS is to eat well and exercise regularly. Losing some body weight may ease some symptoms and regularise periods and manage blood sugar levels and ovulation. A good idea of what superfoods to choose and avoid in PCOS can help tremendously.
PCOS typically causes a rise in insulin in the blood. Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. An increase in insulin levels does not remove glucose from the blood, the body will store it in the tissues as fat. Eating more calories than the body needs will lead to excess glucose levels. Therefore approaching PCOS nutritionally is very important in managing it. With the right diet and exercise, one can combat the condition successfully.
There are certain foods known as superfoods that are not only healthy but also beneficial as they help in controlling PCOS may be due to their anti-inflammatory nature or because of their insulin-reducing properties. Some are rich in antioxidants which are required to fight this condition and including these in the diet is greatly beneficial.
Let’s take a look at some of these Superfoods that help manage PCOS
Cinnamon has been found to have an insulin-sensitizing effect and improve menstrual cyclicity in women with PCOS. It increases insulin sensitivity, improves menstrual cyclicity, acts as an effective appetite suppressant by improving satiety and delaying gastric emptying
Turmeric & Ginger
CURCUMIN, the active yellow pigment found in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent, has anti-depressant effects, and decreases insulin resistance. Ginger covers so much ground when it comes to PCOS – from inflammation to insulin resistance to hormone balancing.
Low GI foods and fruits
Consuming fruits and vegetables with a lower Glycemic Index can help as it causes a smaller spike in insulin and blood glucose levels compared to other carbs. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, oats, pasta, and rice- when these carbs are cooked, the starch becomes more digestible, causing higher levels of insulin and blood glucose. Berries, apples, papayas, avocados, beans, greens are better choices.
Vitamin D, Calcium-rich food, or supplements
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to insulin resistance, difficulty ovulating, hirsutism (unwanted facial and body hair), high androgens, weight gain, and depression. Calcium helps to absorb vitamin D optimally so make sure you are taking enough of these in your diet and in case you are deficient, add them as supplements.
Coconut oil has a unique fat profile: its saturated fats are made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). It aids in weight loss; fats are broken down quickly to be used as energy rather than being stored. It contains lauric acid which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Aloe vera juice
This helps restore hormonal balance and improves insulin sensitivity and reverses impaired fasting and impaired glucose tolerance. It works to soothe inflamed tissues in the inner skin or the lining of the digestive tract.
Nuts and seeds
Flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds pumpkin, and chia seeds are used in seed cycling for PCOD. It also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and helps control hunger by making us feel fuller. Nuts and seeds are also great sources of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and essential amino acids. The plant-based estrogens or lignans present in them help balance out excess androgens and help control abnormal hair growth in PCOD.
Zinc is beneficial for the reproductive system and immune system and helps control abnormal hair growth or hirsutism which is one of the symptoms of PCOD. Some foods which are naturally rich in zinc are beans, nuts, seafood, eggs, dairy, and seeds.
Fermented foods and Probiotics
Apple cider vinegar improves glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity by preventing any sharp spikes in blood sugars and aids in weight loss. PROBIOTICS are live cultures of healthy gut bacteria which improve gut health, reduce inflammation, and balances hormones. It normalizes the menstrual cycle, lowers androgen levels (like testosterone), and improves insulin resistance.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information and is not a substitute for a qualified medical opinion.