Period irregularities or no menstruation are common symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Multiple cysts in the ovaries are common in people with PCOS, which are characterised by an overproduction of androgens. According to 2019 study, between 33 and 83 percent of PCOS patients are also overweight or obese. Symptoms that are common include:
- hirsutism is a kind of hirsutism in which (excessive hairiness)
- pattern baldness in men
People with PCOS, especially if their symptoms aren’t treated, are at a higher risk of:
- illness of the heart
- endometrial carcinoma is a kind of cancer that affects the endo
- blood pressure that is too high
Many people with PCOS find that making dietary and lifestyle adjustments helps them manage their symptoms and minimise their chance of developing other health problems.
How does diet affect PCOS?
Insulin levels in people with PCOS are frequently found to be higher than usual. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces. It aids the body’s cells in converting sugar (glucose) into energy. Blood sugar levels might rise if you don’t create enough insulin. This can also occur if you have insulin resistance, which means you are unable to efficiently utilise the insulin you do make. If you have insulin resistance, your body may try to maintain your blood sugar levels normal by pumping out a lot of insulin.
Insulin resistance can lead your ovaries to create more androgens, such as testosterone, as a result of elevated insulin levels.It can also be brought on by having a high BMI. It makes it difficult to reduce weight, which is why PCOS patients frequently have this problem. Insulin resistance, and hence weight loss, can be exacerbated by a diet heavy in refined carbohydrates, such as starchy and sugary meals.
What foods should I add to my PCOS diet?
- By delaying digestion and lowering the impact of sugar on the blood, high fibre diets can aid in the fight against insulin resistance. This might be advantageous to PCOS sufferers.
- Here are some high-fiber foods to consider:
- broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are examples of cruciferous vegetables.
- greens, such as arugula and red leaf lettuce
- peppers, both green and red
- lentils and beans
- potatoes with a sweet taste
- squash in the winter
- Although lean protein sources such as tofu, chicken, and fish lack fibre, they are a highly satisfying and healthy dietary alternative for PCOS sufferers. Inflammation-fighting foods may also be useful. Among these foods are:
- walnuts and almonds
- extra virgin olive oil
- blueberries with strawberries, for example
- salmon and other fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Which foods should I limit or avoid with PCOS?
Refined carbs induce inflammation and worsen insulin resistance, thus they should be avoided or consumed in moderation. These include items that have been excessively processed, such as
- pastries for breakfast
- pastries high in sugar
- something that contains white flour
- white bread muffins.
- Pasta noodles made with semolina, durum flour, or durum wheat flour have a high carbohydrate content and low fibre content. Pasta prepared with bean or lentil flour rather than wheat flour is a healthier option. Sugar is a carbohydrate that should be avoided if you have PCOS. When reading food labels, keep an eye out for the numerous names for sugar, such as:
- maize syrup with a high fructose content
Reduce your intake of sugary beverages like soda and juice, as well as inflammation-causing foods like fries, margarine, and red or processed meats, if you’re on a PCOS diet. However, it’s advisable to consult with a doctor before eliminating a variety of items from your diet. They can suggest an eating plan that is appropriate for you and your specific requirements.
Other lifestyle changes to consider with PCOS
Some lifestyle adjustments can help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. Exercise and everyday physical mobility are examples of these improvements. Both can help lower insulin resistance when combined with a low-refined-carbohydrate diet. Many experts think that 150 minutes of exercise each week is good.
Weight reduction can also be aided by regular exercise, a low-sugar diet, and a low-inflammatory diet. With weight decrease, people may have better ovulation.
The signs and symptoms of PCOS can be stressful. Stress reduction practises that help you connect with your body and relax your mind can assist. Yoga and meditation are two among them. It may also be good to consult with a therapist or another healthcare expert.
The bottom line
You may become annoyed if you have PCOS at times. Eating a PCOS-friendly diet and adopting certain lifestyle modifications might help you feel better and lessen some of the PCOS symptoms. It’s worth noting that there are several things you should restrict or avoid on a PCOS diet. In many cases, however, these foods offer nutritional and helpful alternatives. For instance, instead of margarine and white toast for breakfast, consider high-fiber whole-grain bread with olive oil or avocado.
Consult a doctor if your symptoms continue. They can help you figure out what’s causing the problem and what measures to take next.