A Healthy PCOS Diet
Posted on June 9th, 2017
Hello beautiful warriors! ?
Today my blog is about PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which affects many women. In fact, PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder.
Although I want to dive into nutrition and lifestyle tips which can have a positive impact, it’s worth mentioning the many symptoms of PCOS:
-Cysts on the ovaries
-Elevated levels of androgens
-Absent or irregular periods
-Male pattern baldness
-Elevated Insulin levels
A big issue with PCOS is the elevated insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that aids our body in breaking down glucose (sugar) into energy. Insulin resistant is when the body needs to pump out more and more insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Due to this, the ovaries produce more androgens, like testosterone and can be the causes of excess hair growth and male pattern baldness.
Not every women who is diagnosed with PCOS will have all of these symptoms. Consult a doctor if you suspect you may have PCOS, however, as your doctor will be able to prescribe meditations and lifestyle adjustments that are best suited for you.
When PCSO is not controlled, worse problems can develop such as:
-High blood pressure
While there isn’t a cure for PCOS yet, there are ways to manage symptoms through diet and lifestyle.
High protein, low carb diet:
Aim to create meals that have an adequate source of protein with a smaller amount of carbohydrates. Some great choices of protein are salmon, which also has the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids, organic turkey, organic chicken, beans, tofu, yogurt and nuts. It’s best to avoid non-organic meet as hormones are sometimes added.
When pairing your protein with a carbohydrate, it’s useful to know which types of carbohydrates are best and which should be avoided. Not all carbs are created equal!
Some good carb choices include:
Carbs to avoid include:
-Anything made with white flour
-Pastas that list semolina, durum flour or durum wheat in the ingredients
In addition to a high protein low carb diet, it’s important to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. Low GI foods take longer to break down so they don’t cause such a dramatic change in insulin levels.
Eat low glycemic foods like:
Here is a database if you are unsure where a food stands on the GI.
Aim to eat high fiber foods. These foods combat insulin resistance as they slow down digestion so there is less of a spike in blood sugar.
Great sources of fiber are:
-Dark leafy greens
-Green and red peppers
Last but not least, we have inflammation busters! Some women with PCOS have been found to have low-grade inflammation. The body reacts to various environmental factors or foods sensitivities. This process, known as inflammatory response, triggers the white blood cells to produce various substances that can contribute to insulin resistance.
Ideally you want to cut out foods that create inflammation, like french fries, processed foods, soda, margarine and red meats.
Try these inflammation busters:
-green leafy vegetables
-fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges.
Finally, we come to lifestyle. Stress, the silent killer, is actually one of the symptoms associated with PCOS. Find techniques that help you keep centered and calm. Practicing yoga, mindfulness, tai chi are all very beneficial. In addition, if you live in California, there are places like the National Holistic Institute, a student massage training program, that offer massages for a much lower price. This can be particularly great if you hold stress in your body and are looking to release it. Acupuncture, cupping and reflexology are also good ways to de-stress.
Last but not least, exercise is very important for women with PCOS (and in general). Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, helps you lose weight and boosts your metabolism. Ideally you want to aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week. Great time to look into that boxing or belly dancing class!
It’s a lot to take in so much information when learning about PCOS. There is an abundant amount of resources online that can help with figuring out the best game plan for your needs. A positive of social media is that there are many women who share their stories. You are not alone! PCOS symptoms take a tremendous emotional toll so it might also be worth talking to a professional to help find coping mechanisms.
I hope this information was helpful! I will post any new discoveries or scientific research on PCOS when I hear of any. It can be hard but just know you are taking the first big step towards improvement. By taking imitative to change your nutrition and lifestyle habits, in addition to any other treatments, you are doing wonders for your mind, body, and soul. Share your story! You never know who you might inspire!
Whelan, Corey. “Can My Diet Relieve Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?”Healthline. Healthline Media, 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 05 June 2017.
Rodriguez, Hethir, C.M.T. “How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs.” Natural Fertility Info.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2017.
Posted under Health Guides. Updated 25 February 2016.+Related Content. “PCOS: Nutrition Basics.” Center for Young Womens Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2017.