PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the major causes of infertility in women of reproductive age. This hormonal disorder also comes with annoying symptoms such as hirsutism, acne, fatigue, and obesity.
What’s worse, women with PCOS are at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Unfortunately, PCOS has no cure. But here is the good news! PCOS is 100% manageable and it has something to do with your diet.
Dietary tips to keep in mind
A healthy diet is necessary to lessen the impact of PCOS. Some research shows that low starch and low dairy diet can boost weight loss in women with PCOS. Consider the following dietary tips to relieve your PCOS symptoms:
Foods with a low glycemic index
Women with PCOS are often insulin-resistant which means their bodies do not use insulin when it should. As a result, both insulin and blood sugar levels increase making you feel sluggish oftentimes.
To avoid sugar level spikes, turn to foods that have low glycemic index value. Green vegetables, whole grains, and fruits like apples, cherries, pears, and oranges have a glycemic index value of less than 55.
Foods that are healthy for your heart
Heart-healthy foods contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and/or lycopene which reduce the risk of heart failure. They effectively lower blood pressure, help prevent irregular heartbeats and reduce blood clotting. So, include the following foods in your diet:
- Coldwater fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines)
- Nuts and seeds (walnut, chia seeds, flax seeds)
- Plant oils (canola oil, flax oil, olive oil)
- Red and pink fruits (tomato, watermelon, grapefruit)
Foods that fight inflammation
Inflammation results in weight gain and this adds another risk for women with PCOS. Foods rich in antioxidants offer the best anti-inflammatory properties. Leafy greens, berries, mangosteen, and turmeric are rich in antioxidants.
Following are select foods that offer unique benefits to women with PCOS:
Black rice contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin and has a low glycemic index of 42.3. But what is unique about black rice is its ability to curb your appetite which will surely aid your weight loss goals.
Curcumin found in turmeric is an antioxidant. Specifically, it can improve the lining of the blood vessels called the endothelium. A healthy endothelium is needed to regulate your blood pressure and promote blood clotting.
Malunggay is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Specifically, it contains quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant that effectively lowers blood sugar. It also has chlorogenic acid that can moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
Almond milk is a healthy substitute for cow’s milk. It is a great source of calcium without the saturated animal fats. Specifically, almond milk promotes weight loss. A cup of unsweetened almond milk only contains 40 calories.
Xanthones are considered five times more powerful than the antioxidants found in vitamins C and E. Interestingly, mangosteen contains 50 of the 200 known xanthones, making it one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. Its anti-inflammatory properties promote healthy levels of sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol.
Keep your PCOS symptoms at bay
There’s no cure for PCOS. But it should never stop you from living a normal life. One key is making sure you only eat healthy foods as part of your healthy, active and stress-free lifestyle.