Did you know that your diet and nutrition can help prevent many diseases, including PCOS?
Yes, it is true. A healthy eating plan does a lot to manage PCOS and its symptoms, mainly by balancing hormone and insulin levels, helping with weight control, etc. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be treated with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A PCOS diet is different from a normal diet and a healthy diet should be tailored specifically to the needs of PCOS patients.
Studies have shown that what people eat has a significant impact on PCOS. There is a wide range of opinions about which foods are beneficial and help people manage their condition. Three diets that can help people with PCOS manage their symptoms include:
- A low Glycaemic Index (GI) diet:
The body digests foods with a low GI more slowly, meaning they don’t raise insulin levels as much or as quickly as other foods. Low GI foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods.
- An anti-inflammatory diet:
Berries, fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, extra virgin olive oil etc, called Anti-inflammatory foods
- DASH Diet:
Doctors often recommend the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet to reduce the risk or impact of heart disease. A DASH diet includes fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. This diet discourages foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
• Basics of a PCOS Diet:
- Choose high-quality, high-fiber carbohydrates: Women with PCOS are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women without PCOS. Eating high-quality, high-fiber carbohydrates is important for women with PCOS. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
- A balanced diet:
Eating a balanced PCOS diet will help keep your body in a neutral, homeostatic state. A balanced PCOS diet allows insulin to work properly by bringing glucose into your cells. This process results in less insulin being produced in your blood, ultimately reducing androgen production and reducing your PCOS symptoms.
- Follow a consistent routine and regular meal times:
Don’t skip meals or your blood sugar may drop. A routine will help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar helps your body produce proper androgens. Some doctors recommend eating more frequently to better control blood sugar and develop better habits. Choose nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals. A diet high in vitamin D, vitamin B, iodine, selenium and magnesium will greatly help with insulin resistance and reduce the severity of symptoms associated with PCOS.
- Drink more water:
Drink at least two to three litres of water daily. Enjoy fresh citrus fruits, cucumber, mint or berry juice.
- Diet without refined sugar:
Avoid foods with simple carbohydrates such as refined sugar, high-fructose corn-syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colours, trans-fats and high saturated fats.
- Say no to processed foods:
Avoid processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread etc. Instead, eat gluten-free whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa.
It is important to understand that there is no cure for PCOS and no magic formula or pill that will cure the symptoms. But, by making these dietary and lifestyle changes, many PCOS patients are able to manage their symptoms, improve their fertility, and lead fulfilling lives.
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