Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal, genetic, reproductive, and metabolic condition that affects roughly 116 million (3.4%) women across the globe. It is one of the leading causes of infertility and results in serious medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
September is PCOS Awareness Month and we will take this opportunity to educate people about how diet plays an important role in the management of PCOS. There are certain foods that trigger PCOS symptoms while some foods help manage them.
However, before changing your diet consult with a health care professional.
Foods To Eat With PCOS
Nutrition supports healthy functioning and the right kind ensures the generation of energy and balance of our body systems. The problem arises when we become careless with our food intake, especially for those of us who struggle with tough-to-manage conditions such as PCOS.
Here is a list of foods that you should consume to help balance your PCOS symptoms.
Leafy greens are good for you no matter the diet you are on. They are packed with nutrients and low in calories making them ideal for maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Leafy greens like spinach or kale are rich in vitamin B.
Over 80% of women with PCOS have vitamin B deficiency and it results in different symptoms such as:
- Irregular Periods
- Insulin Resistance
- Difficulty Conceiving
- Hirsutism (Excessive hair growth)
Lean Grass-Fed Meat
Eating lean grass-fed meat is good for everyone but it is especially beneficial for those with PCOS because it doesn’t contain hormones. Non-organic non-grass-fed meat has high levels of hormones throwing the hormones off balance in humans.
A lot of people scream as soon as they hear the word fat but fail to realize there are clear distinctions between good fat and bad fat. Good fat is where it’s at! From oily fish to avocados, you can enjoy good fats without them negatively impacting your health.
It is incredibly important for women with PCOS for controlling their weight and hormonal balance.
Foods To Avoid PCOS
Here are some foods that should be avoided or cut down by women who have PCOS.
Foods that are processed tend to have a higher Glycaemic Index (GI). GI is linked to diabetes and insulin production. As mentioned earlier, women with PCOS are more prone to developing diabetes. That’s why foods with high GI should be avoided to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Foods with high GI include white bread, white rice, and white potatoes.
Women with PCOS should avoid dairy because of Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1). IGF-1 acts like insulin in your body and those with PCOS tend to have higher levels compared to others. Cow’s milk and other dairy products are said to have IGF-1 and when consumed by people with PCOS it can increase the levels in a woman’s body raising the insulin and resulting in diabetes over time.
Although PCOS doesn’t make you gluten intolerant many health care professionals recommend cutting out gluten from the diet because it leads to inflammation which results in insulin resistance subsequently increasing the risk of diabetes.
Diet is a crucial part of managing your PCOS symptoms and that’s why certain foods should be added and some must be eliminated for you to live a healthy and happy life without any complications. PCOS awareness month advocates for women struggling with this condition and more of us should spread the word in the form of articles and blogs highlighting the struggles and the solutions related to it.
If you want to know more about PCOS and how it affects women read this blog.