Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance disorder affecting more than 20% of women in India. In patients suffering from PCOS, male hormone androgen gets secreted in larger amounts causing obesity, unwanted growth of hair, irregular periods, inflammation etc.
More than 50 per cent of women with PCOS suffer from overweight and its associated complications. Lifestyle changes, dietary modifications play a major role in dealing with this hormonal disorder and in losing weight.
Diet To Manage PCOS
High levels of androgen in patients suffering from PCOS leads to insulin resistance, causing overweight. It is imperative to manage insulin levels with the help of diet for losing those extra kilograms and also to regulate periods.
Choose your diet plan from the following foods to manage PCOS.
A Low Glycemic Index Diet
Foods that are low on glycemic index get digested very slowly preventing sudden spike of blood sugars. It also maintains levels of insulin, boosting metabolism and in turn losing weight. Low glycemic index foods include millets, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed foods.
Women with PCOS are prone to chronic inflammation, that can lead to severe insulin resistance, fatigue and weight gain. Go for a rich array of anti-inflammatory foods like berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil, that can not only lower inflammation and but also boost energy.
Whole foods comprise natural, unprocessed foods that are rich in fibre and delay digestion. These foods get absorbed slowly, avoid hunger pangs and prevent you from overeating. Good source of whole foods includes whole-grain cereals, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and lean meat.
Superfoods To Manage PCOS
Diet and nutrition play a tremendous role in managing weight, regulating hormone balance and also alleviate symptoms associated with PCOS. A wholesome diet with plenty of variety and adding superfoods can make healthy eating much simpler and easier to adapt.
Cinnamon with distinct aroma and flavour is a common spice in Indian cuisines. It is highly valuable for women with PCOS, as it exhibits a positive impact on insulin resistance. Cinnamon helps to boost metabolism, utilize energy and shed extra kilos. Adding this wonder spice in the diet can help women regulate the menstrual cycle.
Take 1 cup water, add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder and steep well for few minutes. Drink refreshing cinnamon tea daily on an empty stomach to correct hormonal imbalance.
Turmeric, the golden spice is heaped with incredible medicinal properties and therapeutic benefits. The potent antioxidant curcumin in turmeric decreases insulin resistance, while anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric help to stabilize hormonal imbalance and regularise menstrual cycle. Add a pinch of turmeric in your regular meal plan or consume turmeric tea regularly to manage PCOS.
Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc is an important mineral for uplifting reproductive health and boosts immunity as well. It plays a key role in controlling abnormal hair growth which is one of the symptoms of PCOS.Try to add beans, seafood, eggs, dairy and seeds in your daily diet regimen which are an abundant source of zinc.
Foods To Stay Away
All dairy foods are rich in insulin growth factor (IFG) which mimics the action of insulin in the body. High levels of insulin increase the levels of testosterone hormone worsening the symptoms of PCOS. A healthy alternative for dairy foods is rice milk, almond milk, oat milk and coconut milk.
Gluten foods in certain people may increase inflammation rate and can aggravate the symptoms of PCOS. Inflammation increases insulin resistance spiking the levels of testosterone hormone. In such a case, go gluten-free and choose from a wide range of millets.
Studies reveal that soy and soy products interfere with the ovulation cycle in a few women. Limit soy foods to regulate ovulation and periods.
Other Foods To Avoid
Refined carbohydrates such as pastries and white bread
Fried foods, fast foods and junk foods
Sugary beverages, sodas, and energy drinks
Saturated fats such as margarine, red meat, and sausages