Diet essentials for Women with PCOS:
Polycystic ovary syndrome is basically a hormonal imbalance caused mainly due to being overweight, genetically inherited, stressor other reasons like pituitary or thyroid disease or even unhealthy lifestyles. So, PCOS Women also are more likely to put on weight as the body has a high resistance to insulin (which regulates the sugar levels in the blood), and symptoms (due to high androgen levels) such as balding, acne and facial hair only add to their stress levels which in turn can also act as a trigger factor for the same. So, a combination of proper diet management, yoga for PCOS and exercise and a healthy lifestyle are effective to control PCOS.
PCOS diet should include lesser carbohydrates intake than a regular diet (not more than 50 percent compared to the 60 percent intake in the regular diet) minimal sugar intake and a higher protein and fiber consumption.
Foods To Eat For PCOS:
As the aim of the diet is to lose weight for overweight individuals, as one loses weight, body insulin resistance also comes down.
So, choose a diet plan with low Glycemic index food, to begin with, and add specific foods to counter symptoms like bloat, inflammation, and anxiety.
The non-overweight PCOS women also benefit from this, as it not only helps to keep their weight in check but also balances the body’s hormones and keeps you feeling full and happy.
- Multigrain and complex carbohydrates over white flour: choose brown rice and muesli. Go to avoid white bread, buns and white sugars and bakery products, white pasta. These complex carbohydrates take a while to be broken down in the digestive system hence leave you feeling full and reduce your hunger pangs.
- Increase roughage and fiber in your diet: Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, red and green capsicums, lettuce are not only low Glycemic index vegetables but also help in decreasing the insulin resistance in the body.
- Avoid sugars: White sugar is anyway not considered a healthy option in any fitness-oriented diet. So, replace your regular white sugar with brown sugar or coconut sugar or even better minimize the consumption altogether.
- Use healthy fats/oils: use olive oil to cook your meals, avoid unhealthy fats like butter.
- Increase protein in diet: consume lean proteins like eggs and fish (salmon)instead of red meats as red meats increase the androgen production in the body, green lentils, quinoa, tofu, chickpea, beans are good options for vegetarians.
- Fruits: Choose fruits for a mid-day snack to keep your stomach full to avoid any last-minute binging on unhealthy snacks. Apples, peaches, prunes, cherries are good choices.
- Include nuts: Almonds and walnuts are healthier afternoon snack options.
- Herbs: Cinnamon, sage fenugreek seeds have therapeutic value and create hormonal balance.
- Anti-oxidants and vitamins: like vitamin C, B6, E, and D should be taken as supplements to counter the symptoms of bloat, fatigue, and anxiety.
- Stay hydrated: consuming water is essential to keep your digestive system clean and stomach full.
- De-stress: break up with stress, avoid toxic people and make your surroundings more peaceful and pleasant. Pranayama and yoga are gentle stress busters in our fast-paced lifestyle.
Foods To Avoid With PCOS:
- Sugary food: Not only makes losing weight challenging but also adds to the anxiety.
- Junk food like chips and fried snacks as they stack high on unhealthily fat.
- Avoid alcohol: Red wine once in a while is permissible but alcohol and binge drinking should be avoided when possible.
- No Smoking: As PCOS women are already prone to heart disease, Smoking can be a major culprit for heart disease.
- Red meats: opt for lean white meat protein like salmon fish and chicken.
- Coffee: cut down on your caffeine, sipping chamomile or green tea is better to calm your nerves.
- Get your beauty Sleep: Yes! sleep deprivation causes an increase in cortisol levels hence not only slows the BMR but also makes you more prone to mood swings, and weight gain. So, do get adequate 7-8 hours of sleep.
Meditate, practice pranayama, yoga as they revitalize your body energy levels and calm your mental makeup. A lot of people who are overweight are disheartened with the progress they make with their workouts and tend to ditch their diets and exercises, for unhealthy diets and lifestyles, which defeat the whole purpose they started out with.
Everything takes time! Be patient and consistent with your diet and workout routines to get to your goal and also don’t forget to be happy and feel good about yourself at the end of the day!