PCOS Diet: Foods to Eat or Avoid

PCOS Diet: Foods to Eat or Avoid

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common problem that women all over the world are facing. Studies show that 1 in 10 women are affected by this condition. Even though people have become increasingly aware of this condition, it still often goes undiagnosed. This is mainly because a lot of women pass it off as a ‘normal’ hormonal imbalance. Whether you’re aware of PCOS or not, hormonal imbalance in itself can be a huge issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. 

While there isn’t exactly a ‘cure’ for PCOS, the condition can be reversed with lifestyle changes. Diet plays a huge role in reversing the PCOS condition in women. It is vital that relevant food changes are made to help relieve symptoms of PCOS. Read on for more.

What to Eat?

  • Leafy greens 
  •  Leafy greens are always a good idea to include, regardless of the diet you’re following. They are a godsend for people with PCOS because they are rich in vitamin B and antioxidants that go a long way to help regulate the condition. A lot of women suffer from PCOS due to a deficiency of Vitamin B, which can be resolved healthily by including leaf greens in your diet. 

  • Protein
  • Protein deficiency is a hugely prevalent issue, especially in India. Consumption of adequate amounts of proteins helps in better synthesis of hormones and revs up the body’s metabolism. Since proteins take longer to digest, you also end up feeling full for longer durations which prevents overeating and irregular meal timings. Moreover, the body utilizes excess energy to break down proteins, which helps in burning unhealthy fats stored in the body. You can use plant-based protein powders, pulses, lentils, and even nuts and oil seeds.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Consuming omega-3 fatty acids can hugely improve and help with hormonal imbalance. A lot of people get their omega-3 fatty acids by consuming fish and fish oils. However, flax seeds are an amazing alternative for the same. Vegetarians, you can also consume sunflower and melon seeds for your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Healthy fats
  • Before you get all riled up about the fact that fats can be healthy, hear us out. Fats are NOT your enemy. In fact, consuming healthy fats is crucial for your body. Healthy fats not only help in balancing your hormones but also aid in weight loss. Surprised? Don’t be! Trust us and add more nuts, oil seeds, and avocados to your diet. 

    What NOT to eat

    Devising a health plan is difficult in itself, so managing a PCOS diet can be extremely tricky. But it becomes a whole lot simpler when you understand what you need to absolutely avoid. Here’s a list of what you should NOT be having when trying to reverse your PCOS symptoms:

  • Refined carbs 
  • Like bread and pasta. Instead, opt for whole grains which are rich in fiber and low on processing. It's also a good move to avoid gluten-heavy foods as much as possible.

  • All types of sugars
  • We know you probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s really important to try and cut down on unhealthy sugars completely. Especially refined sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for natural sugars like fruit and honey but try not to consume them at a stretch. It gets easier over time, so hang in there!

  • Dairy
  • Especially milk. Consumption of milk directly increases insulin resistance in the body, furthering the severity of PCOS symptoms and increasing the risk of diabetes. Instead, opt for plant-based milk and milk products. These are widely available in the market today. 

    Final thoughts

    PCOS isn’t something you need to be terrified of. A healthy lifestyle with adequate exercise and a balanced diet will go a long way. We urge you to get a proper diagnosis if you feel that your symptoms are prevalent and negatively affecting your daily life.