PCOS, an acronym of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a common disorder that affects more or less 40% of women worldwide. PCOS is responsible for the growth of small fluid-filled sacs inside the ovary, known to be ovarian cysts. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. A disorder or imbalance in reproductive hormones and testosterone secretion causes PCOS. Sometimes metabolic disorders are responsible for this hormonal imbalance followed by PCOS. Females in childbearing age go through menstrual cycle where an egg is released by the ovary. However, in females with PCOS, there is a problem in the process of formation and releasing the egg during ovulation.
How to Manage PCOS?
As of now, PCOS is deemed incurable, but it can be managed and the health problems that generate from PCOS can be reduced. There are many helpful tips to eliminate or decrease the symptoms of PCOS, but the best and natural way to manage PCOS is planned diet for balanced nutrition along with exercise.
Planned Diet & Balanced Nutrition to Manage PCOS
Your daily food intake should be balanced with protein and carbohydrates. To get rid of insulin resistance, you should eat diet which is high in protein and low on carbohydrates. This type of diet will help you to keep your insulin at a certain level and increase your chances of proper and fruitful fertilisation. Go for whole grain or sprouted grain foods which contain slow carbohydrate and more protein and fibre. You must avoid carbohydrate contents like white flour, rice, potato and processed cereals, which are responsible for boosting the insulin levels and do not provide the body with required fibre and nutrients. Try to stick to organic proteins that contain essential fatty acids to balance your hormonal disorder and manage your PCOS.
Whole grain and sprouted grain foods recommended are: Ezekiel breads, spelt, quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat and amaranth.
Eat Foods Low on the Glycemic Index to Manage PCOS
To get rid of a sharp and sudden rise and fall in the level of blood glucose you should try to have low glycemic index foods and carbohydrates. The kind and amount of carbohydrates intake that regulate the dramatic spike and drop in insulin level should be understood properly. Low glycemic index foods and carbohydrates have a sustained release and therefore breaks down slowly to infiltrate into the blood stream and help in managing PCOS.
Avoid foods That Contain High Glycemic Index to Manage PCOS
Foods that are high on Glycemic Index include: Pancakes, jams, scones, syrups contain concentrated sucrose and sugar; white potatoes, white bread products, pasta, alcoholic beverages and carbonated drinks.
Consume a Diet Rich in Fibre to Manage PCOS
Fibres slow down the digestion process of sugars and resist their melting down into blood stream. High fibre foods also promote healthy oestrogen metabolism and reduce the elevated levels of androgens which help in better management of PCOS.
Good sources of high fibre foods to consume in PCOS are: Broccoli, celery leaf, whole grains foods, apples and all dark leafy greens.
Avoid Coffee to Better Manage PCOS
Caffeine is known to increase the estrogen levels, consuming just two cups of coffee will be boosting your estradiol, which is nothing but natural estrogen. Women who tend to consume 4 to 5 cups of coffee everyday develop more estrogen in their follicular phase. So stay away from coffee and caffeine products if you are suffering from PCOS.
What is the Daily Planned Food Intake for a PCOS Patient?
Patients of PCOS should take foods with minimum intervals in a small quantity to keep the metabolism balanced and steady. Your each food serving should contain 3 to 4 ounces of proteins, ¼ -1/2 cup of Low Carbs and Green Vegies to the tune of 1 to 1-1/2 cup.
Breakfast Foods for a PCOS Patient:
- Scrambled eggs.
- Black beans.
- Almond milk or coconut milk.
- Ground cinnamon.
- Hemp protein powder.
Lunch for a PCOS Patient:
- Organic Turkey.
- Lettuce wrap with celery sticks with Hummus.
Dinner for a PCOS Patient:
- Organic chicken.
- Steamed broccoli.
- Baked yam.
- Organic, unsweetened yogurt.
Include Fruits such as Blueberries, raspberries, papaya and Chia seeds. It is also mandatory to include essential fatty acids in your diet. Eating essential fatty acids helps you to lose weight and keep hormonal balance sound.
Some good sources of omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids are: Acai, cod liver oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, pistachios, orange oil and black currant seed oil.
What is the Importance of Organic Foods in Management of PCOS?
To have a high protein diet you have to go for animal proteins. Meat and dairy products are certainly good sources of high protein, but they should be organic and not processed. Meats and milks available in the market are commonly from animals that are medicated or injected with hormones like oestrogens to grow them larger quickly or produce more milk faster for making profit. Such processed oestrogen is not good for patients with PCOS, as they suffer from progesterone deficiency and increased estrogen, which leads to worsening of PCOS. For this reason, it is important to consume foods which are organic.
The Importance of 30 Minutes Daily Workout in PCOS
Exercise helps in increasing metabolism thus shedding excess weight which helps in managing PCOS and reduces the symptoms of PCOS. Those who are not capable of doing hardcore exercise may concentrate on doing some light aerobics. Excessive exercise should be avoided as it may make matters worse. Overworking may affect adrenal glands. So you should avoid doing extreme exercise programs. A daily workout for half-an-hour, five days a week along with good diet helps a lot in good management of PCOS.
What are the Health Problems Caused or Related with PCOS?
Some of the problems which women with PCOS suffer from include:
- Abnormal and irregular menstrual cycles.
- Increased risk for cancer in uterus and breasts.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Gestational diabetes.
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Mayo Clinic – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439
- Harvard Health Publishing – Diet Strategies for Women with PCOS: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/diet-strategies-for-women-with-pcos
- WebMD – Managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Through Diet: https://www.webmd.com/women/pcos-diet-nutrition-9/slideshow-pcos-diet
- Cleveland Clinic – PCOS Diet: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10869-pcos-diet
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pcos