Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has become a common health problem today where 1 out of 10 women of childbearing age suffers from this. Women with PCOS suffer from a hormonal and metabolic imbalance that affects their overall health and appearance. In general, PCOS is diagnosed due to elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) in females. It is also one of the most common and treatable causes of infertility among women.
How does diet play an important role in controlling the symptoms?
Often, women with PCOS have insulin levels higher than normal. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells in our body to convert sugar into energy. Low levels of insulin in the body results in high blood sugar levels. This can also happen if one is insulin resistant i.e., when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin produced. The body produces excess insulin if you are insulin resistant, to keep the sugar levels normal. High levels of insulin in the body cause ovaries to produce more male hormones i.e., androgens. Insulin resistance affects body mass weight and hinders the weight loss process. Diet plays an important role in controlling insulin production in the body. Sugary and starchy foods that are high in refined carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance.
Foods to add for a PCOS diet
- High fiber foods: Food with high fiber can help in slowing down digestion and reduces the impact of sugar on blood. These include broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, arugula, peppers, beans, lentils, almonds, berries, pumpkin, etc.
- Lean proteins: Lean proteins like fish, tofu, chicken, etc, are both healthy and filling for women suffering from PCOS.
- Anti-inflammatory Foods: Turmeric is a common anti-inflammatory spice used in most Indian food. Apart from this, tomatoes, spinach, olive oil, salmon, walnuts, and almonds are great sources of anti-inflammatory properties.
Foods to avoid for a PCOS diet
- Refined carbohydrates: Foods rich in refined carbohydrates cause insulin resistance and inflammation. It is crucial to avoid food such as white bread, sugary desserts, pasta, and anything made of white flour.
- Sugar: Soda, desserts, packaged food with sugar should be avoided. It is essential to avoid sugar wherever possible.
- Inflammatory Food: Processed food and red meat comes under inflammatory foods and must be avoided by anyone with insulin resistance.
Following a healthy diet and lifestyle does help in managing insulin levels. However, it can often be frustrating to follow a strict diet and lifestyle change, and therefore, it is important to start slow. In case, these dietary changes whenever you feel overwhelmed, especially if you are stressed.
Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323002#outlooare not helping you in keeping your symptoms in check, please consult an expert. Seek professional help k;January, 2020