PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It can cause irregular periods, excess androgen levels, insulin resistance, weight gain, acne, hair loss and infertility.
There is no cure for PCOS, but lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can help manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
A healthy diet for PCOS should include foods that are low in glycemic index (GI), high in fiber, protein and healthy fats, and rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These foods can help balance blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, improve ovulation and fertility, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Here are 7 best foods for PCOS women that you can incorporate into your daily meals:
Kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help fight inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. They also provide fiber that can keep you full and prevent overeating. You can add leafy greens to your salads, smoothies, soups or stir-fries.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are low in calories and sugar, but high in antioxidants, vitamin C and polyphenols. These compounds can help protect your cells from damage, lower inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. You can enjoy berries as a snack, dessert or topping for your yogurt or oatmeal.
Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds are good sources of healthy fats, protein and fiber. They can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, improve blood sugar control and reduce inflammation. They also contain magnesium, zinc and selenium that can support hormone production and balance. You can snack on nuts and seeds or add them to your salads, granola or baked goods.
Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. They also provide protein that can support muscle growth and metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids can also improve ovulation and fertility by regulating hormones and reducing menstrual pain. You can grill, bake or steam fatty fish or add them to your salads or sandwiches.
Eggs are a complete protein source that can provide essential amino acids for your body. They also contain choline that can help improve liver function and metabolism. Eggs can also help regulate appetite hormones and keep you satisfied for longer. You can have eggs for breakfast or lunch or use them to make omelets, frittatas or quiches.
Greek yogurt is a fermented dairy product that contains probiotics or beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health and immune system. It also provides calcium that can strengthen your bones and teeth. Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in lactose that can help balance blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes. You can have Greek yogurt as a snack or dessert or use it to make dips, dressings or sauces.
Cinnamon is a spice that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. It can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates. It can also help reduce cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots. You can sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, yogurt or coffee or add it to your smoothies or baked goods.