1. The PCOS diet is primordial
Your diet and body weight plays a key role in the management of PCOS – as studies have found that excess body fat can worsen many PCOS symptoms. PCOS can encourage excessive weight gain and make any weight gained harder to shift – but many PCOS sufferers have discovered that cutting carbohydrate intake, while upping protein levels helps them to lose weight and improves their insulin resistance. This doesn’t mean going too low carb, as this can actually increase the amount of stress hormones in the body – instead it’s better to eat a balanced diet, with a moderate amount of carbs.
Certain nutrients can be a big aid in balancing out hormonal production in women with PCOS, from the Vitamin B found green leafy vegetables, to the omega 3 fatty acids that oily fish and flax seeds are so rich in. Eating plenty of vegetables such as spinach is highly recommended for PCOS sufferers, as not only is it low calorie, but green leafy veg is high in Vitamin B, which around 80% of women with PCOS are lacking. As a lack of Vitamin B has been linked to PCOS symptoms such as infertility and insulin resistance, eating foods rich in this nutrient could help to ease symptoms.
When it comes to protein, it’s best to opt for organic, grass-fed meat that’s lean, as not only will this help to cut down the fat content of your meat, it will also lower the hormone levels that you’ll ingest. Animals that are farmed non-organically are fed more hormones – and when humans eat their meat, we absorb these hormones, which can impact our own levels. To keep your blood sugar levels stable, you should aim to consume a minimum of 100g of lean protein a day, in regular 4-6 hour intervals.
If you suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you are struggling to get pregnant. Having an omega-3 deficiency can cause infertility or the inability to sustain a pregnancy – but you can up your intake by consuming flax seeds and at least 2 portions of oily fish such as salmon weekly.
The best diet for the treatment of PCOS is a primordial one – that’s high in proteins, complex carbohydrates, and some dairy. Anti-inflammatory nutrients are important too, as many who have PCOS also have chronic inflammation levels, which some experts speculate may contribute to the creation of the condition. Simple sugars, like the ones found in soda or junk food, increase levels of inflammation, while complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, legumes and non-starchy vegetables such as watercress can help to lower levels.
The fat you consume is crucial too – as saturated and trans fat also contribute to higher levels of inflammation. Swap out unhealthy saturated fats for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated alternatives, most commonly found in nuts and fatty fish like sardines and mackerel, as well as oils like olive and safflower.