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What You Need to Know About Weight Loss if You Suffer From PCOS

What You Need to Know About Weight Loss if You Suffer From PCOS

PCOS stands for a highly common hormonal imbalance, which affects about 5 million women in US alone: the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This condition affects women of all ages, starting as early as 11 years old. When you have PCOS, cysts develop on the ovaries, which hardens them and alters the hormone production, so the body produces more male hormones. Apart from the reduced chances of getting pregnant, PCOS leads to a lot of other symptoms.

The struggle with PCOS

Women who reached the child-bearing age are most prone to suffer from PCOS, which increases infertility. Other symptoms of this condition are menstrual issues, acne, excessive hair growth and weight gain. Depending on the severity of the ailment, you may have one or multiple symptoms.

In many cases, PCOS is associated with other health issues, which makes it hard for doctors to diagnose it properly. As a result, there are many women out there who don’t know they suffer from PCOS until they want to get pregnant or they deal with other problems caused by one of the PCOS symptoms.

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As PCOS is essentially a hormone imbalance, women who suffer from this condition easily gain weight, but they have difficulties losing it. On the long run, it’s important to keep your weight under control when you suffer from PCOS, because obesity and depression go hand in hand with this condition.

The more you postpone your weight loss journey, the more your are harming your already ill body. Right now is the perfect moment to start controlling your weight, so here is the essential information you need to know for a smooth and effective diet with PCOS.

1. Only eat natural, unprocessed food

Women who suffer from PCOS are highly sensitive to what they eat. Refined food and overly processed meals harm your body and lead to more weight gain problems, as they mix with your hormone imbalance. Gluten is one of the major enemies of your body, so avoid it as much as possible. No more regular flour, but coconut flour.

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Your rule of thumb when it comes to eating must be “only natural products”. This also means more home-cooked meals. Each time you go to the store, pick the least processed foods, like fresh vegetables and fruits.

2. Fibers are essential

When you are trying to lose weight and you suffer from PCOS you need to rely on fibers for nutrients. Women need at least 25 grams daily, but most people only eat 15 grams daily. Fibers help you maintain a healthy bowel movement, relieve the hunger feeling and keep the blood sugar under control. All in one, fibers are great for your health, so make sure you do get your daily intake of 25 grams.

Eat them as cereals in the morning, make pancakes or bake your fibers – you can choose any method you want, as long as you meet your daily intake.

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3. Low on the carbohydrates

Women who suffer from PCOS should lower your carbs intake, a recent studies found a link between PCOS and insulin resistance. However, don’t give up on carbs completely, as they are important sources of energy for your body. Switch regular cereals with whole grain cereals and go for non-refined carbs, which have a nutritional value, opposed to refined carbs, which only increase the blood sugar levels.

4. Eat more healthy fats

Healthy fats, such as Omega 3, can lower the level of male hormones in your body, so they are beneficial for you. Healthy fats also help regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease the severity of PMS. Another proven benefit of raising the amount of healthy fats is that Omega fats lower the insulin level. The best way to eat healthy fats is getting them from fresh salmon, mackerel or trout, but there are also supplements available. Apart from fish, you can find healthy fats in nuts and avocado.

5. Exercising as part of your anti-PCOS regime

Exercising is a must when you suffer from PCOS, as it helps you lose weight and burn calories. Exercising also improves insulin sensitivity. The form of exercises you do is up to you: from yoga to running or dancing, there are many activities out there which can help you achieve your goal. Don’t get stuck with something you don’t like.

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Apart from these tips, getting enough sleep and checking with your gynecologist on a regular basis is going to help you control your weight. A healthy lifestyle is going to reduce the number of PCOS symptoms, while regular checkups will allow your doctor to act fast if any new condition arises.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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