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If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Try These Dietary Changes

If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Try These Dietary Changes

Following a PCOS diet won’t only help to alleviate symptoms and potentially cure the syndrome, it may also improve your overall health as you’re strongly encouraged to follow a diet rich in natural ingredients!

How is PCOS affecting your body?

It means your body is not using insulin properly. Insulin is a vital tool in our bodies’ digestive process as it promotes the absorption of glucose. If a person is insulin-resistant, their blood sugar levels rise. This, in turn, causes the pancreas to pump out high levels of insulin to compensate.

In a woman, this can lead the ovaries to produce more androgens, such as testosterone, which can manifest itself in several ways, including sudden increased hairiness and other unpleasant side effects, like acne, irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern baldness, and difficulty losing weight.

It has also been linked to more serious problems, including infertility and heart disease.

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    Medical research, however, has shown that a healthy diet can play a very important role in combating hormonal conditions, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

    It’s important to keep away from processed foods and unhealthy fats, as well as refined carbohydrates, as these all cause inflammation and exacerbate insulin-resistance. Due to this factor, sources of lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, and fish are a great way to go on a PCOS diet. A high-fiber diet can also be very beneficial to women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, as it slows down digestion and reduces the impact of sugar on the blood. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties are recommended because PCOS is linked to inflammatory problems caused by the immune system’s reaction to the syndrome.

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    Below are two examples of recipes that can be chopped and changed, always in a healthy manner of course (think more veg and no processed or refined foods).

    Chicken Stir-Fry

    2 Skinless chicken breasts

    2 Diced onions

    2 Garlic cloves

    Chopped tomatoes

    1 Teaspoon of curry powder

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    1 Teaspoon of turmeric

    1 Teaspoon of chili powder

    Olive oil

    2 Cups brown rice

    This is a bit of a toss-up between a chicken curry and a stir fry because we want to avoid dairy products usually associated with curry sauces, while taking advantage of turmeric, which has very useful anti-inflammatory properties – as do the tomatoes. It’s also best to keep away from seed oils such as vegetable, grapeseed, and canola oil.

    Instructions:

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    1. Allow the rice to cook while browning onions and garlic in a large frying pan.
    2. Cut chicken into pieces and add it into frying pan. Heat until cooked through.
    3. Add tomatoes and spices. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes.
    4. Serve over a bowl of brown rice.

    Grilled Salmon and Basil with Steamed Broccoli

    2 Salmon steaks

    2 Tablespoons of olive oil

    2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

    1 Tablespoon fresh basil

    2 Lemon wedges

    1 Cup broccoli florets

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    Salmon is a great source of lean protein, as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids. It is also considered a fantastic option for PCOS diets because it’s high in Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D have been found to correlate with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and are linked to insulin-resistance and acne problems.

    Broccoli also has a very low glycemic index and is a fantastic source of calcium and is very low in calories. Steam if possible to retain as many nutrients as possible in the cooking process.

    Instructions:

    1. Mix lemon juice and basil in a small bowl before brushing the mixture on both sides of the salmon.
    2. Grill at medium temperature until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
    3. Steam broccoli separately.
    4. Serve with lemon wedges.

    It’s important to note that any suggestions are guidelines, and that people with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have had varying success with different diet plans. As always, it’s important to experiment and see how your body reacts to the changes. Dairy, for example, is known to worsen symptoms in some women, while others haven’t found it necessary to fully remove it from their diet.

    Rely on trial and error to see which foods work best for you and your health.

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    Christopher Young

    Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

    More Health Tips

    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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