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.
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.
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).
2 Skinless chicken breasts
2 Diced onions
2 Garlic cloves
1 Teaspoon of curry powder
1 Teaspoon of turmeric
1 Teaspoon of chili powder
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.
- Allow the rice to cook while browning onions and garlic in a large frying pan.
- Cut chicken into pieces and add it into frying pan. Heat until cooked through.
- Add tomatoes and spices. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes.
- 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
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.
- Mix lemon juice and basil in a small bowl before brushing the mixture on both sides of the salmon.
- Grill at medium temperature until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
- Steam broccoli separately.
- 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.