What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in women when their ovaries produce an excessive amount of male sex hormones called androgens which are present in women in a small amount and lack of the female sex hormones called estrogen.
The process of ovulation happens when mature eggs are released from your ovary. Women dealing with PCOS don’t produce enough estrogen to ovulate. When the ovulation doesn’t happen, the eggs are not released monthly so they often swell up and forms small cysts developed in their ovaries which increases the level of androgens. That can affect a women’s menstrual cycle that sometimes leads to infertility.
Treatment of PCOS is done with medication and through adopting healthy lifestyles. These will not cure PCOS but can help reduce the symptoms and prevent health conditions caused through it.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS include:
• Missing, irregularity, or light flow of the menstrual cycle
• Formation of cysts in the ovary
• Excess growth of body hair (hirsutism) on stomach, chest, back, and face.
• Acne or oily skin
• Gaining of weight usually around the stomach or abdomen
• Hair loss or thinning of hair or experience male pattern baldness
• Skin tags (small pieces of excess skin) on the armpits or neck
• Dark patches on the neck, armpits, and under the breasts due to thickening of the skin
What to Eat when diagnosed with PCOS?
Food plays an important in the treatment of PCOS, your doctor might direct you to a nutritionist to help navigate this new experience. They might put you on a diet that is suitable for you. You should also know some of the superfoods (highly nutritious food that can help with your well-being) that you can add to your diet which can help with the symptoms along with the diet. Here is a list of some of the superfoods that can help:
Note: If you are allergic to any of them please don’t try them.
Cinnamon is well-known for its insulin sanitizing properties. Since PCOS patients have insulin resistance this can help with that and it is quite easy to add to your routine. One of the options can be to sprinkle on your coffee when having it or into favorites sauces, soups, or any other meals to enrich the flavor.
All types of nuts are filled with good fats which can help with skin problems like acne and the excessive production of oil on the skin and encourage metabolism as well as brain health. You can enjoy whatever you prefer roasted with salt or raw.
• Spearmint Tea:
Spearmint Tea is a solution to hirsutism which is bothersome to most women. Long-term use of spearmint tea can help in reducing the condition and improves body image. This tea can also be a part of your soothing daily rituals
• Pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic option for vegan and vegetarian fellas as it is a great source of vegan protein. One ounce of these seeds contains approximately nine grams of proteins from anti-inflammatory sources. Besides this, it contains tryptophan and encourages serotonin production which helps with mental health.
Sunflower seeds are also a great source of vegan protein as one ounce gives you about six grams of vegan protein. One advantage of sunflower seed is that it is portable and does not require the need to be refrigerated. It has a high impact on your skin health.
• Olive Oil:
Olive Oil is beneficial for internal and external body usage. Olive Oil is a source of great healthy fat. You can use it as your salad dressing the most preferable is the one with fresh lemon juice, pepper, sea salt, and olive oil. Externally can be used as a body moisturizer and can help with razor burn.
Avocadoes are enriched with omega-3 and vitamin E which helps with brain health and due to its anti-inflammatory and being a healthy source of vegan oil, it is great for your skin and eyes. It is also beneficial for people suffering from arthritis which supports body image.
• Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate can be also a great superfood for PCOS. Choose dark chocolate which is at least 60% dark and free from soy lecithin as it can contribute to endocrine disruption.
How can diet help with PCOS?
After discussing your symptoms, specific diagnosis, and treatment plan with your nutritionist in detail so they can customize a diet for you that acts corporately with your ongoing intake of supplements and the presence and severity of certain symptoms.
Important Factor of diets for PCOS:
High Quality and High Fiber Carbohydrates: Women diagnosed with PCOS should be cautious with their food choices as some food might trigger some symptoms, worsening it. They need to consume high-quality food and food that are rich in fiber and low on carbohydrates as they tend to stabilize the insulin levels in your blood.
A well-balanced diet will help your body to be in a neutral and homeostatic state. It allows increasing the functioning of insulin which reduces the excessive production of inulin which ultimately stabilizes the level of androgen.
- Consistency of Routine and Regularity of Mealtimes:
When following a specific diet, you should be consistent with your recommended routine. Skipping meals might seem like a good idea but it crashes your sugar levels. Showing regularity in your meal will stabilize your sugar level hence stabilizing the levels of androgen. Some dietarian also recommends eating smaller portion but more frequent meals as it helps in regulating your blood sugar.
- Food high in vitamins and minerals:
Many studies show that foods high in Vitamins B, Vitamin D, Iodine, Magnesium, and Selenium work great with insulin resistance developed in PCOS. The consumption of this food also reduces the severity of PCOS as most symptoms are associated with it.
PCOS is a condition where your body produced a high level of male sex hormones called androgens and low levels of female sex hormones estrogen which disturbs a women’s ability to ovulate and forming a cluster of their ovaries with cysts.
The causes of PCOS is not known yet but according to some symptoms it can be caused by insulin resistance, obesity, high level of androgen, low-grade inflammation, and heredity.
The treatment of PCOS includes a healthy lifestyle and medication and it depends upon the women’s decision of getting pregnant in the future.
PCOS should be taken seriously as it can be the root of many serious health conditions such as infertility, metabolism syndromes, and many others
Some of the well-known food to reduce some of PCOS symptoms include cinnamon, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
One of the most recommended diets is the low-carbohydrate diet as it has shown very effective in the reduction of symptoms.