Foods to help with PCOS
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. It interferes with regular hormone levels causing symptoms such as irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, hirsutism and weight gain – to name a few.
Whilst there is no cure for PCOS yet, there are some ways women can help these symptoms – such as making small changes to their diet. Some studies suggest that losing weight may help with PCOS symptoms, however changing your diet is not just about losing weight - including foods that are rich in certain nutrients can help alleviate symptoms at a hormonal level.
Try including some of these foods in your diet to help manage symptoms of PCOS.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are a great addition to any diet; they are rich in vitamin B – a vitamin that is linked to insulin resistance, irregular periods and hirsutism.
Not all fat is bad! In fact healthy fats are a source of essential fatty acids that are key for the proper balancing of hormones. Not only this, but omega 3 – a fatty acid found in oily fish and flax seeds – can help regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle as well as increase blood flow to the uterus, all of which contribute to helping increase the chances of pregnancy.
High fibre foods
Foods high in fibre are slow release carbohydrates, which means they release sugar into the blood slower and more consistently – reducing the likelihood of spikes in blood sugar levels and helping to manage insulin levels. Try including foods such as oats, beans, nuts and dried fruit into your diet to help manage insulin levels for PCOS.
There is a long list of antioxidant rich foods, including berries, nuts and dark chocolate. Antioxidants are important in any diet, however studies have shown that women with PCOS have higher levels on oxidative stress – which can be combatted with an antioxidant rich diet.
Whilst these foods are generally beneficial to any diet, it is important to consult with a healthcare practitioner before making any big changes to your diet or lifestyle.