PCOS is also known as polycystic ovary syndrome which is identified by irregular or no menstruation. Women with PCOS have multiple cysts in the ovaries because of the overproduction of androgens. Most of the women with PCOS suffer from acne, male pattern baldness, hirsutism or obesity.
If women with PCOS are not able to manage their symptoms then this can lead to a risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, endometrial cancer and also high blood pressure.
The symptom of PCOS can be managed with a diet and lifestyle modification which also helps to reduce the risk of other medical conditions.
Foods to eat: Add high fibre vegetables Include lean protein sources and it is very important to also add anti-inflammatory spices and foods like tomatoes and turmeric to your diet.
High fibre foods like beans, lentils, almonds, cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, etc., help to slow down digestion and reduce sugar impact on the blood. Foods like spinach, kale, tomatoes, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, and fatty fishes like sardines salmon are high in omega 3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation.
Foods to avoid: Avoid high sugary drinks and snacks, foods high in refined carbs like muffins and white bread along with inflammatory foods like processed meat should be avoided.
Refined carbs are a cause of inflammation and should be limited or avoided in your daily diet. Avoid highly processed foods like muffins, white bread, sugary desserts, breakfast pastries and anything made with white flour.
Sugar is a cause of inflammation and should be avoided wherever possible. Always read food labels and avoid buying foods with dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and sucrose.
PCOS responds positively to lifestyle changes like exercising and eating healthy. Changes like daily exercise, low inflammation diet, low sugar intake help to reduce insulin resistance, improve ovulation and aids in weight loss. PCOS symptoms can lead to stress so focus on stress-reducing techniques like mediation and yoga. PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) affects many women and causes sleep apnea, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and pregnancy complications. Lifestyle modification in diet and everyday exercise helps to overcome the problems related to it.
Insulin Resistance is a major problem with PCOS and it affects the body’s ability to use sugar for energy. No exercise and high BMI are contributing factors to the problem of insulin resistance.
Focus on reducing BMI: Follow an intense exercise routine to reduce BMI as it helps to manage insulin resistance.
Manage weight: Exercise helps to reduce fasting insulin levels, abdominal fat, and weight. No matter what kind of exercise you do be it jogging, cycling, etc. any kind of exercise that is done on a regular basis helps to manage PCOS. Being regular with your exercise routine is the key.
Few types of exercises for PCOS:
- Cardiovascular exercise: Aerobic workouts pump your heart at 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate which includes riding a bicycle, walking, dancing, etc.
- HIIT workouts: This involves some intense exercise bursts along with some rest intervals. Burpees, mountain climbers, tuck jumps are some typical exercise in a HIIT session.
- Strength training: This involves using weights, resistance bands on your bodyweight to build muscle. This type of training helps you to build healthy bones and muscles. More muscle mass means you could burn more calories at rest which helps you to maintain your overall weight.
- Interval training: This involves exercising at different intensity levels.
- Mind-Body exercise: Women with PCOS tend to have an enhanced bodily response to distress and stress. Therefore mind-body exercises like Pilates, yoga, tai chi, etc., help to burn calories and also reduce stress levels.
Diet plays a very important role in PCOS therefore avoid trans fats, eat less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day, switch to whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
If your body is unable to regulate insulin then it builds up in your body and increases the levels of androgens that is the male sex hormones. Adaptogen herbs help to balance out the hormone levels in your body and help to ease symptoms related to PCOS. (Before taking any herbal supplement consult your doctor)
PCOS that is polycystic ovary syndrome is a very common endocrine condition. Women with PCOS suffer from irregular periods, acne, weight gain, thinning of hair, ovarian cysts, etc.
Lifestyle changes and dietary modifications help to overcome this problem.
Dietary modifications :
- Avoid preserved and processed food items as they contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation. Opt for whole foods that are free from hormones, preservatives and artificial sugars. Vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains are unprocessed, closer to their natural state and contribute towards the better functioning of the endocrine system.
- Include anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, olive oil, tomatoes, tree nuts, etc. to overcome inflammation.
- Include iron-rich foods in your diet like spinach, broccoli, eggs to up your iron intake.
- Magnesium-rich foods like bananas, spinach, almonds, cashews should also be included in your diet to manage symptoms related to PCOS.
- Avoid coffee as its consumption is linked to changes in hormone behaviour. Opt for decaf alternatives like green tea.
- Include Soy products like tempeh, tofu, soy milk, etc., as they mimic oestrogen which might help balance hormones in the case of PCOS.
Supplements to be added: They help to overcome insulin resistance, reduce inflammation and help in hormone regulation.
- Inositol: B vitamin that helps to improve insulin resistance.
- Chromium: They may help to stabilise insulin resistance and improve BMI.
- Cinnamon extract: It has positive effects on insulin resistance and helps to regulate menstruation.
- Turmeric extract: It is a great anti-inflammatory agent and helps to decrease insulin resistance.
- Zinc: It helps to boost your immune system and fertility.
- Combination of Vitamin D and calcium: Vitamin D is vital to improving irregular periods and for the effective functioning of the endocrine system.
- Cod liver oil: It contains vitamin A and D along with good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Its consumption helps to decrease belly fat and improve menstrual regularity.
Consult your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your diet as they may interfere with PCOS prescribed medication.