PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a serious female health issue, which usually gets detected in reproductive age. There are multiple health issues associated with PCOS, few being: obesity, multiple ovarian cysts that look like a strand of pearls, absent or irregular menstrual cycles, etc. This article will put light on causes of PCOS and PCOS fertility diet for a better lifestyle.
The causes of PCOS are still unsure, but studies over the years suggest that there are several links which include genes, abnormal fetal development, insulin resistance, and inflammatory response which contributes to the causes. It is believed that PCOS is also negatively affected by diet, lifestyle, and exposure to certain environmental toxins.
It’s a known fact that PCOS affects fertility. In order to minimize the symptoms and increase the chances of becoming pregnant- adapting to PCOS fertility diet is the best.
1) Eat equal amount of protein and carbohydrates. It helps in balancing insulin levels. The types of carbohydrates which should be consumed can be whole grain or sprouted grain products as they contain more protein and fiber than their processed counterparts.
Processed carbohydrates like white flour, rice, and potato should be avoided as they cause an increase in insulin levels. Examples of whole and sprouted grains are Ezekiel bread, Quinoa, brown rice.
It should also be ensured that proteins that are consumed should be complete and organic. Organic meats and dairy are rich in essential fatty acids that will reduce the negative impact on hormonal imbalance.
2) Consume food that is low on the glycemic index. When a meal containing carbs is consumed, the blood glucose initially rises and then falls. Low glycemic index foods are carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body and don’t cause spike and drop in insulin levels. 100gm of low glycemic index carbohydrates should be eaten a day if a woman has insulin resistance and is overweight. If the PCOS sufferers are thinner or underweight then the amount of low glycemic index carbohydrates should be consumed a day. Examples of low glycemic index food are: Kale, broccoli, asparagus, beans, lentils, grapefruit, apples, walnuts, and almonds.
High glycemic index food such as pancakes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, and jam should be avoided.
3) Food that is rich in fiber should be consumed. It helps in two ways: by slowing the digestion of sugars in the body, so there is no spike in insulin. Secondly; helps by promoting healthy estrogen metabolism. Sources of fiber are broccoli, celery, whole grains, Ezekiel bread, apples, and dark leafy greens.
4.) In a day 5 meals should be consumed; three regular meals and two healthy snacks should be eaten. The first snack should be eaten in the mid-morning before lunch and the second snack should be eaten less than an hour before bed. Every meal should serve protein (3-4 ounces), a low GI/GL carbohydrate (1/4-1/2 cup or serving size), and vegetables (1 – 1 & 1/2 cup).
5.) Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) should be consumed. As it helps in weight reduction, aids hormonal balance, and are essential for the body to create a healthy environment for conception.
6.) Women who have PCOS should exercise for 30 minutes for 5 days. As it helps in improving insulin sensitivity, increase metabolism and help to shed any excess weight. Researchers found that participants of resistance exercises showed better improvement in insulin sensitivity than with aerobic exercise alone. Excessive exercise programs should be avoided. Restorative exercise programs are best.
7). Coffee is a big no as caffeine increases estrogen levels. A study from Fertility and Sterility shows that drinking just two cups of coffee a day boosts levels of estrogen.
PCOS is a serious health issue which is accompanied by several other health issues. If permanent diet and lifestyle changes are implemented, these risks and health issues may become negligible.
Gentle reminder: The information on this article is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare professional and should not be considered as professional advice. Please seek appropriate medical help when necessary.