One of the most common signs of PCOS is an irregular period or no period at all. However, many other symptoms come along with the syndrome including acne, anxiety and sometimes infertility. What many people don’t know is that PCOS is closely related to insulin in the body and the majority of women suffering from PCOS have been found to be more resistant to insulin. This is why research suggests that changes in your diet can significantly help reduce symptoms of PCOS and help those living with it lead a healthier life.
What foods help with PCOS?
Instead of leading with what you need to cut back on, let’s talk about what you can add to your diet to improve your overall health and PCOS symptoms.
- Veggies like carrots, beets, broccoli, collard greens and Swiss chards are all fiber-rich
- Lean proteins like fish (or beans, peas & lentils for meatless diets) should be included in your diet
- Anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens and turmeric
Adding these foods to your diet can help combat insulin resistance and provide essential nutrients and minerals for better overall health. Eating these foods will reduce unwanted symptoms? Yep, we’ll take it.
What foods should you avoid with PCOS?
While there are specific diets some recommend to improve PCOS symptoms (i.e. a low G.I. diet, the DASH diet, etc,) the main common thread that helps reduce symptoms is a reduction in refined carbs.
What are the main sources of refined carbs? Essentially, the good stuff. Added sugars, breakfast cereals, white bread, pastries and sodas are all common sources of this type of carbohydrates. However, keep in mind that simply a reduction of these foods will be helpful in improving your symptoms. Lucky for you, that means you don’t have to absolutely avoid all pastries on your trip to France. It just means avoiding them in your daily eating habits is probably a good idea. If you have a coke every day, try switching it out with sparkling water 3 out of 5 days to start.
Research shows that even a moderate reduction in dietary carbohydrates reduced the body’s resistance to insulin, which over time, could improve reproductive and endocrine outcomes. All of that to say, small changes in your diet can make a big difference when it comes to managing the symptoms of PCOS. Implement the above changes one step at a time and begin living a healthier and easier life in the day-to-day.
Douglas, C. C., Gower, B. A., Darnell, B. E., Ovalle, F., Oster, R. A., & Azziz, R. (2006). Role of diet in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and sterility, 85(3), 679–688. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.08.045