Treating PCOS with Nutrition: 9 Tips for a Healthy Diet

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder that affects one in 10 women by hormonal imbalance in their reproductive years between the ages of 12 and 51.

It can cause menstrual irregularities, lack of ovulation that makes it difficult to get pregnant, metabolic disorders that can cause weight gain and insulin resistance, and abnormal growth in the body and face simultaneously. Also, women with a family history of PCOS are at higher risk of diabetes. Thus, if you suspect the signs of PCOS, consult with a PCOS specialist to minimize the risks and ensure early diagnosis and treatment.

PCOS is a chronic condition, and there is no permanent cure, but the good news is that symptoms can be managed through making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here are the nine essential tips to know about treating PCOS with nutrition.

Why Does Diet Matter to Treat PCOS?

People with PCOS are more likely to have obesity, metabolic syndrome, systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, or a combination of these chronic conditions. All of them raise the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses.

Thus, regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control are the essential treatments for PCOS. Treatment not only reduces unpleasant symptoms—but it can also help prevent long-term health problems from forming. Although experts haven’t aligned on the optimal diet for PCOS, they agree that aiming for all-around healthy nutrition is critical to managing symptoms. Here are nine things you can do to keep your nutrition on point.

1.     Choose Wholegrains

Whole grains such as whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, corn, and brown rice are a good choice for a nutritious diet. They provide vitamins, fiber, minerals, and other essential vitamins that help control weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. These foods also help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions such as PCOS or PCOD.

2.     Go For Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an essential part of the diet. They help to feel more satisfied after meals and tackle weight loss and other symptoms of PCOS. Aim to eat omega-3 fatty dishes twice a week, such as fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), nuts, seeds, and plant oils.

3.     Focus on Fibre

A high-fiber diet offers many benefits to people with PCOS, such as lower insulin levels, antioxidants that fight lower inflammation, and better gut bacteria. Add 25 grams of fiber into your daily diet, such as seeds, legumes, berries, and whole grains, by including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

4.     Prioritize Soy Protein

Incorporating soy protein into a daily diet can benefit people with PCOS. It will help to enhance metabolic and cardiovascular well-being. Aim for a daily intake of 25 grams of soy protein. Soy protein-rich sources include tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soy butter, and soy milk.

5.     Add Leafy Greens

It is necessary to add leafy greens to your daily diet. They are packed with nutrients and are low in calories, making them perfect for weight loss and overall nutrition. For people with PCOS, green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach are particularly rich in Vitamin B. Surprisingly, research indicates that over 80% of women with PCOS exhibit a deficiency in vitamin B.

6.     Stay Well Hydrated

Maintaining adequate hydration is essential for your body. Amidst various beverage choices, water remains the optimal option. Milk can be a suitable option for some women with PCOS, but it’s crucial to steer clear of sugary beverages like juices, energy drinks, and soda. Although diet sodas offer fewer calories and sugar, they have been linked to other health concerns.

7.     Limit Sodium

Try not to consume sodium below 2,300 milligrams. To achieve this, cut off the restaurant meals and processed foods from your diet. When opting for processed items, prioritize those labeled as “reduced sodium,” “unsalted,” or “no salt added” to support this objective.

8.     Avoid Dairy, Gluten, and Processed Foods

To manage PCOS effectively, avoid dairy, gluten, and processed foods. Processed foods, high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, can exacerbate insulin resistance, a common issue in PCOS. Adopting a whole-foods-based diet emphasizing nutrient-dense options can positively impact hormonal balance and improve PCOS symptoms.

9.     Opt for Small Portions

Opt for frequent, smaller meals instead of three large ones, spacing them every three to five hours. Ensure each mini-meal contains a portion of lean protein or vegetables. Consider these snack ideas:

  • One ounce of low-fat cheese with snap peas
  • A 1-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken paired with a lightly dressed garden salad
  • ½ cup of cottage cheese accompanied by grape tomatoes
  • A container of low or no-sugar yogurt with a tablespoon of nuts
  • A hard-boiled egg with carrots and hummus

The Bottom Line

If you are diagnosed with PCOS, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have poor health. You can do a lot to take charge with the help of a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle habits.

Additionally, If you suspect you may have PCOS, it’s advisable to consult with a PCOS specialist and talk about your symptoms, particularly if you’ve been having trouble getting pregnant.

Author Bio:

Nikita is a professional content writer and an editor. She likes to drink coffee and read horror books in

their free time. She has written various articles for news portals, magazines & blogging websites. She has over three years of experience in content writing and has written articles for different niches like health, lifestyle, technology, entertainment, finance, etc. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and an internship degree in Professional writing and editing. Follow her journey and advocacy on Twitter @NikitaTank53707.

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