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The role of diet in PCOS management

fruit and vegetables

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent endocrine disorder affecting 8-13% of women of reproductive age. This condition disrupts hormonal balance, leading to symptoms like irregular periods, excess body hair, and polycystic ovaries. While there’s no universal cure, dietary adjustments can significantly alleviate symptoms.

Nutrition is crucial in managing PCOS. A diet low in inflammation-causing foods and high in nutrient-dense options helps balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Experts recommend a diet rich in proteins, fibers, and healthy fats to manage insulin levels and improve overall health.

Recommended foods for PCOS

  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Low-glycemic fruits: Berries and avocados help maintain balanced blood sugar levels.
  • Fatty fish: Salmon and mackerel provide high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Whole grains: Quinoa and oats support blood sugar control.
  • Legumes: Chickpeas and lentils are excellent for blood sugar stability and satiety.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds and flaxseeds are great for snacking and blood sugar management.
  • Probiotic-rich foods: Yogurt and kefir enhance digestive health.

Foods to avoid or limit

  • Sugary foods: Avoid candies and sugary drinks to prevent blood sugar spikes.
  • Refined carbohydrates: Limit consumption of white bread and pasta.
  • Processed foods: Steer clear of heavily processed meats and snacks.
  • Alcohol and artificial sweeteners: These can exacerbate PCOS symptoms.

Lifestyle changes to enhance PCOS management

In addition to dietary adjustments, incorporating regular exercise, practicing good sleep hygiene, and managing stress are vital. Engaging in activities like yoga and meditation can also help in balancing hormones and reducing PCOS symptoms.

By adopting a holistic approach to health, including a balanced diet and lifestyle modifications, women with PCOS can lead healthier lives and manage their symptoms more effectively.