Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (also known as PCOS) was an endocrine issue that severely affected me and many other women today. PCOS can lead to various side effects for women including hormonal imbalances, insulin sensitivity and the formation of cysts on the ovaries and more.
We live in an increasingly health conscious society where we are becoming more aware of how food can impact our bodies and well-being, healing us or putting us at risk of disease. Superfoods are becoming increasingly popular for their many health benefits.
There are many foods that women suffering with PCOS can include in their diets that can help to balance their hormones and restore their health.
Here are my top 7 food suggestions for PCOS which helped during my recovery:
Nuts are very nutrient dense and are now a staple part of my diet. I especially love almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts (sparingly as they have a higher omega-6 content which causes inflammation). If you are going to eat nuts, it is also important to buy them raw, not roasted. Being heated can turn the good fats rancid, which destroys tissue and causes oxidative damage in the body. Just be aware that nuts are high in calories as well, so it may be difficult to lose weight.
2. Avocados – Where were you all my life? For years I avoided avocados during my fat-free and low fat diets many years ago. They are a great source of healthy fats, help to support hormonal imbalances and are also high in Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, which is great for skin health.
3. Cinnamon – Known to reduce insulin resistance, which is thought to be a leading cause of PCOS. In a study done by Columbia University, women with PCOS who added cinnamon to their diets had more regular menstrual periods than those who were given the placebo. Start adding cinnamon to your diet, especially when eating carbohydrates.
4. Sweet Potato– High in beta carotene and lower on the glycaemic index, sweet potatoes won’t spike your blood sugar like other carbohydrate sources will, such as white breads or pasta.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar – Beneficial to help control blood sugar and stop your body from producing too much insulin which means less testosterone. Plus, it will help you lose weight and improve your overall health. I would drink a warm glass of apple cider vinegar and water every morning before breakfast to wake up my digestive system as well.
6. Cacao– A superfood that is incredibly high in magnesium. Magnesium helps to balance insulin levels and is also involved in over 300 detoxification processes in the body. Cacao will also provide you with a ton of antioxidants needed for optimal cellular health.
7. Spearmint tea – This a life saver for me due to its anti-androgenic properties. Drinking spearmint tea has been found to help reduce hirsutism, or excess body hair, by reducing free and total testosterone levels and increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. I suggest having 1-2 cups per day and always look for organic brands.
Always be sure to choose organic as much as possible, and eat a balanced diet full of healthy fats, protein and low glycaemic carbohydrates. This will help to balance insulin levels effectively, plus play a vital role in supporting your hormones!
For more information on the points above or to learn how I healed myself naturally from PCOS, please feel free to visit my website where I share more about my journey, tips and tricks, knowledge, experience and support: www.healmypcos.com.