The endocrine disorder PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) affects women of reproductive age and leads to other health-related problems like infertility in women, menstrual irregularity, obesity, and insulin resistance (IR). However, lifestyle changes can manage complex health, mainly dietary changes and stick to the diet regime recommended by expert gynaecologists.
According to the research, it was shown that the majority of women who suffer from PCOS have improper diet regimes. Their diet lack various nutrients that are essential for healthy body metabolism like :
1. Omega 3 fatty acid
5. Vitamins (like vitamin D, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12)
It was concluded from the studies that deficiency of vitamin B3 leads to
Development of inflammatory conditions and associated diseases
Increases risk of cardiovascular syndromes
Thiamine: It is a supplement that activates the transketolase enzyme and helps in inhibiting mechanisms that cause damage to the blood vessels and eventually reduce the risk of the development of heart diseases (cardiovascular diseases).
Vitamin D: It plays a very important role in various enzymatic reactions and steps of vital metabolic pathways:
Help increase and release insulin
Increases expression of insulin receptors to enhance the functioning of insulin.
Increases insulin receptivity or response to the transport of glucose molecules.
Influences metabolism of carbohydrate
Normalize extracellular calcium levels
Regulate the concentration of parathyroid hormones
Note: Combination of fish oil with vitamin D supplements helps in reducing all those parameters that cause inflammation in the body.
Zinc – It is a crucial cofactor for various body enzymes majorly involved in the following:
1. Intracellular signalling
2. Structural functions
3. Lipid metabolism
4. Glucose metabolism
Selenium – It is an important element of certain enzymes responsible for protecting the body’s cells from oxidative radicals and inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids – It has been found that omega-3 fatty acids are necessary as a supplement. They have a role to play in treating insulin resistance that occurs in PCOS.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – PUFAs are beneficial in PCOS women to
Enhance reproductive performance
Exert anti-obesity effects
Increasing expression of enzymes for steroid synthesis.
5 best food for PCOD ( PCOD Diet Plan )
High-fibre foods: Whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Fibres help in combating insulin resistance, and they do so by easing the digestion process and balancing the effect of sugar in the blood.
Dark and leafy green vegetables: The veggies enriched in vitamin A like Mustard greens, spinach, and kale.
Nuts: Intake of nuts like walnuts, pine nuts, and almonds are helpful in PCOS women by improvising levels of plasma lipids along with levels of androgens. They help restore the energy balance and optimize fats in PCOS women with diabetes.
Dark red Berries: Berries are a rich source of antioxidants. The darker colour is due to anthocyanins present in blueberries and blackberries. They help cope with oxidative stress by controlling the body’s damage caused by free radicals.
Fatty fish: Fish oil from fatty fish helps PCOS women to deal with heart diseases and higher levels of triglycerides. Fishes that can be consumed include sardines, tuna, salmon, and mackerel.
Foods to be avoided in PCOS
Unhealthy packed foods: Packed foods have a lot of preservatives that may harm and disrupt hormonal levels. Also, they contain high sugars and extra calories that make a person gain weight. Therefore, they should be strictly removed from the diet.
Refined carbohydrates: Additional carbohydrates in refined form without fibres, such as those found in white bread and pastries, must be decreased slowly and avoided.
Fried foods: Fast foods that are fried or any food that contains unhealthy fats and oils need to be avoided.
Sugary beverages: Beverages have a high content of sugars and additional calories, like energy drinks and sodas, that harm blood sugar levels.
Processed meats – fat content of processed meat is very high and cause inflammation as well as lead to obesity. Food containing red meats like luncheon meats, hot dogs, and sausages should be removed from the diet of PCOS women as they worsen the PCOS condition by increasing estrogen levels.
Solid fats: Fats are mostly harmful when taken in excess. Fats are responsible for worsening PCOS symptoms by influencing insulin levels. PCOS women must avoid butter, margarine, and lard rather than include healthier fats if required.
Best fruit for PCOS women
The best fruits for women are coloured fruits like
1. Red grapes
These fruits have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in antioxidants. In addition, the low glycemic index of these fruits has proven beneficial effects on PCOS patients. They are also good for satisfying sweet cravings for PCOS women.
Dietary Do’s and Don’t s for PCOD patients
Do’s for PCOD diet
Don’t s for PCOD diet
PCOD women can go for the diabetic diet
Avoid refined and high sugar foods
Eat smaller and frequent meals
Try not to Skip Meals
Eat fruits and vegetables:
leafy vegetables like lettuce and broccoli , red fruits like berries,
Avoid Smoking, drinking, and consuming packed fast foods.
Snack on nuts.
Do not eat saturated and hydrogenated fats
Replace processed red meat with fish.
Avoid processed food red meat
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I reduce PCOD at home?
Some important measures that can be taken to reduce PCOD at home
1. Diet changes.
5. Healthy weight.
6. Regular exercise.
7. Sleep hygiene.
Which fruit is best for PCOD?
Fruits in general are healthy and must be included in the diet of women suffering from PCOD. However, some fruits are more important than others, like crimson grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries.
Can we drink milk in PCOD?
Milk and other dairy foods can be consumed by women suffering from PCOD. Dairy products are not restricted in the diet because of their nutritional value. However, excessively consuming milk products might pose health problems and increase blood glucose levels, eventually stimulating insulin. Hence, it is advised to have milk and other nutritional dairy foods within a limit.
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