Nutritional Support for PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is complex condition where the ovaries do not regularly release eggs and contain many fluid filled sacks or follicles.

Women with PCOS may have high levels of androgen hormones and insulin resistance, as seen in Type 2 Diabetes.  As a result periods may be irregular and other symptoms can include weight gain, acne, excess hair growth and problems with fertility.

 

Making dietary changes can be of benefit in managing PCOS and a good starting point is keeping blood glucose balanced. Initially a pattern of eating three meals and two snacks a day with a maximum of three hours in-between should be adopted. Each of those meals should contain protein in the form of lean meat, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds or pulses.

 

And at the same time white carbohydrates and sugar should be cut out and even wholegrain starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, rice and pasta should be reduced.  This approach can help with weight loss as well as with balancing blood glucose. After a few weeks you may find your energy levels are better and cravings have reduced, and at that point experiment with cutting out some of those snacks and if energy is maintained leave them out.

 

The other area to focus on is the support of hormones and a plant based whole food diet is what we should aim for.  Have at least two days a week where no animal products are consumed.  For example an oat based breakfast, homemade tomato soup with lentils for lunch and a tofu and vegetable stir fry with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and lime for dinner.  And include plant foods daily with plenty of nuts, seeds, pulses and vegetables but also fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso, natto.

 

 

 

Essential fats are also important for hormonal health and in reducing the inflammation that is often seen with PCOS.  Eating oily fish such as mackerel or sardines at least three times a week as well as consuming walnuts, chia seeds or flax oil daily.  And we mustn’t forget another fat called GLA, which is found in borage oil, hemp seeds, oats and spirulina and is shown to be beneficial for female hormonal health.

This is a good starting point for PCOS but we are all individual and the triggers may be different for different women. For some women liver support will be important and supplementation with key nutrients should be considered on an individual basis.

Take charge of your health….

Joanne Crovini

joanne@cardiffnutritionist.co.uk

07701 059 999 or 029 2066 6074

www.cardiffnutritionist.co.uk