Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance caused by women of usually aged 15-44 years. Women with PCOS have higher than normal levels of male hormones.
One in 10 of women suffers from PCOS. Some of them don’t even know whether they are suffering from this hormonal imbalance.
What Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Estrogen and progesterone hormones regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also secrete male hormones called androgens. The ovaries before each cycle release egg which is to be fertilized by the male sperm.
The release of each egg is called ovulation. Follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) controls the ovulation process. FSH overlook the follicular production (sac) in which egg is present and LH regulates the release of a matured egg. In PCOS, cysts are formed (formation of fluid in the sacs present in the ovaries) and are grown with high levels of male hormones which leads to irregular or missed menstrual cycle.
The egg in the follicle never matures to get released for ovulation. The term polycystic refers to ‘many cysts’.
The lack of ovulation leads to an imbalance in hormones such as it lowers estrogen and progesterone and increases the level of androgen. This increase in male hormones disturbs the menstrual cycle. So women get fewer periods than normal.
The exact reason is unknown. But higher levels of male hormones leads to an abnormal menstrual cycle. Insulin resistance, genes, and inflammation are also linked to abnormal levels of hormones.
Birth control pills and insulin resistance drugs (diabetes drugs) are generally suggested.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms
- Weight gain
- Heavy Bleeding
- Skin Darkening
- Frequent Headaches
- Hair Growth
- Male Pattern Baldness
15 Super Foods For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
With all these in mind, there are some other foodstuffs which can ease the pain and difficulties involved with PCOS. Thereby here are some of the best superfoods which can help you through PCOS.
Food items which are naturally occurring in our surrounding which contain an extensive amount of nutrients beneficial for optimal health and well-being are termed as Superfood. Kale, tuna, salmon, berries, avocados, nuts, etc. are some of the names which can aid in keeping PCOS symptoms under control.
Vitamins such as vitamin B6, B3 with zinc, calcium, and magnesium are few among all other essential nutrients which can help in fighting the symptoms of PCOS.
Sesame seeds are the great source of vitamin B6 which are also packed with calcium, magnesium and healthy fatty acids. They are also a good source of zinc. They are beneficial in women with PCOS. Sesame seeds can be added as a topping in salads, main course dishes, etc.
Tuna is an excellent source of protein and also has a highly thermogenic effect which helps the body to burn calories in the body. Tuna also has vitamin B and vitamin D which are helpful in PCOS women. Tuna has excellent properties which can be a good addition to losing weight. Women especially pregnant and breastfeeding and trying to get pregnant should keep the amount of tuna in moderation due to exposure high level of mercury.
Chicken breasts are packed with protein, less fat and carbohydrate content. Vitamins such as vitamin B6, B3 are present in skinless chicken breasts. Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in hormonal balance and fertility whereas B3 is linked to insulin resistance.
Salmon is loaded with vitamin B6, vitamin B3, magnesium and vitamin D. vitamin D is useful in infertility, weight gain and insulin resistance.
The nutrients help in maintaining blood sugar levels, infertility and hormonal imbalance in the body. Like tuna fish, salmon should be consumed in moderation if you are planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding mothers due to high exposure to mercury levels in fish.
Romaine lettuce is basically used in salads with great health benefits. It is extremely low in calories and hence is part of all the healthy salads. Chromium is found in the lettuce which helps in blood glucose levels by making insulin more efficient. It promotes weight loss, control fat and reduces hunger pangs.
Again one of the low-calorie food items also helpful in the women suffering from PCOS. Crimini mushrooms have vitamin B3 helps in maintaining blood sugar. They can be eaten raw or cooked. With vitamin B2 presence, crimini mushrooms also help in normal thyroid function.
Poppy seeds are packed with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B complex which are essential for treating PCOS symptoms. With various health benefits, poppy seeds are taken in less quantity.
These are rich in calories, consuming them can offer great health benefits. They are packed with vitamin B2 and vitamin B6 which are great for fighting PCOS symptoms. Sunflower seeds are also packed with zinc and magnesium which are great for fighting the symptoms of PCOS.
Nuts such as walnuts, almond are low in glycemic index and can be a healthy source of good fats and help in weight loss related to PCOS. They can be nibbled as snacks, or added to desserts or salads.
Cinnamon is a wonder spice found in your kitchen. Cinnamon acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. It is rich in Calcium, Manganese, high in fiber, Iron.
There are several health benefits linked with Cinnamon tea especially fat burning around your belly. Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity and can be helpful in treating obesity in PCOS. Cinnamon can be helpful in maintaining post-meal blood sugar levels.
Read: Cinnamon Tea
Licorice root has glycyrrhizin which reduces testosterone which can be helpful in PCOS women. Glycyrrhizin inhibits an enzyme for the production of testosterone.
Licorice root can have several side effects such as high blood pressure, decreased level of potassium and other health complications. So frequent consumption should be monitored.
Kale and Spinach
Kale is a green leafy vegetable packed with various vitamins and plant-based calcium. Calcium plays a crucial role in egg maturation and follicle development in ovaries.
Some organic grown Kale can be used in salads or can be sautéed in some olive oil and seasoned for taste. As Kale, even spinach can be used for PCOS symptoms.
Avocados are filled with good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids which can be helpful in inflammation in the body. It also has vitamin A, D, E and K which also plays important role in reducing inflammation.
This crunchy green vegetable is low in glycemic index and has less than 1% fat. Broccoli is packed with calcium which is a best dairy-free source of calcium.
Broccoli is also known to contain cancer-fighting substances. They can be best consumed by steaming the broccoli florets and can be added to a salad or tossed with some olive oil.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent agent for several other ailments. ACV helps in insulin sensitivity in the body. ACV can also help in fading the acne scars due to PCOS. It also helps in weight loss.