Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is one of the common health conditions that affect women’s reproductive hormones. It may cause irregular or prolonged menstrual periods. Moreover, this disorder may cause baldness or unwanted hair growth on the face and body. It can develop long term health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Read this article to find out foods to eat and avoid in PCOD.
This health condition can be controlled with the guidance of your OBGYN and by building healthy habits. Diet and lifestyle choices will impact PCOD and its symptoms.
Other warning symptoms
The symptoms of PCOD vary from person to person depending on their body and lifestyle factors. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Irregular or delayed periods
- Excess hair on face and body
- Darkened skin patches
- Weight gain
- Fertility problems
According to research, 70% of women suffering from PCOD have insulin resistance, which says that our body’s cells do not respond to insulin efficiently, resulting in the insulin blood levels spiking above normal.
Women with PCOD, who follow an unhealthy diet are often insulin resistant. Poorly controlled insulin resistance can ultimately lead to diabetes. Research shows that more than half of women with PCOD are diabetic or pre-diabetic by age 40. Hence, it is important to control insulin levels, follow a healthy diet and manage healthy weight to reduce the impact of PCOD.
Insulin resistance also denotes that your body needs higher insulin levels than normal to control your blood sugar, resulting in the storage of more fat which leads to weight gain. Women also experience slower metabolism, which makes it hard to curb cravings.
Here is the good news for the women suffering from PCOD. If you make a few changes in diet and do some regular exercise, you can effectively manage this disorder.
Let us have a look at the foods women with PCOD must eat and those they avoid.
Foods to eat IN PCOD
Women will not be able to produce insulin effectively. So, it is essential to load up with foods packed with dietary fibre, which helps in stabilising the insulin levels. High fibre foods include cruciferous vegetables, lentils, legumes, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds aid in enhancing insulin resistance by slowing digestion and preventing blood sugar spikes.
Lean Protein Sources
PCOD can lead to weight gain. Eat more lean protein-rich foods as they curb your appetite, help boost metabolism, enhance blood sugar controls, and temper the insulin response. Through this, you won’t consume more calories and prevent gaining weight. Therefore, add high protein foods to your PCOD diets such as almonds, tofu, chicken, fish, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds.
Inflammation is also one of the reasons to create an imbalance in the hormones. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help lower inflammation and keep blood sugar levels in control. So, add foods like leafy greens, fatty fish, olive oil, whole grains, and walnuts that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Load up on omega-3 fatty acids
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduce numerous metabolic disorders and support blood sugar stability. Consume foods like seafood, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds like flax seeds.
Low Glycemic Index Diet
A low glycemic index diet helps women with PCOD manage their symptoms. A low GI diet slows down digestion, which eventually controls insulin levels as quickly as other foods. So, add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to your diet which aid in reducing many symptoms.
Foods to avoid IN PCOD
Women with PCOD should strictly avoid processed foods. All processed foods contain high sodium content and unhealthy fats that may worsen your symptoms. Ensure to limit the intake of foods like canned products, fried foods, sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, and processed meat.
Products like paneer, cheese, butter, and milk are regular parts of our lives but they are not recommended for those women with PCOD. Because it has a tendency to develop insulin resistance and the consumption of dairy can lead to rising in insulin levels.
Research has found that women who drink 2 or more cups of coffee in a day will have higher levels of estrogen, which worsen the case in women with PCOD. Therefore, it is always recommended to have a nominal amount of caffeine intake.
According to studies, it is found that soy is not good for women with PCOD, because soy contains a plant of estrogen (Phyto oestrogen) which affects the production of oestrogen by detecting enough levels already present.
Losing weight will be hard for women with PCOD. Therefore, it is important to eat a balanced diet, exercise well and make sure to take the medication routinely. By doing so, you can reduce its symptoms and ensure a healthy life.
However, consult your doctor or nutritionist before switching your diet plan.