PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. “In India, almost one out of every five women suffer from it. However, due to lack of awareness, a majority of women who endure this ailment remain unaware of it,” said Aarti Gill, co-founder OZiva, adding that it is extremely important to draw sufficient attention towards PCOS and its effects.
“While there is no cure, the symptoms of PCOS can be managed by adopting a clean and holistic lifestyle. Obesity is a common finding in women with PCOS, and between 40–80 per cent of women with this condition are reported to be overweight or obese according to an NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) study,” she added.
Below, take a look at a comprehensive guide for you to mitigate PCOS.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet
Eating a well-balanced diet is a must to manage PCOS. Not only that, but it is also important to ensure that you consume a protein-rich diet to control the body’s resistance towards insulin. Gill suggested choosing healthy sources of protein that do not increase cholesterol levels such as tofu, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, etc. “It is also important to steer clear of simple carbs and opt for complex carbs instead. Choose whole grains and low glycemic foods such as whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice or even quinoa,” she said. They are enriched with fibre which helps manage insulin resistance, a major contributor to PCOS.
Make sure you consume at least 1-2 servings of whole fruits and vegetables daily. “Also, make sure to eat foods rich in omega-3 such as walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and healthy fats such as olive oil, mustard oil which help in reducing the inflammation caused by insulin resistance and obesity,” suggested Gill.
“Avoid consuming milk and milk products if you have PCOS as they tend to trigger insulin and testosterone levels in the body which can cause serious bouts of acne,” said Gill. Not only that, but even coffee is also a big no-no for women with PCOS. Gill said: “It is widely believed to worsen PCOS by catalyzing estrogen production during menstruation which leads to hormonal imbalance.”
Say yes to Ayurveda
Plant-based foods are a great way to manage PCOS and also for overall health. “Ashwagandha and tulsi both help in correcting irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, infertility, blood sugar, and weight gain by decreasing the cortisol levels in the body,” she said.
Another important component is green tea. This is highly beneficial because of its anti-inflammatory properties. “Additionally, cinnamon and curcumin are both soothing and useful as cinnamon regulates the menstrual cycle and reduces insulin resistance while curcumin, an active pigment in turmeric, is highly anti-inflammatory and also improves insulin resistance,” added Gill.
Working out is necessary
This goes without saying. Make sure you work out for at least half an hour every day. Not only does it set your mood right but also helps in managing insulin resistance. Gill suggests that one can go for any form of cardio like skipping, brisk walking or even running. “When you lose excess weight, your metabolism heightens and keeps the body healthy,” says Gill.