PCOS is a complex female health issue. It consists of many different health concerns and risks. If left untreated PCOS can cause type 2 diabetes, heart disease and infertility. There are many diet and life style changes as natural options which you can adopt to help your condition.
The overall goal with PCOS is to balance blood sugar levels, maintain hormonal balance, and promote regular ovulation and menses.
Ways to control PCOS-
1. Losing Weight:
The first positive step that is advised for controlling your PCOS. Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Exercise helps PCOS by improving insulin sensitivity, increasing metabolism and helping to shed any excess weight and keep it off. Avoid very heavy exercise.
2. A change in diet:
This helps your blood glucose to remain stable. It also plays a part in improving PCOS symptoms and regulating your menstrual cycle.
3. Your diet should focus on foods with a low glycemic index.
Low-GI foods take longer to break down and digest, keeping your blood glucose levels stable longer. Take more high-fibre foods and other complex carbohydrates and less of simple sugars. Eat more of kale, beans, broccoli, asparagus, lentils, grape fruit, apples, walnuts and almonds.
Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index such as sugary and starchy foods like pancakes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, scones, white bread products, pasta, soda, alcoholic beverages.
4. A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet helps insulin resistance.
When you eat equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates this helps to keep your insulin at a balanced level, thus decreasing your risks of getting diabetes.
5. Eat more often so that your body does not go into starvation mode.
Have 3 regular meals and 2 snacks. This will keep your metabolism balanced. Recommended foods include eggs, yogurt, fruits like papaya, vegetables like broccoli, organic chicken, chia and sesame seeds, protein powder, spirulina, coconut oil, almond milk.
Eat essential fatty acids daily. This will help you to lose weight, keep your hormones in balance, and generally keep you healthy. The best source of omega-3 EFA’s is Cod Liver Oil, and omega-6 EFA’s is Evening Primrose oil.
6. Make sure that any animal proteins (meats and dairy) you are eating are organic.
In commercial meats there are large amounts of added hormones (estrogens) that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS there is usually a progesterone deficiency and eating these oestrogen rich meats can only make it worse.
7. Caffeine also increases estrogen levels.
Women who drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day produce estrogen much in excess of that which is required for healthy hormone balance. So cut down on coffee.
8. Supplements that can help along with diet and life-style changes are a multi-vitamin with the minerals:
Chromium ( found in onions, tomatoes, whole grains, bran), calcium to protect the heart (1500 mg daily), vitamin D (50,000 IU weekly) found in cod liver oil, eggs, fish and yogurt. A woman’s body can create between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of Vitamin D for free by sitting out in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes per day.
Calcium can be found in kale, turnips, collards, mustard greens, kelp and wakame seaweed. Hiziki, a type of seaweed has 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk.
Certain herbs and supplements like licorice root, Maca, royal jelly, chaste tree berry, cinnamon, gymnema, promote hormonal balance and ovulation and are generally helpful in controlling PCOS.
9. Avoid environmental toxins.
Ovaries have been shown to be very sensitive to bis-phenol A (BPA), a widespread industrial chemical found in poly-carbonate plastics. Stop using plastic containers for your food and beverage containers. And start using ceramic, glass or stainless steel.
It takes at least 6-12 months of consistent lifestyle and diet changes, along with natural therapies to bring about real change in the body when living with PCOS.