PCOS is a problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (generally between 15 and 44 years of age).
Nowadays PCOS is spreading like an epidemic and is also very common with teenagers due to probably the kind of lifestyle and routine they follow and of course, obesity leads to increased risk due to westernisation/urbanisation. Many women have a problem, but they do not come to know unless they have a specific set of symptoms. Some of them only come to know of it when they are trying to conceive. It is associated with multiple cysts containing eggs, but ovulation does not occur. The symptoms associated with PCOS are acne, body hair (hirsutism), irregular menstrual cycle, obesity, insulin insensitivity, increased amount of male hormones, thinning hair, difficulty in conception, etc. PCOS puts you at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the future.
5 Foods To Consume For PCOS Patients:
Eat complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat products (Dalia, whole wheat atta, etc.), ragi, bajra, jowar, brown/unprocessed rice. The fibre content of these foods leads to slow and steady rise of the post-meal blood glucose and hence controls the whole situation.
Make sure each of your meal contains adequate quality protein which is low in fats. Proteins break down into amino acids, which helps in regulation of hunger by signalling the leptin and ghrelin hormones. Plant proteins like pulses and nuts serve the purpose, whereas animal proteins like chicken and fatty fish are great choices.
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fibre, omega-3,omega-6 fatty acids and lignans, a protein that reduces the number of male hormones in the body which is the cause of hirsutism (facial hair) in some females. 1 tbsp powdered flaxseeds can be added to smoothies, curd or topping of your cut fruits/salads.
Fenugreek (Methi seeds)
In women with PCOS, insulin secreted by the pancreas is not efficiently utilised by the tissues, and this leads to obesity and production of excess testosterone. Consuming fenugreek leaves or seeds helps in maintaining normal insulin levels.
This condiment is a proven remedy for elevated blood glucose levels. Ceylon cinnamon or SriLankan rolled cinnamon is quite beneficial as it can stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce the insulin resistance. It can be mixed with herbal tea or yoghurt. You may also boil 1/4th tsp of cinnamon powder and 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water: sieve and drink.
5 Foods To Avoid For PCOS Patients
Sugar and refined carbohydrates
Excessive consumption of white sugar and refined carbs like maida in the form of white bread, bhaturas, biscuits, pasta, spaghetti, etc. can also create a hormonal imbalance. Try cutting out white sugar and these processed carbs from your diet. It will help you keep the gut healthy too.
Highly processed foods
Processed foods contain high amounts of salt, preservatives and food colourants which are not healthy. Also, these foods contain trans fats and artificial sweeteners that contribute to the growth of bad cholesterol and affects the blood pressure of the body. These are the significant factors behind inflammation, obesity, dyslipidemia and cardiac problems.
Commercially refined oils are a strict no for patients with PCOS as this is the primary cause of inflammation in the human body. Commercial refining generates harmful components in oils and makes them unfit for us.
Minimal quantity of dairy should be consumed as it is linked with elevated blood glucose levels and stimulation of insulin growth factors.
Mutton, beef, pork, etc., contain saturated fats and cholesterol, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It may also lead to unhealthy weight gain, which is again a causative factor for hormonal imbalance.
All these remedies would work well if they are combined with adequate physical activity, regular sleep pattern and meditation to relieve stress.
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