PCOS -Food & Lifestyle
Having PCOS has Zero Contingency on your worth & value as a Woman. Know that you didn’t d this to yourself, your body i snot broken & there is nothing wrong with you.
What is PCOS?
PCOS Stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is not a new condition and symptoms were seen as early as 1721 by and Italian physician called Antonio Vallisneri. Despite its name, ovaries are not filled with cysts!
Women with PCOS tend to produce more male hormones and androgens. There are often problems with ovulation as the ovaries do not regularly release eggs and small fluid sacs can also develop around the eggs too. PCOS can lead to symptoms such as an increase in hair growth across the face and body, acne, weight gain, balding or thinning hair and irregular periods. Today, PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women of a reproductive age, yet it remains undiagnosed for many women; several women experience no symptoms at all.
There is a link between insulin resistance and PCOS, which can lead to excess weight gain and further complications such as obesity. Excessive insulin might increase androgen production, thus causing difficulty with ovulation. Over 70% of women with PCOS are insulin resistant. Other causes of PCOS are still being researched however there appears to be a strong link to genetics and inflammation.
There are medical treatments available but the most important steps to take are to make more informed lifestyle choices. Weight loss can help reduce symptoms significantly and this can be supported by eating foods which help to balance blood sugar levels and hormone levels such as adopting an 80:20 approach to vegetables : fruit and eating proteins, fat and fiber at each meal. Improving gut health by eating pre and probiotic foods, such as bone broth, kefir, sauerkraut, raw garlic and onions can improve the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Consider ‘eating the rainbow’ when looking at vegetables and try something new each week.
Berries have wonderful antioxidant properties and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, are a great source of phenols. Include herbs and spices such as thyme which have anti-inflammatory properties and helps with respiratory issues. Eating a diet which is low in scratchy carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates, and balanced with protein, good fat and fiber is key. Avoiding processed foods and highly processed foods is also important. Exercise and movement will help to support fat loss and improve strength, stamina and heart health, all of which can support women with PCOS.
The symptoms of PCOS can be overwhelming especially as several women may be concerned about their hormonal health and conception too. Do consult your doctor for support and focusing on your wellbeing and nutrition can really help manage PCOS symptoms and help with long term hormonal health too.
Sources: Healthline, The Mayo Clinic, NHS, Dr Axe.
Please read our recipe for PCOS in our Recipe Section.