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TOP 5 SUPER FOODS FOR PCOS

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

We must be mindful of what we eat. It is the basic essence of a healthy lifestyle.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (commonly known as PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders, affecting an estimated one in every five women in India.

One of the main underlying causes of PCOS is insulin resistance.

A diverse diet, which is based on local & seasonal foods and is culturally compliant, can help to reverse insulin resistance and thus keep a check on PCOS as well.


Yes, the formula is simple, keep your diet - Local, Simple and Diverse


Food which is easily available and local to the geographical area where we stay, must be included in our everyday diet routine. Many a times, such seasonal and local foods are overlooked and we feel that foods which are imported and have a fancy name, especially the ones we see on television or social media ads, are good for us. Well, this might not be entirely true. So which are the foods that can help reverse PCOS? Confused? We are here to help! In this blog, we will be discussing top 5 super foods for PCOS.


Niti Dhulla, a qualified nutritionist and dietitian, who has helped many women in their PCOS reversal journeys. She has listed down a bunch of super foods that will help you fight PCOS and insulin resistance.


“ The formula is simple, keep your diet - Local, Simple and Diverse. And do not follow your friends, neighbours or relative's diet plan. Trust me, it doesn't help!”

Black Raisins


Raisins are packed with excellent antioxidants which are a boon for skin health and help to keep the skin clear and glowing. They are loaded with fiber and when they are soaked in water, they act as natural laxatives. Thus, they help prevent constipation. They are contain other essential nutrients like iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Besides that, it works at regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It has phytoestrogens, which helps to improve reproductive hormone profile of those who are battling PCOS. So, dear girls and women out there, make sure that you start your day with raisins, and do not forget to soak them overnight!


Flaxseeds


“Flaxseeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of Omega-3 fatty acids”

Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of alpha linolenic acid (Omega-3). Thus, it acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant food. It contains soluble fiber (approximately 40%) which is food for good gut bacteria. It helps to manage blood sugar levels better and keeps away digestive issues. They are a good source of thiamine, copper, molybdenum, magnesium and phosphorus. They contain phytoestrogens, which mimic the female reproductive hormone estrogen. So, it works for improving the hormonal profile of PCOS patients. It is best to lightly roast the flaxseeds before consumption.


Coconut



Traditionally, coconut has been used to attain clear skin and strong hair. It is a fabulous source of manganese and copper. Besides, it is good for bone health and helps in formation of red blood cells, as it contains good amounts of magnesium, iron and phosphorus. It is a great source of MCTs, which is beneficial in fat loss. The special proteins of coconut meat work at regulating blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. Some shredded coconut topping on your morning poha or coconut chutney or just the coconut meat as a mid-morning meal are excellent ways to incorporate coconut in your diet.


Ghee



Ghee has been bad-mouthed in the past few years and labelled as ‘Fattening’. Now, here’s the catch, ghee can lower glycemic index of a food and which leads to slow spike in blood sugar levels. Thus, it helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance leads to PCOS and obesity that can be easily managed by eating low GI meals. It is loaded with vitamin A, D, E and K. It helps with enlarged pores on the skin. Ghee is a potent anti-oxidant. It helps to understand satiety signals better and thus prevents individuals from over-eating. It helps to decrease levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Due to a special fat called SCFA, ghee helps to maintain a healthy gut and promotes fat burning. If you are someone, who has attempted multiple fad diets (soups, salads, keto, intermittent and the likes) but unable to lose fat, ghee is that one friend you need to rely on.

“Ghee helps to maintain a healthy gut and promotes fat burning due to a special compound called - SCFA”

Ragi or Nachani




It is a well-known fact that ragi is one of the best vegetarian source of Iron and Calcium. Painful cramps during periods are a familiarity for those who have PCOS. One reason why you could be getting cramps is inadequate intake of calcium. Ragi help to enrich us with not just calcium but also magnesium. In addition, magnesium helps lower insulin resistance. It is rich in antioxidants and fiber as well. It helps maintain good digestive health. So, what are you waiting for? Include ragi into your diet!


Conclusion

While we talk about foods that help with PCOS, it is important to understand that there are “terms and conditions applied”. This means that even as we include these foods in our diet, we cannot forget to change our lifestyle. Be it sleep, exercise, or being more physically active. There are no short cuts. While the above foods might help you accelerate your reversal journey, they cannot compensate for the necessary changes in one’s routine.



- By Niti Dhulla

Owner and Founder at Online Nutrition Consultancy “NutriDietByNitiDhulla”



(Gold Medalist in Foods Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutritionist, Certified Yoga Instructor and Certified Acupressure Therapist)




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