Top 5 Foods for PCOS

making healthy meals

PCOS affects millions of women in the US alone. While there are medications that can help manage some PCOS symptoms, the best and most effective approach includes natural lifestyle changes. 

When it comes to treating polycystic ovary syndrome, diet is a key part of success. The foods you eat will determine whether you are taking in the right amount of energy for your body and your activity level. They can also play a large role in whether your symptoms get worse or whether you see relief. While there are no verboten foods and no magic foods that will cure PCOS, many food choices can be especially helpful. Add these five to your plate regularly if you have PCOS.

1. Dark, leafy greens.

Kale, collards, spinach and cabbage all deserve a place on your plate. These foods are rich in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and other important vitamins and minerals. They are high in fiber but low-calorie, which means that they can fill you up without adding weight.

Raw is sometimes the way to go, as cooking can destroy vitamin C. However, other vitamins are more accessible in cooked greens. Try spinach sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a bit of black pepper. Kale can be cooked in a flavorful broth for a nourishing and comforting meal.

2. Plenty of fish.

The PCOS diet leans more toward protein than simple carbs. Different types of fish offer different healthful benefits, so add a variety. Lean white fish like cod are low in fat but rich in protein to keep you full and satisfied. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Since these are considered anti-inflammatory, they are especially good as part of a diet to battle PCOS.

Making fish doesn’t have to be a big production. Sardines, one of the healthiest fish options, can be mashed on toast or eaten with crackers and a little bit of hot sauce or lemon juice. Salmon is refreshing when steamed and chilled to eat on the go.

3. Brightly colored vegetables.

Nutritionists recommend eating a rainbow of vegetables to get the full range of vitamins and antioxidants. Think yellow squash, orange carrots, red peppers and green beans. You don’t need to have every color represented at every meal. Just include a range throughout the day and the week so that you are always taking in some of the nutrients you need for good health.

If you are expanding the range of vegetables you eat for the first time, they can sometimes take some getting used to. One of the best preparations for new-to-you vegetables is roasting. Simply toss with a little bit of olive or avocado oil, then season with salt and pepper and bake. They’re done when they begin to brown along the bottom. Roasting brings out a delicious sweetness in even choices that some people find bitter, like Brussels sprouts.

4. Nuts and seeds.

Walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and other choices offer filling fiber along with valuable nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. When they are eaten with high-glycemic foods, they can moderate the effects of those foods and help you keep your blood sugar levels even. Carefully measure nuts and seeds when having them as part of a meal or a snack. These nutrition powerhouses are also calorie dense. An ounce of walnuts, for instance, provides around 185 calories. By measuring what you eat, you can avoid overdoing it while snacking.

5. Berries and other fruits.

PCOS can make you crave the empty calories of fats and sweets. When these cravings hit, satisfy them with naturally sweet fruits instead.

Fruits are rich in fiber, which can help you feel fuller, longer. Many berries are rich in substances that help fight inflammation, which can help manage PCOS. Plus, since most fruits already come in their own handy containers, they make a perfect grab-and-go snack.

Treating PCOS

Many in conventional medicine only treat specific PCOS symptoms without combating the underlying causes that reduce your quality of life. For instance, you may be prescribed birth control pills to regulate your periods or another medication to combat excess hair growth.

We believe in involving every patient in their care. People who have PCOS can see relief or even full remission if they make the most effective changes in their diet and lifestyle. Part of that is avoiding inflammatory foods and indulging in the ones that can help you keep to a healthy weight and battle inflammation.

Have you been diagnosed with PCOS? Get in touch. We can create a personalized plan of care for you to fight your symptoms and put you back in balance.