PCOS - Friendly Foods
Vegetables are a great source of nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vegetables contain vitamins; A, C, D, E, K and many of the B vitamins. I have posts on the topic of vitamin B6, B12 and E and how they play a crucial role in managing PCOS symptoms. They are also fortified in iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Green leafy vegetables, specifically, have many great health properties. They have anti-inflammatory properties, are high in magnesium and have a low glycemic index. Research has identified including 1 serving/day of green leafy vegetables lowered the risk of diabetes by 9 percent. Furthermore, they are also fortified in vitamin K which is vital healthy bones.
However, all colorful vegetables (red, purple/blue, orange/yellow, green, Brown/white) offer nutritional benefits, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants that protect our health .
Vegetables are also high in fiber. Women with PCOS should include high fiber foods in their diet, this is because fiber can help reduce the level of glucose in the blood by slowing the rate of release into the bloodstream. This will also control the insulin hormone in your body ensuring it does not spike and in turn triggering a hormonal imbalance in the ovaries by increasing the production of androgen.
Fruit is also a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Women with PCOS often try and avoid fruit due to its high sugar content, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and in turn insulin. However, fruits also contain key nutrients required to manage PCOS.
To avoid the spike in insulin levels, opt for Low GI fruits, such as cherries, grapefruit, dried apricots, pears, apples, oranges, plums, strawberries, peaches, grapes.
Low GI Carbohydrates
A common symptom of PCOS is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin effectively. Following a low GI diet helps to manage the risk of a rise in blood sugar levels and therefore insulin.
Not all fat is bad and the fat you eat does not make you fat. Consuming healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated is important for our PCOS but also for our overall health.
Healthy fats aid in hormone balance, fertility, body composition and it helps with the absorption of certain nutrients, su
ch as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and antioxidants (such as; beta-carotene and lycopene).
Research has found that monounsaturated fat can lower
LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
Also, including fats in your diet will keep you fuller for longer.
Healthy fat food options include; salmon, nuts and seeds, avocado.
Good Quality Meat
If you do eat meat, it is important to eat lean and better quality meat. Grass-fed meat is often "organic", naturally leaner and has not been exposed to many artificial hormones and high levels of antibiotics than standard meat.
Grass fed meat contain more omega - 3 than grain fed meat. Grain feeding causes the meat to lose it's omega 3 content. It can be suggested that the higher omega - 3 content in the grass-fed beef might be more “anti-inflammatory” than conventional grain-fed beef., most grass-fed beef is also “organic,” and hasn’t been exposed to a lot of artificial hormones and high levels of antibiotics.
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