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The 5 best foods for PCOS

There may not be a cure for polycystic ovary syndrome but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to lessen the more severe symptoms of the condition. Add these 5 best foods for PCOS to your daily diet to get back to feeling as good as ever

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder affecting many women of reproductive age. Managing PCOS often involves addressing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, and balancing hormones, all of which can be significantly influenced by diet.

Understanding the best foods for PCOS is crucial as the right nutritional choices can alleviate symptoms, improve overall health, and enhance quality of life. While there’s good evidence that certain supplements can help PCOS, you should start by incorporate the following foods into your diet.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder characterised by irregular menstrual periods, excess androgen levels, and polycystic ovaries. Women with PCOS may experience a range of symptoms, including weight gain, acne, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), and infertility.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is often associated with insulin resistance, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels and increased insulin production. This can exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS and contribute to long-term health issues like type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What are the 5 best foods for PCOS?

1. Whole Grains

Whole grains including quinoa, brown rice, and oats are high in fibre, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down glucose absorption. High-fibre diets can improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition.

2. Lean Protein

Sources of lean protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish are essential for maintaining muscle mass and supporting metabolic health. Protein also helps to keep you full longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Research in Fertility and Sterility suggests that a balanced intake of protein can help manage PCOS symptoms.

3. Healthy Fats

Incorporating healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil can reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, are particularly beneficial. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that omega-3 supplements can decrease androgen levels and improve menstrual regularity in women with PCOS.

4. Low GI Fruit and Vegetables

Low glycaemic index (GI) fruits and vegetables, such as berries, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables, help maintain stable blood sugar levels. A diet rich in low-GI foods can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation in women with PCOS, according to The British Journal of Nutrition.

5. Legumes and Beans

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein and fibre. They help regulate blood sugar and provide sustained energy. According to research in Diabetes Care, diets high in legumes can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure.

Listen to our exclusive interview with the PCOS Mentor Drew Baird on Spotify

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