Poly cystic ovarian syndrome also called pcos / pcod is hormonal disorder that causes lot of problems. One best thing we can do is follow a pcos diet plan that is low in sugar, processed foods and sugar and high in fiber and nutrients. Some of the common symptoms of poly cystic ovarian syndrome are irregular periods and small cysts in ovaries (which is very common in most women and hence the name).
Also excessive bleeding and pain during periods, excessive hair in the body and face, difficulty getting pregnant, weight gain, hair loss are also common. Some of the more serious problems include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and depression so it is important that we treat it as quickly as possible.
Pcos Diet – Foods To Avoid:
If you are suffering from poly cystic ovarian syndrome, there are foods that we should completely avoid if we want to treat pcos quickly. Some of these foods are easily avoided but some of these ingredients can sneak into our diet without even us realising it. Like for instance, many bakeries in India add trans fats to breads to make it taste good and many of us regularly consume wheat bread thinking it is good for us…
If we are suffering from pcos, it is important we limit our sugar intake. Many of us know that white sugar is bad but where we go wrong is consuming natural sweeteners like jaggery and honey in excess thinking they are good for us. All sugars, irrespective of whether it is natural or refined comprises of fructose and glucose.
Fructose does bad things to our body and is especially bad for people suffering from poly cystic ovarian syndrome. Though substituting refined sugar with natural sweeteners is good, we should really pay close attention to how much sugar we consume everyday.
2. Trans Fats:
Though many countries have banned the usage of trans fats completely now, it still being used as it is way cheaper than other fats and as it also helps improve the shelf life of the product. Trans fats are highly toxic and messes with our hormones so I would suggest avoiding it completely.
Trans fats are widely used in pastries and even in certain common Indian dishes, I was actually shocked to find that they add it in dishes like briyani in some hotels. Try your best to avoid pastries and even if you decide to have it once in a while as a treat, make sure to find out from the shop you are buying whether the pastry is made with trans fats.
3. Soy Products:
For most of us, soy products especially un processed soy products in moderation rarely causes any problems unless you are allergic to soy products. But if you are having pcos, I would suggest eliminating soy products completely as it exhibits estrogenic activity. The two main compounds in soy that are responsible for the estrogenic activity are genistein and daidzein.
Both these compounds are found in varying quantities in many foods but they are found in highest levels mainly in soy products. Nowadays mock meats which contain mainly processed soy is getting famous all over the world. They contain high amounts of both these compounds so I would suggest you try your best to avoid soy products.
4. Refined Products:
It is best to avoid highly processed refined products completely from our diet. Refined flours like maida, refined oils, processed junk food filled with color and preservatives and processed meat all play havoc with our hormones and will worsen the symptoms of pcos.
If you want to consume refined products, do so once in a while as a treat and not on a day to day basis. Since weight gain is already a problem with pcos, consuming processed foods filled with sugar and trans fats will make us gain weight even more so try your best to stay away from refined products.
5. Caffeine and Alcohol:
One of the big problems of pcos is the psychological problems that accompanies it like depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. Consuming caffeine in the form of cool drinks, coffee and tea often on a daily basis will aggravate these problems even more. It will also make it very difficult to get a good nights sleep as they never help us rest well. So try your best to limit caffeine intake.
Many young women consume alcohol often now. Consuming alcohol will increase the chances of getting liver disease many fold especially in people who are suffering from pcos so eliminate alcohol completely. Finally it is also best to avoid foods that cause allergies. If gluten and diary causes allergies or discomfort avoid them. But in my personal experience, grass fed milk usually does not cause any problems so try to buy grass fed milk from local farmers.
5 Foods To Include In a Pcos Diet Regularly:
1. Ceylon Cinnamon:
Ceylon cinnamon is an amazing home remedy for pcos as it improves insulin sensitivity in women suffering from pcos and it also helps regulate menstrual cycle. To use, boil Ceylon cinnamon in half cup of water and drink daily for a few weeks.
Triphala is a very famous ayurvedic formulation that helps detoxify our body and it greatly reduces the symptoms of pcos. Take 1/2 tsp of triphala powder mixed in hot water daily. You can buy triphala easily through online shops.
3. Chamomile Tea:
Chamomile greatly reduces the symptoms of pcos and it also regulates the menstrual cycle. To use, daily consume a cup of chamomile tea by steeping a chamomile tea bag in a cup of hot water.
Flaxseeds have androgen lowering properties and is great to include in a pcos diet. Powder the flaxseeds in a dry mixer and use as it is hard to digest the whole flaxseeds. I like to add it to smoothies, here is a recipe for flax seed smoothie.
Licorice is great for pcos as it lowers the testosterone in women but people with blood pressure should not use it. To use, boil either the roots in water or mix the powder in water and drink. And try not to take it for more than 3 to 4 days.
A Sample Pcos Diet Plan That Will Aid Weight Loss:
This simple diet plan is low in calories but it is very filling so it will help in weight loss and at the same time regularly following a diet like this will improve insulin sensitivity, reduce stress and anxiety and also reduce many of the symptoms associated with pcos.
A cup of cinnamon water got by boiling a small Ceylon cinnamon stick in a cup of water, Boil till the color of the water changes color and a nice smell wafts. You can also use the powder too. Have it without any sweetener.
Have a 2 or 3 flaxseed dosas along with tomato chutney. You can use either regular idli batter for making the dosas or other grain dosas like kambu dosa (which I would suggest) like I have shown in the picture.
Once you spread the dosa batter, sprinkle a teaspoon of flax seed powder along with a pinch of crushed Himalayan salt and pepper powder on top. You can sprinkle cut onions too.
Use unrefined sesame oil for making the dosa. Serve it with tomato garlic chutney. This breakfast is very filling and will tide you over till lunch. If you are not satisfied, you can also have one boiled country egg too.
For lunch, have a cup of hand pounded rice along with dal. Soak the hand pounded rice and dal the previous day itself which will make cooking easier. Include a cup of vegetable stir fry or porial too. Also have a cup of butter milk spiced with curry leaves, cumin seeds and salt.
For evening snack have a cup of fruit salad by mixing assorted cut fruits with little bit of lemon juice and fresh mint leaves.
For dinner have 2 to 3 dry rotis made using whole wheat flour and if you are allergic to roti have ragi roti along sprouted green gram dal gravy. You can also add in a cup of vegetable stir fry too.
Before bed, have a cup of warm chamomile tea without any additional sweeteners. It will reduce stress and will help you unwind and get a good nights sleep.