Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 5 women, with irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and excessive facial hair as major symptoms caused by insulin resistance and the existence of polycystic ovaries.
With lifestyle changes at the centre of this strategy, remedies can be an important part of the comprehensive management of PCOS.
Diet and exercise that reduce PCOS symptoms
Dr Duru Shah said, “According to International recommendations, lifestyle modification including exercise and diet is the most effective intervention to keep PCOS under control. A combination of cardio and high-intensity training coupled with a protein-rich, low carbohydrate calorie deficit diet is best suited for PCOS women. It can help lower insulin resistance, decrease raised male hormones, and control obesity.”
“Since weight gain exacerbates PCOS, a modest weight loss of just 5-10% of your body weight can improve insulin resistance, regularise menstrual cycles and even optimise your fertility outcomes. Reducing waist circumference further improves insulin sensitivity! International PCOS guidelines recommend at least 75 mins of vigorous exercise per week to prevent weight gain and around 150 minutes per week for achieving weight loss,” she further added.
Nutritional supplements for PCOS-suffering women
Dr Duru Shah said, “Supplementation of certain nutrients can add to the benefits of lifestyle changes.”
Vitamins including vitamin D3, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are proven to enhance insulin sensitivity and metabolic efficiency in general.
According to a recent study, co-supplementing calcium and vitamin D in women with PCOS improved androgen and lipid markers, ABP reported.
Inositols, which are thought of as ovary vitamins, aid in reestablishing normal ovarian function.
It has been demonstrated that the insulin sensitizer metformin works well in regulating the insulin glucose balance and reducing BMI in obese women. Numerous studies are still being conducted to determine whether metformin can enhance long-term health outcomes for PCOS-afflicted women, such as preventing diabetes and heart disease.
Probiotics assist in maintaining the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which reduces general systemic inflammation as gut flora are crucial in PCOS women.
Natural foods like flax seeds, cinnamon, and curcumin assist in increasing insulin sensitivity, which controls the body’s overall metabolic state.
“Many studies have established that yoga along with acupuncture is a great sustainable intervention for managing stress, anxiety and irregular periods. A new study observed that just 90 minutes of yoga per day for six weeks can significantly decrease hirsutism, waist and hip circumference. Practising mindfulness & meditation leads to improvement in the psychological wellbeing, thus alleviating stress and anxiety symptoms,” she further added.
Additionally, Dr Archana Gupta, who is the Founder of Purna Gummies said, “Incorporating herbal remedies like cinnamon and spearmint into your routine can also aid in addressing PCOS symptoms. Cinnamon can assist in managing insulin resistance, while spearmint tea may help reduce excessive hair growth. To further promote hormonal balance, consider stress management practices like yoga or meditation.”
3 foods that support PCOS management: Hormone balancing with a crunch
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head of Dietetics for Max Healthcare in Delhi, listed three meals that support PCOS management:
Almonds have a number of advantages for PCOS sufferers. Their high protein, fiber, and healthy fat content promotes satiety and aid with weight management, an essential part of PCOS treatment.
These nuts also include essential nutrients including magnesium and vitamin E, which may benefit PCOS patients’ overall health and hormonal balance. Before eating, you can either soak them for a night or enjoy them as an evening snack by roasting the almonds or seasoning them with some spices to give them a tangy flavour.
Due to their high concentrations of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, experts feel that berries including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are beneficial for PCOS. Depending on your inclination, you can either eat them raw after washing or in the shape of custard with some yoghurt.
Broccoli is an additional food option for PCOS sufferers. It has a very low glycemic index, which is ideal, is an excellent source of calcium, and it has little calories. In order to preserve the most nutrients, try eating green vegetables like broccoli on a regular basis in your diet.
A balanced diet is essential for managing PCOS since it treats the condition’s symptoms, addresses its underlying causes, and reduces the chance of its negative health effects.
It should be a significant part of any comprehensive PCOS management strategy, preferably developed in cooperation with a medical expert or certified dietician to satisfy particular needs and goals.