PCOS is one of the most ubiquitous female endocrine conditions across the country, it usually targets women of child-bearing age. It must be understood that Polycystic Ovary syndrome as the name suggests is not a full-blown disease. It is merely a collection of symptoms. Therefore, medical practitioners consider it as a condition or a disorder. However, there is no certified treatment that can fully cure this condition. But you can control the symptoms of PCOS by switching to a holistic and healthy lifestyle that includes eating a nutrient-rich diet, working-out regularly, avoiding processed and inflammatory food, shunning harmful habits like smoking and drinking, and getting sufficient sleep.
In this condition, the female body starts producing an excessive quantity of male hormones which are also called Androgens. In healthy women, these androgens are produced in small amounts. The various symptoms of PCOS are formation of sac-filled sacs or cysts in the ovaries, excess growth of hair, acne, difficulty losing weight, infertility and irregular menstruation.
The excess weight-gain and disrupted metabolism can also result in insulin-resistance. This happens when the body can produce insulin but is unable to use it efficiently. This eventually multiplies the risk of contracting type-2 diabetes in the future. Therefore, it is extremely important to manage PCOS symptoms before they gradually morph into something far more sinister. To reiterate, the most important step towards managing the symptoms of PCOS is cultivating a clean and holistic lifestyle.
Here are some diet and lifestyle tips that can help manage PCOS symptoms
Adding wholefoods and greens in your diet: Eat whole grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, etc as they are rich in essential fiber. You should also consume nutrient-dense foods like legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, and green leafy vegetables as they are packed with plant-based proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Also eat foods like kale, spinach, and berries as they are a great source of Vitamin B. Vitamin B deficiency is highly prevalent in women with PCOS.
Adequate consumption of clean protein: You can control your weight by increasing good quality plant-based proteins in your diet while cutting down on starch sugar, and fats. It is recommended that an average adult should consume about 0.8 gms for every 1 KG, depending upon the body weight.
Goodness of ayurvedic herbs: You should also use ancient herbs with healing values such as Shatavari and Ashoka. They are both useful in maintaining hormone levels and boosting estrogen production, respectively. But you should first consult an expert before adding these to your diet.
Amp up good fats: Eat healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, and olive oil as they help in soothing the inflammation caused by PCOS. Steer clear of highly processed foods, sugary drinks and fizzy colas as they can increase inflammation levels in the body.
Adopting clean and holistic living: Lastly, you must strive to bring about a holistic change in your life. Besides a clean and plant-based nutrition, make sure that you daily devote at least thirty minutes for physical exercise. It can be anything from running, jogging, outdoor sports or even yoga. Moreover, you can also practice mindful-meditation and breathing techniques like Pranayama for taming stress-storms.
(Shikha Dwivedi is a Msc. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at OZiva)
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