Unfortunately, there is not a cure for PCOS, and while it can be annoying, aggravating and even depressing, it is possible to manage with a proper diet and exercise. Eating a specific PCOS fertility diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant or if you are just interested in minimizing or eliminating the symptoms of this syndrome. (Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes)
Avoid commercially raised, non-organic meats such as beef, chicken, and pork and commercial dairy products including milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream. In commercial meats there are large amounts of added hormones (estrogen) that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS there is usually a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogen can make it even worse.
Cut back on carbohydrates
You want to release an egg each month, right? Say “no, no” to breads, pasta, potatoes, sugar, and other starchy foods because they can spike your insulin. Excess blood insulin disrupts the hormonal imbalance causing more pearls (immature, unreleased eggs that form a cyst).
Eat more romaine lettuce
I have recently discovered the benefits of romaine lettuce and the important role it has in minimizing or eliminating certain PCOS symptoms. Romaine lettuce is low in calories (yay!) and contains chromium. Chromium is important because it will help fight insulin resistance because it helps maintain normal blood glucose levels by making insulin more efficient. Chromium also promotes weight loss due to its ability to help control cravings, reduce hunger and control fat in the blood (Ummm…hello?! We could all benefit from that right?) I use romaine lettuce in salads and in place of bread for sandwiches.
Lose 5-10% of your body weight (if you are overweight)
Doing so can help balance your hormones (and make your clothes fit better…hehe)
Besides the fact that you shouldn’t drink alcohol while trying to conceive, alcohol also turns into carbohydrates (sugar) which spikes your insulin, therefore getting your hormones all out of whack.
For me? This.Is.Hard. But if you can avoid it, the benefits are worth it because caffeine increases estradiol hormone levels by 70%! YIKES!!
Eat a diet high in fiber
Fiber helps in two ways with PCOS. First, they help is by slowing down the digestion of sugars in the body, so there is no spike in insulin. Secondly, they help promote healthy estrogen metabolism which aids in the reduction of elevated levels of androgens. Great sources of fiber are: broccoli, celery, whole grains, apples, and dark leafy greens.
Sprinkle Cinnamon on your food
Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day helps stabilize your blood sugar levels and it has been proven to slow down the emptying of your stomach in order to reduce drastic spikes in blood sugar following meals. I like to sprinkle cinnamon on my toast or in my oatmeal for breakfast.
Exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week
I need to work on this. sigh. Exercise helps eliminate PCOS related symptoms by improving your insulin sensitivity, increasing your metabolism and helping to shed any excess weight. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are good.
Eat more Omega 3
If you have PCOS, Omega 3 fatty acids are an important element to add to your PCOS diet. Recent research has found that increasing Omega 3 intake results in improved “free” testosterone levels in women with PCOS. It is this free testosterone that causes the annoying increased hair growth, acne and hair loss. Also, eating more Omega 3 super foods may improve the quality of eggs produced from the ovaries, improving fertility. But, that’s not all! It has also been linked to help to improve insulin sensitivity. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! So what do you eat? Salmon, flax seeds, halibut, walnuts, sardines, shrimp and tofu are all excellent sources of Omega 3.