We’ve all heard about PCOD at some point in our lives. PCOD or PCOS is a term thrown at women each time they have heavy or painful periods. While this might not be the case, painful periods necessarily do not point towards PCOS. Still, the number of women with PCOS is steadily rising across the world. So, if you’re someone who wants to know more about the condition and the diet that works the best with it, you’ve come to the right place.
PCOS/PCOD stands for polycystic ovary syndrome or disease according to the initials used. According to the research done by Robert L Barbieri, MD, and David A Ehrmann, MD, about 5 to 10% of women suffer from PCOS, although one in five women may just have polycystic ovaries.
According to the same research, and in general medical knowledge, having polycystic ovaries (PCO) suggests that during an ultrasound, one can see multiple cysts in the ovaries. This is fairly common. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), on the other hand, affects women with PCO. With the condition, women also experience symptoms that include hormonal imbalance, excessive hair growth, active skin breakouts, and weight gain, coupled with irregular periods and heavy periods.
Now, when it comes to PCOS, there is overwhelming information online concerning what to eat and what to avoid, so here’s a handy guide that can be of use to you.
While currently there exists no clear treatment of PCOS, the symptoms of the condition, fortunately, can be managed. One of the commonly faced problems with PCOS is obesity, over 40–80 percent of women with the condition are reported to be obese according to an NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Secondly, with PCOS you often get cravings for calorie-dense carbs. The only solution, in the long term, is to eat a well-balanced, with low GI (Glycemic index) levels. This would look like a plate with colourful veggies, protein-rich foods, and healthy fats. Here are a few general tips to read before you structure your PCOS friendly diet:
1. Generally, you want to focus on eating healthy, this means consuming tonnes of fruits and veggies and avoiding smoking. Maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar throughout the day. This does not mean that you start following any random fad diets. Food should be eaten with a focus on giving optimum energy to your body, managing stress levels, and balancing those jumpy hormones.
2. An ideal monthly grocery shopping list would have lots of leafy green vegetables, berries, pineapples, and more whole foods instead of processed alternatives as tempting as they might seem, and lastly, sources of protein like fish, eggs, and chicken breast, and good fats like nuts and avocado.
3. During your period, if you experience more bloating than usual, adding spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek, and ginger to your diet can be really good for you as they’re anti-inflammatory in nature and also help with insulin resistance.
4. Seeds such as flax seeds and sunflower seeds are fiber-rich and can be incorporated into your meals easily just by sprinkling over anything you’re eating like salads or even a smoothie. They’re rich in fiber and Omega 3s.
5. With PCOS, there is a tendency to gain weight, If you’ve already gained a few kilograms and are looking to lose those extra kgs, opting for wholegrain carbs over anything could help tremendously. So, reducing the consumption of white pasta, white rice, and anything too processed (including processed meats) is the directive that helps.
6. Increasing healthy fats in your diet like avocado, salmon, chicken, fish, and olive oil will help keep you satiated and can help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, K and help with healthy female hormone levels. Try complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs fruits, vegetables, and pulses. These foods are a great source of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals as well as fiber.
7. If you have PCOS, avoid consuming milk and other dairy products as these foods trigger insulin production and testosterone levels in the body, and this, in turn, can cause acne and major breakouts on the skin.
8. Make sure you’re working out for a minimum of half an hour each day. This helps relieve stress and manage insulin resistance. You can choose any kind of exercise that you like, these could include skipping, brisk walking or even running. With regular workouts, when you lose excess weight, the metabolism heightens and keeps the body healthy.
Lastly, when it comes to PCOS-related heavy periods that are so random with their timing, you need a sanitary napkin that can support you completely. The Hi Life organic period pads are a great option for those annoying days and nights when you’re faced with a relatively heavy period flow. Our feather-soft pads are made of 100% organic cotton ethically sourced from Texas. Moreover, our carefully designed pads have features that include the likes of two air-laid sheets that effectively prevents backflow to prevent any stains, an intricate honeycomb structure on both sides that supports greater absorption and prevents leakage from the sides, and lastly, a hyper-absorbent core with superabsorbent particles which ensures 400% absorption as compared to regular pads.
With regard to the off-timing of the period, we also have a subscription service that lets you order our super-absorbent organic pads in advance so you don’t have to worry about buying your pad stash each month.
Hope this guide equips you to deal with PCOS woes in a better manner!