Learn how to manage PCOD with diet and lifestyle changes.
Written by Muskan Verma, yoga instructor, health & wellness practitioner
Foods to take and avoid in PCOD
Are you diagnosed with #PCOD recently or trying to manage PCOD for a long time? Moreover, you got to know that medicines can not cure PCOD? If yes, then here you’ll find a way to combat and manage PCOD with simple dietary changes.
PCOD which is polycystic ovary disease is a metabolic disorder, that also causes hormonal imbalance in the body before and after the menstrual cycle in females.
Almost one out of ten women are suffering from it now because of a poor and sedentary lifestyle. If PCOD is left unnoticed and untreated, it can also lead to more serious health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, and also there is a risk of cancers in reproductive units.
Nutritional research to find the impact of food on PCOD has shown positive results of remarkable improvement in PCOD and associated symptoms. Learn more about the diet that can help to reduce the poor effect of PCOD in this article.
Effect of diet on PCOD
The real cause of PCOD is still unknown but some researchers have found that females with PCOD reported having higher insulin levels than healthy women. This high level of insulin happens because of abnormal absorption of glucose by the body cells. Because of this abnormality ovaries release more androgens that cause hormonal imbalance in the body. Following a pre-diabetic diet will fulfil nutritional needs and also promotes good insulin level which alleviates the symptoms of PCOD.
Foods to take in PCOD
Vegetables: Calcium deficiency is one of the reasons for poor reproductive health. Green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium, rich in other nutrients like vitamins with low calories. Having more spinach, kale, lettuce, and cabbage helps in weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight with proper nutrition.
Vegetables high in fibre such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, celery and cauliflower will help to restrain insulin resistance in the body. This will reduce the blood sugar impact leading to improved skin condition with less acne.
Other vegetables to include in the diet are beetroot, mushroom, tomato, peas, bell peppers, carrot, peas, garlic, pumpkin and eggplants.
Try to include a minimum of one serving of vegetables in your diet daily.
Fruits: Fruits are healthy food for PCOD because of their antioxidant properties. Females with PCOD have digestive problems before or after the menstrual cycle. Adding more fruits like berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), cherries, plum, peaches, oranges, papaya, pear, watermelon, and apple will help to improve digestion.
Have more rainbow in your diet, which means fruits of different colours will give the required nutrients and keep your body detoxified.
Cereals: Oats, quinoa, bran, Barley, Oatmeal, muesli, bran flakes, brown rice, whole wheat porridge and multigrain bread, all these cereals make a heavy meal for your diet. Cereals will give a satiety feeling and will keep you full for a longer duration.
Pulses: Green moong dal, yellow moong dal, whole pulses, kidney beans, and chana dal should be included in your diet daily. Along with cereals pulses make heavy meals. Pulses are a good source of protein in the diet. You can supplement pulses with cereals.
Seeds and Nuts: Seeds are found to be the best Food to cure PCOD and its symptoms.
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber which help in weight loss and also its anti-inflammatory character makes flax seed super food for PCOD.
Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are also beneficial for PCOD. You must have heard about a process called seed cycling. Seed cycling uses all these four types of seeds to help you control hormonal imbalance in the body. Daily consumption of these seeds with proper follow of the seed cycling method is proved to be advantageous for females with PCOD.
Fats: Use healthy unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils like coconut oil, olive oil, canola and sesame oil, and avocados.
Dried fruits and nuts: Pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashew, fig, pecan and dried apricots. Dried fruits and nuts make a healthy snacking option. A handful of nuts and dried fruits helps to avoid binge eating and reduce cravings.
Dairy Products: Although dairy products are found to be causing some hormonal imbalance in the body. There are some products which can be consumed in moderation. To put it more simply Soy milk, tofu, skimmed or toned milk, cottage cheese, curd or geek yoghurt are the type of dairy products which are safe to take and to get more nutrition from them.
Foods to avoid in PCOD
There are some types of foods that are the worst food for PCOD because they cause a certain physiological disturbance that increases hormonal imbalance in the body. Females suffering from PCOD are at huge risk of becoming type 2 diabetic. Their blood glucose is almost near the borderline. They should make sure to avoid food that can spike their blood sugar level. Having a diet with a low glycemic index will keep them away from other metabolic disorders. Let’s look into the foods to avoid in PCOD:
Fruits: Although fruits are healthy for PCOD patients some fruits that fall under high glycemic index are not helpful. In place of avoiding these fruits, you can limit your consumption. The list includes banana, pineapple, mango, and melon.
Fat: Avoid having saturated fats, abundantly found in animal products like meat, lamb, beef, pork and dairy and dairy-based products. Saturated fats can increase the cholesterol level in the blood and add more calories. Junk food items are the major source of saturated fats. Certain baked food also contains saturated fat. Solid fats like lard, shortening and margarine should be avoided. So, make sure that you always check the pack before taking it.
Avoid having extra salt, take a diet with less sodium content. You can start by avoiding adding salt to fruits and curd.
Avoid having refined carbohydrates that will spike the glucose level in the blood, these include pastries, biscuits, cakes, white rice and white bread.
Processed foods: meats, hot dogs, sausages, and fried food items like fries, chips, pizza, and burgers should be excluded from the diet.
Carbonated beverages have high sugar content in them. Packed fruit juices also have concentrated sugar content that makes them foods to avoid in PCOD. Other examples like energy drinks, sodas, and flavoured drinks should be avoided.
Diet plan for PCOD
Here’s a simple #diet plan for PCOD, you can start with the following food for PCOD or you can make your diet chart by choosing healthy food for PCOD from the above list and assemble it considering the below-given diet chart.
Early morning: After getting up or after getting fresh in the morning firstly have 2 glasses of water (250 ml each).
Add two pinches of cinnamon powder to the water, it helps with type 2 diabetes problems.
Or you can have overnight soaked fenugreek seeds in the morning or before heavy meals like lunch and dinner.
Or You can have 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with lukewarm water.
An hour before breakfast: Have 4 overnight soaked almonds or walnuts and 1 tbs flaxseed with 250 ml of skimmed or toned milk.
Breakfast: Sprouts salad made with above-listed vegetables, or eggs with vegetables. Add coconut or olive oil for dressing and sesame seeds.
Vegetable poha + orange juice(1 glass)/ brown rice idli with rasam.
Ragi Rava dosa with coconut or mint chutney/ ragi-banana pancake.
Mid-Morning:1 portion of fruits (apple, orange, pear)/ buttermilk.
LUNCH Salad (chopped cucumber+ tomato+ onion+ beetroot) + chapatti made with wheat, bran + curd (no salt)
Gram flour chapatti+ curry+ salad.
Brown rice pulao + cucumber raita.
Cooked mix vegetable+ khichadi.
Green moong sprouts 1 cup/ bhuna chana bhel/Have green tea/10-15 peanuts. Or you can have herbal tea made with pudina, tulsi, ginger and a pinch of cinnamon.
Homemade chakli/ millet cookies/ whole grain crackers.
Try to finish your dinner or last meal by 8 pm.
Tomato curry ½ cup+ 2 chappati/ broken wheat upma 1 cup+ ½ cup green beans curry.
Wheat dosa 2+ sambhar 1 cup.
Vegetable or tomato soup/Vegetable pasta.
If you have a digestion problem because of PCOD then have 1 cardamom after heavy meals like lunch and dinner.
You can also take tulsi water between and after meals.
Diet will help you to deal with PCOD but you also need to be physically active. Go for 30 minutes of walk in the morning or do 30-40 minutes of yoga.
With the above diet plan structure, you can add your regional recipes, considering the food list to avoid food for PCOD. Conclusion
After learning what to include in the diet for PCOD patients, you must have an idea that you have to make simple lifestyle changes and become more involved in healthy eating habits for PCOD. With the help of the above-listed food items for PCOD, start having homecooked and plant-based food instead of frequent outside and junk foods. Are you ready to make these changes gradually in your daily eating habits?