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3 Foods To Improve PCOS and Its Symptoms
3 Foods To Improve PCOS and Its Symptoms

3 Foods To Improve PCOS and Its Symptoms

Melissa Finley
Melissa Finley Editorial Content Manager
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition, impacting six to 12 percent of women in the United States. That’s the bad news. But the good news is there are many foods to improve PCOS and its symptoms.

“It really is a dysregulation of insulin and testosterone, two very important hormones,” says Alison Acerra, MS, RDN, a medical advisor for MedShadow Foundation. These irregularities can cause a number of side effects that can range from slight annoyances to life-impacting change that can all be difficult to manage.

“One of the most challenging symptoms for women to deal with is infertility,” said Acerra. 

Acerra also says that with so many suggestions out there in the world, it can be tough to sort fact from fiction. But, there are lifestyle and diet changes that can make an impact on PCOS symptoms. 

Acerra suggests three main diet changes:

1. Be mindful of carbohydrates!

Food can be medicine, helping to heal and improve the symptoms of your condition. It can also, however, have a negative impact on your goals. Carbohydrates can really do both, depending on what the exact food is.

“Shifting meals to incorporate more lean proteins and beneficial oils” can help with PCOS symptoms, according to Acerra. “We want to also incorporate carbohydrates, but limiting them on our plate.”

Acerra advises having only one to two servings per meal of carbohydrates to limit your intake. The amount isn’t the only thing you should be measuring in your diet. What kind of carbs you select also make a huge difference.

“We want to reduce added sugars and processed carbohydrates,” says Acerra. Instead, choosing lentils, beans, whole grains, or starchy vegetables can be more beneficial in lessening your PCOS symptoms.

“Those are all wonderful, high-fiber carbohydrate choices,” she says.

2. Incorporate good, healthy oils.

When following a strict diet, many women consider cutting out most fats all together. Acerra, however, says that healthy oils can be a positive influence on your choices, allowing the necessary nutrients to keep your body more balanced.

Just like carbohydrates, which oils you choose, make a major difference. Acerra suggests Omega-3 fatty acids, including fatty fish, flax seed, or chia seed, for your diet.

Studies have shown that these Omega-3 fatty acids can improve multiple metabolic disorders, including PCOS.

3. Ramp up colorful, vibrant vegetables.

It is probably no surprise that more vegetables can improve your overall health. They can also assist in lessening the symptoms of PCOS.

Acerra suggests to “ fill half of your plate with vegetables.” 

“This is a great strategy, and eliminates the need to measure,” she says. “It is a great way to get nutrient-dense foods into your diet, and that can help with hormone balancing.”

In order to work in a variety, Acerra also suggests altering your colors, eating a rainbow of vegetables to get the nutrients your body needs.

Don’t Forget Lifestyle for PCOS

Following a diet full of foods to improve PCOS will help, but it doesn’t stop there. Acerra notes that how much movement you work into your day can also help with your health condition.

“Strength training helps to build muscle, and it helps with bringing insulin levels down,” said Acerra. “[Strength training] supports hormone balance and testosterone normalization.”

Acerra says that “all movement is great,” but that “strength training is fabulous” for PCOS in particular. 

Managing PCOS can become much easier if you are eating the right foods and finding ways to add exercise into your routine. While there is yet to be a cure for the condition, lessening symptoms can go a long way in improving daily life.

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

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