Author: Dr. Shruti N Mane
Qualification: M.B.B.S, M.S (OBG), PG Diploma in ART AND Reproductive Medicine
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects approximately one in ten women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of small cysts on the ovaries, which can lead to irregular periods, acne, weight gain, and difficulty conceiving.
What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but genetics, insulin resistance, and inflammation are believed to play a role.
PCOS can be a frustrating and challenging condition for those who want to get pregnant. However, a healthy diet can help control PCOS symptoms and increase the chances of conception.
Here are ten PCOS diet tips for PCOS patients to get pregnant:
- Focus on Whole Foods
The first step to controlling the symptoms with a PCOS diet plan is to focus on whole foods. This means avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, and high-fat foods. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocado and nuts.
- Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps regulate digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and control blood sugar levels. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can affect fertility. Therefore, increasing fiber intake can help control insulin levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day, which can be found in foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes and should be a part of PCOS diet.
- Limit Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrates can affect insulin levels, which can lead to weight gain and difficulty conceiving for women with PCOS. Therefore, it is important to limit carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods provide the body with energy while also controlling blood sugar levels in a PCOS diet plan.
- Avoid Added Sugars
Added sugars can wreak havoc on insulin levels, leading to weight gain and difficulty conceiving. Therefore, it is important to avoid added sugars in your PCOS diet. This includes sugary drinks, desserts, and processed foods. Instead, opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit.
- Choose Lean Proteins
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. However, not all proteins are created equal. Choosing lean proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, and tofu can help reduce inflammation, regulate insulin levels, and eliminate the causes of PCOS.
- Increase Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a vital role in brain function, heart health, and fertility. They can also help reduce inflammation, which is one of the causes of PCOS. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
- Consider a Low-Glycemic Diet
A low-glycemic diet focuses on foods that have a lower impact on blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for women with PCOS, as it can help regulate insulin levels and improve fertility. Foods with a low glycemic index include non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Avoid high-glycemic foods like sugary drinks, white bread, and rice in a PCOS diet.
- Opt for Plant-Based Foods
Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and improve fertility. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can improve insulin sensitivity and regulate menstrual cycles in women with PCOS.
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health, including fertility. Dehydration can affect cervical mucus, which is necessary for sperm to reach the egg. In addition, drinking water can help control appetite and prevent overeating, which can lead to weight gain and become a cause of PCOS. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Consider Supplements
While a healthy diet is the foundation for managing PCOS symptoms, some women may benefit from supplements. For example, inositol supplements have been shown to improve insulin resistance and ovulation in women with PCOS. Omega-3 supplements can also be beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving fertility. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.
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