What is PCOD?

PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disorder) is a hormonal disorder, causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. If a woman is suffering from PCOD, she will have irregular or no menstruation at all. 

Almost half of the women having this condition are obese or over weight. Usual PCOD signs include:

  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
  • Acne
  • Androgenic alopecia (permanent hair loss from the scalp, causing baldness)

If PCOD symptoms are not managed, a woman can also develop a higher risk for:

  • Heart disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Endometrial cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the lining of the womb or uterus)

Many women having PCOD fail to control their risk factors and signs without changing their diet and lifestyle habits. 

Reshaping their diet and making lifestyle modifications can help improve PCOD. This includes enough exercise and regular physical activities to cut down insulin resistance, specifically coupled with limited consumption of unhealthy carbs. A woman's ovulation can improve with weight loss. PCOD-associated stress can improve with relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.

3 kinds of PCOD diet plans that are usually recommended

1. An anti-inflammatory diet

Anti-inflammatory foods including extra-virgin olive oil, leafy greens, fatty fish, and berries can decrease inflammation-associated signs like fatigue. 

2. A low GI (glycemic index) diet

Digestion happens gradually with a low GI. Low GI foods like certain carbs prevent insulin levels from rising. Such foods include low-carb unprocessed foods, starchy veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

3. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet

This diet is for reducing the risk of heart disorders. It can also help improve PCOD symptoms. This diet is high in low-fat dairy items, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, poultry, and fish.

Foods to eat

1. Fiber-rich foods

These help improve overall PCOD symptoms. Some examples are:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Berries
  • Almonds
  • Lentils and beans
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Green leafy vegetables

2. Lean proteins

Lean proteins, like chicken or fish, are extremely filling although they don’t contain fiber. They are healthy dietary choices for women with PCOD.

3. Anti-inflammatory foods and spices

Foods that aid in lowering inflammation can also benefit women with PCOD. Options are:

  • Fatty fish including pomfret (high in omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Fruits including strawberries and blueberries
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Foods to avoid

  • Refined carbs like white bread and pastries
  • Sugary beverages like energy drinks and soda
  • Fried foods like fast food
  • Processed meat like luncheon meat, sausages, hot dogs, etc.
  • Excess red meat like pork, hamburgers, steak, etc. 
  • Solid fats like margarine

Additional diet tips for managing PCOD

1. Avoid skipping breakfast

Evening meals must be smaller than the breakfast portion. This can help improve your hormone levels and ovulation (if you are trying to get pregnant).

2. Eat sufficient healthy fats

An adequate intake of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce testosterone and insulin quantities, and treat insulin resistance if you have PCOD.

3. Stay active

Exercising every day can help in burning body fat, promoting ovulation, insulin resistance, and lowering inflammatory indicators in women having PCOD. 

4. Take specific supplements

Supplements of chromium and vitamin D can help relieve PCOD symptoms, particularly if the body lacks them.