By now most of us know what is Polycystic ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and how common it is. Women with PCOS are always told to eat “right” and live a “healthy” lifestyle in order to keep their hormones balanced and their PCOS in check. But what is this “right” and “healthy”? Well, you’ve found the right place, here we will give you an easy guide for your PCOS Diet and some Yoga tips which help in obtaining the good lifestyle even with PCOS.
Diet for PCOS
As PCOS isn’t exactly curable, the trick to combatting it is in the management. A good diet plays a very important role in this. Here are some things you must remember if you have PCOS and need to change your eating habits:
- Avoid processed food: Processed food basically means anything that goes into a factory and comes out losing its original form. This includes Maida (refined flour), sugar, baked goods and pasta (made in refined flour), instant noodles etc. These foods lose their natural nutrition in the processing units and are left with just unwanted fats.
- Include food high in fiber: Foods high in fiber help slow down digestion and in turn helps in managing insulin resistance. Some foods which are high in fiber are apples, broccoli, cauliflower etc.
- Yes for fruits and veggies: Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet will help you obtain different vitamins and minerals which makes for a nutrition packed diet especially for women with PCOS. Each fruit or vegetable will help you with something different for example, plums and grapes have anti-inflammatory properties which is very helpful for PCOS.
- Particular proteins: Proteins are an integral part of PCOS diet, but what is specific here is that you have to go for plant-based protein like nuts, nut butters, soy protein etc. Although women with PCOS are strictly asked to avoid red meats, you can enjoy non-veg in the form of leaner meats like fish, lean poultry and eggs.
- Drink plenty of water: 2 liters minimum is the goal. You can add cut up citrus fruits, cucumbers, mint etc. to make it fun and healthy.
- Limit alcohol: If you are diagnosed with PCOS then it is unfortunate but for the sake of your health you have to limit alcohol. Alcohol tends to be quite unsettling and also meddles with the hormones. A glass of red wine occasionally is completely acceptable but no more than that.
- Rules for dairy consumption: Women with PCOS are asked to avoid full-fat dairy, but as alternatives you can go low-fat dairy options, Greek yoghurt and dairy substitutes like almond milk, oat milk, cashew cheese etc.
- Five finger rule: While buying any packaged food make sure you can count the number of ingredients on your fingers in one hand i.e., it should not have more than 5 ingredients. Any more than 5 ingredients would mean that the product is highly processed.
- Small meals: This is one of the best tips because it gives you the leeway to eat multiple times a day. Yes! You read that right. Eating multiple small meals a day will give make sure blood sugar levels don’t spike, which are usually caused by long gaps between meals.
That’s all for the diet but just the diet won’t help. Fitness can be difficult when you have PCOS, doing intense work outs or exercises may not seem feasible. That’s why yoga is your best friend. Here’s an insight into the yoga you can do to ease problems caused by PCOS.
Yoga for PCOS
Before we delve into what poses are recommended to ease PCOS caused problems, let’s take a look why yoga is important.
- Yoga reduces testosterone levels. Drop in testosterone levels can sometimes help regularize period cycles.
- Yoga helps manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Yoga helps to calm and soothe the body thereby balancing hormones.
- Yoga is offers varied levels of fitness. So, whether you are a gym freak or just beginner, there’s something in yoga that everyone can do.
Now let’s take a look at some yoga poses that help with PCOS:
- Suptabadhakonasana: The butterfly and reclining butterfly pose. This pose helps aid PCOS by opening up the muscles in the pelvic area.
- Bhujangasana and Dhanurasana: The cobra pose and bow pose. Both the poses help in increasing flexibility by stretching the whole body. They also help in relieving stress.
- Surya Namaskar: This entire circuit is said to help the whole body. All the poses together help in relaxing muscles and calm the mind.
- Pranayam: Pranayam includes basic breathing exercises like anilom-vilom and Kapalbharti. They help in opening up the lungs and hence providing more oxygen to the whole body. Pranayam is primarily used to bring calmness and focus and therefore helps combat anxiety and depression.
Apart from this you can do practice other yoga poses too if you have the fitness and flexibility levels for it. Managing PCOS is really not rocket science. All you need is some consistency and determination. You can still enjoy and live your life to the fullest while taking care of your health.