Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common Endocrine (Hormonal) disorders in women.
Symptoms can range from irregular periods, acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth in unwanted areas such as the face).
You don't have to have a diagnosis of cysts on the ovaries to have PCOS and there is still no definitive cause. However, most experts point towards estrogen dominance which is a hormone imbalance and excessive male hormones which are called androgens and include testosterone.
There are some things you can do to help your condition, see our 8 tips to ease your symptoms.
1. Drink Spearmint tea – Throw out your caffeinated tea and replace it with a cup of Spearmint tea instead. A Turkish study showed that drinking Spearmint tea twice a day reduced Androgen levels in women with PCOS. Read about the trial here.
2. Eat a diet low in refined carbs – All carbs turn to sugar in the body and a diet low in these foods has been shown to improve insulin levels and androgen levels in women.
Cut out anything with sugar or that is processed and swap bread for salads, and try your had at making zucchini pasta instead of wheat pasta.
Cauliflower rice is also a great alternative for an accompaniment with your stir-fry.
Improve your insulin and watch the weight drop off at the same time.
3. Avoid drinking from Plastic – Plastic is certainly not fantastic!
This is because most plastic water bottles contain BPA which is a chemical that mimics estrogen and can disrupt hormones in the body. These chemicals are also found in takeaway containers and some canned foods.
Kick them to the curb and replace any storage containers or drinking bottles with stainless steel or glass.
4. Go organic – Avoid chemicals from non-organic food that can disrupt the hormones and buy your fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and beans from your friendly, local organic grocer and feel great about supporting local business to boot.
5. Buy organic grass fed meat – If you must include meat in your diet then opt for an organic grass fed version. Which will not contain the hormones pumped into it and is less inflammatory than grain fed meat. Try to limit your consumption weekly.
6. Include good fats in every meal – Good fat is essential in the body for so many things including being the building blocks for hormones so ensure you include some in every meal. These can include avocado, nuts, seeds or oils such as olive oil or coconut oil.
7. Swap sugar for cinnamon – In PCOS sugar is likened to how Kryptonite affects Superman. Cinnamon has a stabilizing effect on blood insulin levels so swap your sugar for cinnamon in your drinks, quinoa porridge or stewed low GI fruit such as berries for a delicious dessert.
8. Supplement yourself – Herbs and nutrients such as Vitex, Chromium, Gymnema and Inositol can all be a benefit for PCOS ask your Nutritionist or Naturopath for advice on what is the best for you.
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