PCOS typically responds very well to nutritional changes. While some of these changes can seem daunting at first, getting going in the right direction is an important factor in your overall health. We can’t complete a journey of 1000 steps without taking the first one!
In 2014, a group of researchers came together to take a look at some key nutrients that are typically depleted in those with PCOS: Vitamin D, minerals, and an unbalanced fatty acid profile. Their study confirmed that women with PCOS are more likely to have lower Vitamin D levels, decreased chromium levels and a higher level of Omega 6 fatty acids compared to Omega 3 fatty acids. When combining these nutrients with a diet that promoted weight loss (even as little as 5% of their overall body weight), the researchers found an improvement in levels of insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, menstruation and fertility.
Here’s how you can get more of the nutrients listed above in your diet:
- Vitamin D – Sunshine exposure 10-15 minutes/daily of almost total body exposure to the sun can help improve your levels. Now that we’re in t he Fall season and heading toward Winter, that can be difficult for some. Food sources of Vitamin D include wild caught salmon, herring, sardines, cod liver oil, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
- Chromium – Helpful for blood sugar regulation, can be found in shellfish, pears, Brazil nuts, dried basil, turkey breast, brewer’s yeast, molasses, dates, mushrooms, oatmeal, prunes, organ meats, egg yolks, herring, hazelnuts, and asparagus. In order to help absorb the chromium from the foods you are eating, try consuming foods that are also high in Vitamin C at the same time.
- Decrease your Omega 6 fatty acids – ditch the fried, processed foods such as French fries, chicken nuggets, processed meats like lunchmeats and poor quality, conventionally raised meats.
- Increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids – Wild Caught salmon, sardines, herring, egg, walnuts, chia, macadamia nuts, flax, and cod liver oil.
Rondanelli, M., Perna, S., Faliva, M., Monteferrario, F., Repaci, E., & Allieri, F. (2014). Focus on metabolic and nutritional correlates of polycystic ovary syndrome and update on nutritional management of these critical phenomena. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 290(6), 1079-1092.