As I dive further and further into researching natural remedies and remedies for PCOS I try my best to keep you updated with the information I am finding for myself. In my latest quest for info I found some things I already knew (that I’ll still share) and some new info that I found quite interesting and helpful.
To help manage PCOS and get it under control (because there is no current cure) you will have to make dietary and lifestyle changes. Some of them are easier than others but all are helpful and worth giving a shot. Below are the dietary changes that are recommended to help prevent sugar spikes, balance hormones, and more.
Changes To Diet
Low Glycemic Foods: This one is one of the easier steps/changes in my diet… but it has its moments. You want to try… (try really hard) to avoid food that is high in processed/refined sugar that will spike your sugar levels. Even with natural sugars (certain fruits) you can still spike your sugar. Low Glycemic foods eaten earlier in the day make it easier on your body & insulin resistance which many people with PCOS deal with.
No Dairy: Ugh while a little more difficult for me than the other changes decreasing/eliminating dairy from your diet will make it not only easier to lose weight/ but to also continue in the difficult process of balancing your hormones. Foods like cheese, butter, and milk disrupt our balance, and create that stubborn belly fat that we women can’t seem to shake when we deal with PCOS.
Gluten Free : While I’m not certain if I’ll truly make this change, it is said that gluten free foods are better for women dealing with PCOS as gluten can be a key player in altering hormones and spiking your body sugar. Again not too sure if I’ll be making this change but it is something I want to make you aware of.
Increase Protein (lean proteins): You want to make sure you eat protein with every meal to balance out the carb you are taking in. For the same reasons that you want to eat low glycemic foods, protein has many benefits but it has to be a lean protein. Chicken, Fish, turkey will become your best friends! I’m still working on making sure I incorporate some form of protein with every meal to make sure I’m not just getting sugar as the source of the meal.
No Refined Carbs/Processed Foods (Whole Grains/ Brown Rice & Quinoa are best): This one has its easy and difficult moments. You should limit/eliminate eating processed foods… which I am working on. Whole Grains, Brown Rice and Quinoa are beneficial in your diet. Great sources of protein and make it easier on your body to function and get back to homeostasis. What I’ve started practicing in my grocery shopping sprees… the fewer ingredients on the pack … the better. And if you can recognize/pronounce the ingredients even better! Not always… but that is usually a good sign. The ingredient list and nutritional info on foods have become my best friend! Always make sure you know hat you are putting into your body.
Herbs To Help With PCOS
Chasteberry: (Vitex Agnus Castus) This herb is the most powerful (and the only one that worked for me) herb for women’s fertility and health. I spoke about my experience with Chasteberry a few posts ago and since then I have discontinued taking it. However I’m considering taking it again in the near future as it did initially work for a few months. Chasteberry is usually called the “woman’s herb” it’s used to help with PMS, menstrual irregularities and symptoms of menopause. This was the only herb so far that has helped with my menstrual irregularities so I highly recommend it.
Dong Quai: is also known as female ginseng because it helps to “purify” blood as well as aid with PMS, PMDD and infertility.
Licorice Root: This herb helps to balance and release appropriate levels of hormones and helps support healthy liver function for healthy hormonal balance. It is best when taken with White Peony. Besides Chasteberry I’m considering taking Licorice Root and White Peony together to see if I can get my menstruation cycle situated naturally.
White Peony: White Peony is a herb that I knew about in regards to my health care choices but I had no idea that when paired with Licorice root that it would help relax muscles, reduce cramping during menstruation, and lower testosterone levels in women. This is something I struggle with as I am consistently tested with having high levels of testosterone specifically. This is why I am considering adding these two herbs to my regimen to tackle my PCOS.
Saw Palmetto: I’ve been eyeing saw palmetto for a while when I stumbled onto Chaste Berry. I decided to go with chaste berry because Saw Palmetto’s main function in helping women with PCOS is it helps relieve hirutism. Women who are suffering with rapid hair growth on their face or other body parts have found relief by taking saw palmetto on a daily basis. It helps to inhibit DHT production and can help with acne issues caused by PCOS as well.
Tribulus: I’ve never heard about this herb before but there have been some reports that this may help with ovulation. There hasn’t been much research done on it but it has been shown to help with reproduction and the health of your ovaries.
Vitamin D: While I haven’t started taking this supplement it is an important one for those who suffer with PCOS. Most likely if you are suffering from PCOS you are missing/lacking Vitamin D in your system. Vitamin D will help with balancing your metabolism which will also help with weight loss and weight stability.
Omega 3: This will provide essential fatty acids that we need/lacking that help with weight loss and hormonal balance. It is important not to take a blend/mix of Omega’s (3-6-9) as we get the other omegas much easier. It is usually the Omega 3 that we are missing and must supplement. Most importantly you are going to want a good amount of DHA so check the bottle before you make the purchase. (I purchased mine from Trader Joe’s and take one pill a day)
Folic Acid or folate (found in leafy greens) will help when a woman with PCOS becomes pregnant but it also helps in creating viable eggs for ovulation. Taking inositol with Folic acid also helps with increasing the likelihood of getting pregnant. Even if that is not your main goal (it surely is not mine at the current moment) you will be one step closer to a normal menstruation cycle.
Inositol: Helps women who are currently battling with being insulin resistant. I’ve been taking Inositol daily since April and haven’t seen a change in my menstruation issues. I’ve recently added Folic Acid to the mix as I continuously take my Omega 3 supplement as well. I don’t want to take too many supplements/herbs at one time so after this month I will stop taking Inositol and take Vitamin D with the chasteberry herb instead. However if you find that you are extremely insulin resistant (as I don’t think I am) Inositol could be the miracle you are looking for as so many women have had great success with this supplement.
Chromium: Like Inositol, Chromium helps with insulin resistance. It helps with blood sugar control, but it is easy to get chromium in your diet so you may not need to specifically take a supplement. Eating whole grains will help you get the proper dosage you need.
Magnesium: Helps with insulin resistance but also helps with the health of your heart. Getting enough magnesium will help keep diabetes at bay as well which women with PCOS are often at risk for.
As with everything lifestyle is important and you should speak to your doctor first before making any changes. Adding some exercise to your lifestyle change is also a positive/pro to help with your fight against PCOS. I hope this helps and I will continue to do my best to bring awareness and knowledge to who ever needs/wants it!
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