Diet modification is an important component of the natural treatment of PCOS. Certain dietary changes can be beneficial in improving the symptoms of PCOS. A diet that contains a balance of micronutrients, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, as well as adequate amounts of healthy fats and proteins can help you manage PCOS symptoms naturally.
Making simple changes to your diet can have a huge impact on your PCOS symptoms. Let’s take a look at the specific steps you need to take to make the most of the diet modification approach.
Limit processed, sugary, and refined carbohydrates
Processed, sugary, and refined carbohydrate foods can cause blood sugar spikes, which can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and elevated cholesterol. Moreover, people with PCOS are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to the general population.
Therefore, limiting these carbohydrates can help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range and lower your risk of health problems associated with PCOS.
If you have been eating a lot of processed or sugary foods in the past, start by gradually replacing them with healthier alternatives. For example:
– Switch white bread for whole grain bread
– Replace sugary cereal with oatmeal
– Enjoy snacks made from vegetables or high-protein ingredients like eggs or nuts
– Enjoy fruits rather than processed snacks like cookies or chips
– Limit your consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats
In addition to helping you keep your blood sugar levels stable, these changes will also likely help you feel fuller for longer — an important outcome if you’re trying to lose weight.
Increase intake of plant-based foods
Increasing your intake of plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds provides numerous benefits for women with PCOS. Incorporating a variety of vegetables such as dark green leafy vegetables is important as it helps to provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are known to be beneficial for overall health.
Likewise, eating whole fruits that are high in fiber like apples and berries can help to stabilize blood sugar levels which may help reduce symptoms associated with PCOS. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods also helps reduce inflammation while limiting the intake of pro-inflammatory foods like heavily processed foods and dairy products.
Finally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B6, coenzyme Q10, chromium, Myo-inositol, or D-chiro inositol can also be added to your diet to help mitigate some of the symptoms associated with PCOS.
Avoid trans fats and processed meats
It’s best to avoid trans fats and processed meats, as they have been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Trans fats can be found in many processed foods such as fast food, microwave popcorn, margarine, crackers, pastries, and cookies.
Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and sausages are often high in fat and sodium. Eating a diet high in these foods also increases your risk for weight gain, which can aggravate PCOS symptoms. In addition to avoiding trans fats and processed meats, it’s also important to cut back on your intake of high-fat dairy products (full-fat yogurt or cheese).
Instead, choose lean proteins such as fish or skinless chicken breast or plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh. Try substituting vegan alternatives like hummus instead of mayo on sandwiches — these tend to be much lower in fat and calories than other condiments.
Exercise can be an important part of managing PCOS symptoms, as it can help to reduce inflammation, and improve your body’s overall health and well-being. Exercise can also help to reduce stress levels, boost your energy and improve your mood. Let’s look at the steps that you can take to get PCOS symptom relief naturally through exercise.
Increase physical activity
Regular physical activity is an integral part of managing PCOS symptoms and relieving stress. The ideal exercise routine should involve both aerobic and strength-training exercises.
Aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming or dancing has the primary benefit of reducing body fat percentage and improving insulin sensitivity, thereby helping to reduce PCOS symptoms. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week. Low-impact exercise is recommended for those with joint pain or severe fatigue due to PCOS.
Strength training will help build lean muscle tissue which increases metabolic rate and encourages weight loss through fat burning. Two non-consecutive days per week for 30 minutes each time is the goal. Start off with simple bodyweight exercises such as squats and push-ups if you don’t have access to costly equipment. Progress to more complicated routines as dexterity increases over time.
Yoga and Pilates classes offer additional benefits of relaxation, improved concentration, and breath control enabling better manage stress levels that often accompany PCOS sufferers. Working with a qualified trainer can help keep you motivated and provide variation in your workout schedule to prevent boredom while achieving maximum results in a minimal timeframe
Focus on strength training
Strength training offers many health benefits for those with PCOS. Not only does it help to make the muscles stronger, but it’s also beneficial in helping to regulate insulin levels. Strength training also helps to increase the body’s metabolism and reduce fat deposits in lower abdominal areas where they can be difficult to target.
It’s important to keep good form when performing strength exercises, as using improper form may lead to injury. Recommended exercises include squats, planks, push-ups, and lunges. For those just starting out with strength training, start with bodyweight exercises or machines that have light weights at low reps — such as one set of 10 reps (using the correct form).
Slowly increase the weight and decrease rest time between sets over time for maximum benefit without causing injury. Free weights can be used as well if you are more experienced with strength training.
If using free weights is too challenging at first, use bands or resistance machines in order to isolate muscle groups while keeping proper alignment and still providing a challenging workout.
Incorporate gentle aerobic activity
Aerobic activity has many health benefits and it’s especially important for relieving the symptoms of PCOS. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, dancing, and cycling are great choices.
Start slowly at a pace and intensity that feels comfortable to you, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as you become more fit. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.
If endurance or cardiovascular activities are not your things, choose light to moderate-intensity activities like yoga or Pilates. These activities can help you increase your strength and flexibility as well as reduce stress — both of which can be beneficial for PCOS symptom relief.
It’s important to start any exercise program with caution if you’ve been relatively inactive before tackling a new activity regimen. Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any type of exercise program when managing PCOS symptoms.
Balancing stress levels can be one of the most critical steps for getting symptom relief from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Chronic stress can create an inflammatory environment in your body which can worsen the symptoms of PCOS.
By managing your stress levels, you will create an optimal environment for your body to heal and operate at its best. Let’s discuss how to manage stress levels to relieve PCOS symptoms.
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing exercises can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to calming anxiety and reducing overall stress. When done properly and consistently, deep breathing exercises can help to relax tense muscles and control the fight-or-flight response, which is the body’s natural reaction to stress. It is also helpful in restoring balance by supplying more oxygen to the body and brain.
To perform deep breathing, take a few slow, deep breaths through your nose while counting one-two-three on each inhalation and one-two-three on each exhalation. Make sure you are exhaling for twice as long as you are inhaling–this can be difficult at first but it encourages our nervous system to relax and release tension from our muscles.
You can also focus your breath on specific areas of your body that tend to hold tension, such as your jaw or shoulders, allowing the breath to move extra air into those spaces for a calming effect.
Finally, you can complete this relaxation technique by visualizing a peaceful setting or using visualization techniques such as creating an imagined floating bubble of light or visualizing yourself taking refuge in a tranquil cave.
When practicing this technique throughout the day make sure you’re not doing it just in times of intense stress but also every now and again when there’s no immediate pressure so it becomes habitual over time. It will then become second nature to start with deep breathing when feeling high levels of anxiety or distress.
Meditation can provide massive relief from the physical and emotional symptoms of PCOS. By focusing on the breath and cultivating a sense of lived body presence, mindfulness meditation alleviates stress, often eventually leading to a calmer state of mind.
The mindful meditation practice involves bringing our attention to the present moment and simply observing our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and experiences as if we are watching clouds move through the sky.
We take note of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations rather than judging or suppressing them, which can help us establish a more compassionate relationship with ourselves and manage our stress more effectively.
During meditation it’s important to try not to get lost in your thoughts — instead keep bringing your attention back to your breath or body as soon as it starts wandering off. Regular practice results in the greater mental discipline while also allowing an inner sense of peace that can be so beneficial in establishing long-term PCOS symptom relief.
Get enough sleep
Getting adequate restful sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. It can help rebalance hormones, improve mood, reduce fatigue and improve mental clarity. For PCOS sufferers especially, getting enough sleep can be especially beneficial since PCOS is known to cause fatigue, and sleep deprivation can further exacerbate it.
Try to get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep consistently each night and make sure that your sleeping environment is conducive to relaxation. For example, make sure the room is dark and that there’s no noise so you can drift off peacefully.
If your mind keeps running with different thoughts or worries when you lie down, try writing them down in a journal before going to bed so that it’s easier for your brain to shut off and relax. Additionally, certain yoga poses or stretches may help relieve stress before going to bed so consider incorporating these into your nighttime routine as well.
Supplements can be used to manage PCOS symptoms naturally. There are many supplements available that can help reduce symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, and hair loss. Some of the most common supplements used to treat PCOS are Vitamin D, Omega 3 fatty acids, and chromium. In this section, we’ll discuss the best supplements to take to help with PCOS symptoms.
Consider taking a multivitamin
Consider taking a multivitamin specifically designed for women with PCOS. Look for one that contains a high amount of acids and vitamins to support hormone regulation, such as folic acid, B-complex vitamins, vitamin D3, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Additionally, a multivitamin that includes chromium and zinc is beneficial since these trace minerals help support healthy blood sugar naturally. Look for multivitamins that are made of whole-food ingredients for optimal absorption and results.
Consider taking omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended to help reduce inflammation in the body, and they may help with hormonal balance. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, and canola and soybean oils.
In addition to dietary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, supplements are available in the form of capsules or liquid tinctures. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe for you. Make sure that you get regular blood tests (including a cholesterol panel) while taking Omega-3 supplements as they may impact your lipid levels.
Consider taking probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms, usually bacteria, that help promote a healthy digestive system and a good balance of other beneficial flora in the body. They are incredibly important for overall good health, but they are especially important for women with PCOS who often have bacteria imbalances in their gut.
Studies have found that some people with PCOS may benefit from taking probiotic supplements. Consider taking probiotics as recommended by your doctor or qualified healthcare professional to help promote gut health and balance your internal flora.
Probiotic supplements come in many forms, such as probiotic capsules, chewable tablets, liquids, and powders. It is also possible to obtain probiotics through dietary sources such as fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Herbal remedies can be a great way to get PCOS symptom relief naturally. Herbal remedies can help to reduce inflammation and promote balance in the body. There are a variety of herbs that have been used in traditional healing for centuries, and many of these can be used to help manage PCOS symptoms.
In this section, we will be covering seven of the most effective herbal remedies that can help you get PCOS symptom relief naturally.
Research herbs that may help reduce PCOS symptoms
Researchers have identified several herbal remedies that may help provide relief from various PCOS symptoms. It is important to do your own research and consult with your healthcare team before beginning an herbal supplement to make sure it is safe for you. Here are some potential herbs that could help reduce symptoms of PCOS.
Saw palmetto has been effective in helping acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as its ability to reduce testosterone levels in women.
Studies have also suggested that saw palmetto can possibly reduce hirsutism (excess hair growth) and increase the effectiveness of certain medications by blocking the production of an enzyme known as 5alpha-reductase, which may raise testosterone levels, leading to increased hair growth in PCOS patients.
Licorice root has been seen to be beneficial for reducing excessive hair growth associated with PCOS. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties also make it effective at treating inflammation and acne breakouts associated with the condition.
Chasteberry has been shown to be potentially effective in treating infertility caused by ovulation abnormalities that are common among women with PCOS. It is believed that this herb can help regulate female hormones, helping reduce testosterone levels and thereby restoring normal ovulation cycles for conception purposes.
Garlic may also be beneficial for regulating hormones due to its high allicin content, which helps remove toxins from the body while aiding in proper digestion and allowing blood glucose levels to remain more balanced over time.
In addition, garlic can be helpful in controlling cholesterol levels and reducing hypertension in women suffering from PCOS as it contains a great source of both vitamin B2 and B6 – both important nutrients necessary for balancing out well-defined hormone production throughout the body.
Consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking herbal remedies
To ensure the safe and effective use of herbal remedies for PCOS, it is very important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking them. Herbal remedies have potential benefits but also potential side effects and interaction with other medications. A trained healthcare provider can guide you in choosing the best herbs for your situation and advise in the ongoing monitoring of your response.
When consulting with a professional, bring patient-specific information including; A detailed list of any symptoms experienced, any prescription medications used in the past or currently including naturopathic prescriptions, dietary habits ( vegetarian/ vegan, etc.), allergies or sensitivities to foods/ plants/ artificial substances, current lifestyle activities such as exercise routine, sleeping patterns, and mental health concerns.
Keep an open dialogue with the practitioner during subsequent appointments and inform them of any changes during this period while supplementing herbal remedies. If a symptom persists or worsens while assuming herbal supplements then it is necessary to cease further use and seek advice from a licensed clinician as soon as possible.
Moreover, if one experiences extreme allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, or swelling on the throat and face after consuming an herb then one must immediately discontinue use and seek medical attention promptly.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years to help with a variety of illnesses and diseases. It works by placing very thin needles into certain points in the body to stimulate healing and provide pain relief.
Acupuncture can be used to treat PCOS symptoms such as ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities, fatigue, excessive hair growth, depression, and anxiety. Studies have also shown that acupuncture can improve fertility in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive due to its ability to balance hormones.
If you decide to have acupuncture treatments, be sure that the practitioner is qualified and experienced in treating PCOS specifically.
Lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are all essential to treating the symptoms of PCOS. Exercise can help to reduce inflammation, regulate hormones, and increase energy levels. Additionally, a balanced diet can help reduce inflammation and control blood sugar.
Making sure to get enough rest can also reduce stress, which can lead to improved hormone balance. Let’s take a closer look at each of these lifestyle changes that can help you find relief from your PCOS symptoms.
Quitting smoking has some of the most dramatic impacts on those symptomatic of PCOS due to the hormones nicotine releases flooding the body and contributing to an imbalance within the reproductive and endocrine systems. Quitting smoking can bring virtually immediate and drastic reductions in insulin levels as well as reduce bloating, depression, and mood swings.
By going smoke-free, you can restore the miscarriage hormone balance that is essential for sustaining a healthy body. In addition, embarking on physical activity once you have quit can further help with the reduction of PCOS symptoms.
Limit alcohol consumption
When it comes to lifestyle changes that can help relieve the symptoms of PCOS, limiting alcohol consumption is an important part of the equation. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of hirsutism, acne, and weight gain in women with PCOS.
It’s recommended that women with PCOS limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages to no more than two units (one unit = one bottle of wine or one pint) a day. Reducing or completely abstaining from alcohol can benefit not only your hormone balance but also your overall health.
Eliminating sugary drinks such as soda, juice, and tea is also beneficial for PCOS period pain relief and weight management, as these types of drinks are linked to higher blood sugar levels and inflammation.
Instead, opt for calorie-free alternatives such as water or herbal teas. The reduction in calories from added sugar will help you keep your weight under control and reduce insulin resistance over time.
Consider taking vitamin D supplements
The human body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and to help form and maintain healthy bones. Vitamin D also plays an important role in muscle and immunity health. Women with PCOS often have low levels of vitamin D because their bodies have difficulty activating it effectively.
Low levels of vitamin D can significantly contribute to PCOS symptoms, so it’s important for women with the condition to get enough of this nutrient in their diet or through supplementation.
Vitamin D is naturally occurring in some foods, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, and fortified in others such as milk and orange juice. Supplements are another good source of vitamin D; experts typically recommend a supplement containing at least 400 IU per day for women with PCOS.
Supplements may come in various forms including capsules, tablets, or liquid drops which are taken by mouth daily— talk to your doctor about the appropriate dosage for you since dietary requirements vary from person to person based on age and activity level.
If you choose not to take a supplement, make sure to consult a dietician who can guide you on food choices that will add up to the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.
Regular sun exposure (without sunscreen) is another way to get more vitamin D naturally but it depends on where you live — due to safety concerns it may not be feasible or recommended everywhere so speak with your doctor before making any modifications related solely to that strategy