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What foods are important for women with PCOS and why

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders among women of reproductive age, impacting various aspects of health, including the menstrual cycle, fertility, metabolism, and appearance. A balanced diet plays a crucial role in preventing and managing PCOS by helping to regulate hormone levels and maintain a healthy weight.

Essential foods for women with PCOS

  1. Low glycemic index foods

Women with PCOS are recommended to include low glycemic index foods in their diet to avoid blood glucose spikes and reduce the burden on the pancreas, which is important for controlling insulin resistance—a common issue in PCOS. Such foods include whole grains, legumes, most vegetables, and less sweet fruits.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help regulate hormones. Including salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil, and nuts in the diet may help alleviate PCOS symptoms.

  1. High fiber foods

Fiber helps control blood insulin levels and supports digestive health. Women with PCOS benefit from consuming plenty of vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals, and fruits with skins

  1. Protein-rich foods

Adequate protein intake is essential for regulating hormones and maintaining muscle mass. Good sources of protein include poultry, fish, eggs, lean meats, and plant-based sources like beans and soy.

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics improve gut function and support a healthy microbiome, which can influence hormonal balance. Natural yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or kombucha should be included in the diet.

Foods to avoid for women with PCOS

The role of nutrition in preventing and treating PCOS

Proper nutrition can significantly reduce PCOS symptoms, such as excessive body hair, acne, weight gain, and fertility issues. A balanced diet helps regulate metabolism, reduce weight, and lower the risk of developing related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

An individualized nutrition plan developed by a dietitian can be key in combating PCOS. Professional support helps select the right foods, considering individual body characteristics and current health status. Consulting an experienced specialist like dietitian Olga Bezuhla can help optimize your diet and improve overall health.

For more details on individualized nutrition programs, you can follow the link.