I know, I know, we’ve all seen the millions of click-bait titles out there like this one. “Heal your body with just XYZ!” And truth be told bae, a lot of it can be misleading information and it’s totally fair to have your guard up. But when it comes to credible information online it’s all about who’s writing the article and the credentials behind them. We love good sources and education here.
As a Registered Dietitian with multiple years of real education, research, and yes, personal experience working with myself and other women with PCOS, I have found that food really does heal.
Whether you’re looking to start managing your symptoms with food or you want to experiment with incorporating some of these foods into your diet, I’m here to help you start making informed decisions. No smoke and mirrors. Let’s look at the real science behind a few of these foods, some you may not expect, that could be helping to heal your PCOS through healthier hormones, balanced blood sugar, and easier PCOS symptom management.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Curb cravings? Say no more!
But just wait babe, I have a lot more to say and share about this one. Apple cider vinegar has been getting quite the fanfare in the health community as of late, and for good reason, it’s a powerhouse food.
Not only does ACV work to curb your PCOS cravings, but it does so by working to reduce your blood sugar and fight insulin resistance. Insulin resistance and PCOS often go hand in hand, leading to high blood sugar. This resistance and high blood sugar are key contributors to some of our most troublesome PCOS symptoms like weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, and fatigue. You can learn more about insulin resistance, blood sugar, and PCOS here.
As mentioned above, fighting insulin resistance with ACV has been shown in studies to regulate menstrual cycles and restore ovulation. Without a regular cycle, we miss out on vital hormones that keep our physical bodies healthy and impact our fertility.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar’s polyphenols and phytonutrients could have possible anti-inflammatory properties. With inflammation being another possible culprit in causes of PCOS symptoms, adding it in moderation could be a good way to soothe and calm your body.
These tasty fruits pack flavor and a number of hormone-supporting punches.
Pears are incredibly supportive of the hormones that promote ovulation, which if you have PCOS you know we don’t do enough of. Regular ovulation = regular periods, regular periods = balance and optimal fertility.
This fruit also helps to fight insulin resistance by being lower on the glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause crazy blood sugar spikes. We want to keep that blood sugar regulated to stave off PCOS symptoms, but we don’t want to become overly restrictive and remove all carbs from our diets. Incorporating healthy, low-glycemic fruits and treats like pears can support our sweet tooth and our bodies.
Lastly, pears also support a healthy metabolizing process of estrogen. For women with PCOS, excess estrogen can cause a number of problems. PCOS estrogen dominance can be yet another culprit in irregular periods, facial hair growth, and acne. Symptoms I know we’d all love to be rid of.
To start incorporating pears into your diet, try slicing them and baking them with coconut oil, cinnamon and sea salt, yum!
Chicken is a great source of protein, which is critical to healing your body from PCOS. Getting enough protein for our unique body helps to reduce cravings and further supports the fight against PCOS symptoms. Protein is a powerful macronutrient, and you’ll see it featured in any healthy lifestyle plan. It stabilizes your blood sugar which ultimately helps to prevent those intense cravings. Trust me boo, I know they’re rough.
But Cory, what about us plant-based PCOS women? As a professional, I recommend not going vegan with PCOS. There’s a good reason for this. As with all things in life, your diet when you have PCOS should be about balance – incorporating animal proteins in moderation supports healthy hormone levels which improves your PCOS symptoms. In fact, there’s even research that shares that a plant-based diet is more strongly associated with worse PCOS symptoms. And another study shares that if you’re exploring a plant-based diet for PCOS weight loss, the results may not be as long-lasting as a less restrictive option.
Warm your food and heal your PCOS with this unexpected, yet abundantly beneficial treat, cinnamon. Cinnamon works in numerous ways to help heal from PCOS. Multiple, yes multiple, randomized controlled clinical trials have provided real evidence that cinnamon could be an effective treatment for PCOS.
This potent spice works by fighting against insulin resistance, regulating irregular cycles, bringing down testosterone levels, lowering cholesterol, and reducing inflammation. That’s a ton of action from one little spice. Talk about a boss babe.
Now, go get yourself a pear and *pair* it with cinnamon. (Sorry, not sorry, for that horrible pun). You can also try this tasty spice in your coffee, teas, and smoothies.
GLUTEN, DAIRY, AND SOY, OH MY!
Babe listen, you CAN eat these foods. Unless there’s a true medical reason such as an allergy, celiac, or intolerance, you don’t need to follow the popular Pinterest trends to eliminate these food groups. In fact, we have 0 (yup, ZERO) evidence demonstrating that cutting out these vital food groups is effective for PCOS treatment.
On the flip side, these foods have a ton of health benefits and nutrients like fiber, protein, probiotics, and critical B vitamins – all of which actually calm PCOS symptoms like weight gain or facial hair. Not to mention, they contain regular vitamins and minerals your body and systems depend on, PCOS aside. Removing them all together opens the door to missing out on key nutrients that support your body as a whole and can cause even more problems beyond PCOS.
Lastly, restrictive diets like these are hardly sustainable from a mental and longevity aspect. They’re difficult to maintain and impact your stamina for healthy lifestyle choices. They’re in damn near everything! Instead of cutting these foods out, let’s learn HOW to eat them successfully.
Stay satisfied and stay balanced babes.
HOW TO HEAL YOUR PCOS WITH FOOD
Need more PCOS food recommendations? Or ready to dive into healing your PCOS for good? I got chu.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a Registered Dietitian. I happily went to school for years (and years….and yearssss) to learn about the power and science of food, and I don’t just pull what *could* work out of a hat. The connection between good nutrition and your PCOS symptoms is real.
I’m also not going to tell you to ‘cut’ anything out of your diet. There’s absolutely nothing healthy about cutting foods you love from your diet. It’s unsustainable and can be downright dangerous, boo. Restrictive diets only enhance cravings, and binging, and take away from your overall goals in the long term.
And, I really do want to speak to my personal experience working with myself and other women with PCOS. You can read my story and more about the lifestyle I adopted from this education and experience here.
Together, we can explore the various foods and the lifestyle that accompany them to accomplish your goals. Whatever those goals are, pregnancy, PCOS weight loss, or conquering hirsutism, I promise I’ve been there and we’ll find the right path.
Questions? Let’s chat one to one – slide into my DMs on Instagram @thewomensdietitian — I’m here to help.