PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a common hormonal disorder among women. As per an estimation, it was concluded that every one in five Indian women suffers from PCOS. So, it’s not a new condition among Indian women.
While PCOS has been linked to making conception difficult, it’s fairly possible for a woman with PCOS to recover from the condition and conceive naturally. And how is it possible? Through lifestyle changes.
With a proper diet, balanced blood sugar levels, and healthy lifestyle modifications, it’s certainly easy to get pregnant with PCOS. You just need to follow a PCOS diet plan that’s rich in high-fibre, natural/unprocessed food and leafy greens for the best results.
Here’s a full-fledged guide to help you out with the same:
Keep those Carbs in Check
Women suffering from PCOS should limit their carb intake and keep it around 40% of the total calories. That’s because carbohydrates are linked with high insulin levels. This is especially for refined carbohydrates that are in food like white rice, sweets, etc.
Refined carbohydrates are related to high levels of insulin, which can eventually make it tough to process the carbohydrates. So, it’s recommended to eat food with a low glycemic index.
With less carb food in your PCOS diet plan, you can stay assured of low androgen levels. There’ll also be lesser chances of issues that are caused due to androgen, like acne, irregular menstruation, excessive hair growth, etc.
So, keep your PCOS diet free from too much pasta, pizzas, or white carbs. Ofcourse, you can have them sometimes, but don’t go overboard with them. As nutrition affects fertility in females, you should include food rich in essential nutrients.
Fatty Fishes Instead of Processed Meat
Processed meat may taste delicious, but it’s recommended to avoid it with PCOS as it can be pro-inflammatory in the gut. So, put a halt on fast food hamburgers and switch to healthier options with rich protein and healthy fat.
You can eat fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon instead of processed meat. Not only are these anti-inflammatory, but they are also ideal for increasing the androgen levels in women.
Fishes are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is again perfect for battling conditions like PCOS. Meanwhile, you must stay away from unhealthy fats, as they can increase estrogen levels and make your PCOS condition worse.
Probiotics from Fermented Food
When we talk about a healthy gut, women suffering from PCOS lack it more than the ones who don’t have the condition. That’s why it’s recommended to consume fermented food and food options that are rich in probiotics to keep the gut healthy. The main purpose here is to increase the healthy bacteria (or the healthy helpers) inside the stomach.
With good bacteria, you can stay assured of having better digestion and overall mood. In fact, it can also keep weight in check and prevent any disease manifestation. To mention some good probiotics, you can include yoghurt in your diet. It’s also a staple in a regular Indian diet, so you wouldn’t struggle to get them in the market.
You can also add other fermented food like pickles, miso, and kimchi. As for some common Indian dishes that are fermented and a blessing for PCOS conditions, you can try sprouts, Idly, Dhokla, Dosa, etc. Add them to your breakfast for a hearty and PCOS-friendly meal.
Herbs and Spices
You have many herbs and spices in your kitchen that works wonders for PCOS. So, make sure to incorporate them into your diet for better support in your PCOS recovery. Cinnamon, for example, is a spectacular spice with anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. So, you can add it to your food to keep those blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels in check. It’s also ideal for increasing progesterone production to maintain the hormonal balance.
Similarly, you can use turmeric to boost immunity and encourage quick healing. It’s also quite efficient for reducing irregular period symptoms, weight gain, and sleep issues that may occur due to PCOS. The curcumin in turmeric can help to manage insulin resistance and keep those blood sugar levels in check.
Some other herbs that are ideal for PCOS management include
Example of PCOS Diet Plan to Get Pregnant
NOTE: This is not a replacement for any diet plan that’s directed by your gynaecologist or dietitians. It’s just a sample to give you a clear idea about the PCOS meal plan. Before starting any plan, discuss it with your healthcare professional and do as suggested by them.
|Early Morning||1 glass of lukewarm lemon water (with a pinch of cinnamon)|
|Before Breakfast||1 glass of low-fat milk (without any sugar); Dry fruits like walnuts|
|Breakfast||1 bowl Poha/Upma or 2-3 Oats Idli, 1 cup of Tea/Coffee (without sugar)|
|Mid Morning||Any whole fruit|
|Lunch||2 wheat-bran chapatis, ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup homemade vegetables, 1 cup lentils/dal; Non-vegetarians can have chicken (2 pc), fish (1 pc) or egg whites (2 pc)|
|Mid Afternoon||1 glass buttermilk|
|Evening||1 cup bhel/jhalmuri or ½ cup sprouts; 1 cup tea (without sugar)|
|Mid Evening||1 small cup soup (veg or chicken)|
|Dinner||Salad, two chapatis or 1 cup vegetable pulao, 1 cup veg curry, 1 cup lentils/dal of your choice, curd; Non-vegetarians can have chicken or egg whites.|
|Bed Time||1 glass of low-fat milk|
Instead of having huge meals, it’s recommended to have small yet frequent meals for your PCOS diet plan. Also, satisfy your unhealthy food cravings with healthy options.
Do’s of Getting Pregnant with PCOS
Now that you know what you should do in a PCOS diet plan, let’s check out the things that you must do:
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
- Avoid eating too much sugary food or drinks
- Indulge in regular exercises and yoga
- Get adequate sleep (7-8 hours daily)
- Don’t skip your meals
- Eat a big and hearty breakfast
- Don’t neglect your mental health. Understand the importance of mental health while adopting fertility treatments.
- Always stay connected with your healthcare professional.
We hope now you know everything that’s needed to get pregnant with PCOS. Besides these do’s and don’ts, you must believe in yourself and hang in there. Things will take a turn for good and quite soon! Don’t give up.