According to ayurveda principles, ayurvedic foods and diet like Bitter melon, amla, honey, fenu greek etc which balance kapha and medha dhatu or body fat help in PCOS.
Diet plays an important role with any health condition .The basic principle of Ayurveda is to consume foods based on our constitution or prakruti. Food helps in a great way to balance body function.
According to principles of Ayurveda PCOS occurs when doshas and agni get imbalanced. It is very important to follow an ayurvedic diet to bring this under control.
Here we’re going to single out Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and see what is the best diet plan to help fight this condition.
Ayurvedic Foods and Diet for PCOS
According to Adam J Bradley, Women with PCOS should design a diet for themselves that is healthy but interesting and satisfying. A PCOS diet is something that they need to adhere to for life; so it should be planned carefully and should have variety as well. A diet never means starvation and this is all the more important for women with this condition. It means eating intelligently, including foods that nourish, balance and heal the body; and discard fillers that only help pack the calories. There are certain foods that must be avoided in order to fight the excess of insulin in the body and obesity.
Before starting any diet regimen, it will be worthwhile if we understand what should not be done than what we have to do. Usually avoid foods which increase Kapha dosha and reduce strength of agni .
Strictly avoid these foods if you have PCOS
- Cut the intake of sugary foods like ice creams, chocolates, soft drinks, soda , etc.
- Strictly say no to carbs like white breads, cereals, potatoes, polished rice etc.
- Permanently delete unhealthy snacks like bakery items, cheese, butter, fast foods etc.
Foods in Ayurvedic PCOS Diet
A good PCOS diet will and include healthier options like whole grains, legumes, fibrous fruits low in fat, lean meats, nuts, fish, etc. Try some of these healthier food options:
Foods which balance Kapha dosha and boost agni help to reduce PCOS.
Instead of coffee or chai savour healthy drinks like green tea, cinnamon tea, amla tea , warm water with lemon and honey, triphala tea etc. These not only balance vitiated doshas but also help in weight loss.
It is healthy to switch to a vegetarian diet as it supplies plenty of vitamins and minerals. Whole grains are high in fibre and protein. A fibre rich diet is slow to digest and thus the blood sugar levels go up only slowly thereby controlling the rise in insulin levels.
Include whole wheat, brown rice, ragi, jowar and other minor millets as major carbs. Minimise the consumption of carbs.
Include horse gram, chick peas, green peas, yellow gram or tuvar dal, Bengal gram or chenna dal, green gram or moong. Beans like black eyed peas , rajma , kidney beans etc are also good source of protein. Sprouted beans are more healthier as they are packed with nutrients.
Vitamin and Minerals
For vitamin and minerals rely on vegetables and fruits.
Green leafy vegetables –
They’re packed with nutrients and very low in calories. They are a power house of vitamins like A, B, K, C and minerals. Including green salads in the diet can be a good way of consuming green leafy vegetables. Methi or fenugreek leaves are very important. Amaranth and Dill leaves also help. Moringa leaves are best food for PCOS.
Include bitter melon or Karela also known as karavellaka in Ayurveda, very frequently in your diet. Bitter gourd juice is an excellent ayurvedic food for PCOS. Beans, carrot, beets, cucumber all these help in weight loss and PCOS.
Amla or Indian gooseberry is an excellent food for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Amla juice or fresh amla fruit, both are beneficial. Papaya , apple, melons, cherries, oranges, provide plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. These are comparatively low on sugar.
Adding some nuts like almonds, walnut, pistachios etc in combination with fruits would cut the sugar level that might shoot up with fruit consumption.
Include lean meats and fish in the PCOS diet as opposed to the red meats that are high on calories, and aggravate weight gain and insulin levels.
Studies have suggested that eating smaller meals at regular intervals (5-7 daily) help manage weight and general health. Eating a healthier breakfast as the biggest meal of the day and eating smaller and lighter lunch and dinner meals also aids digestion, boosting agni and helps to manage insulin and androgen levels.
Why Ayurvedic Diet is Required in PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affected women have a vicious cycle of hormone imbalance going on inside their systems. Levels of hormones like androgens (testosterone), insulin, Luteinising hormone, etc. are raging in women with PCOS. It is important to modify the lifestyle and make some healthy changes in your diet in order to minimize the hormonal imbalance and to restore good health.
Obesity, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and irregular menstrual periods are some of the common problems associated with PCOS. A proper PCOS diet along with appropriate medication can greatly help to improve the conditions and put their health back on the right track.
Just like there are not specific symptoms of PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, there is not one specific diet. But there are a few important elements that constitute a diet for this condition.
As most women with PCOS have hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance, they are at a risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. So it is important for them to have a balanced diet that is low in sugars and thus helps to maintain (or lower) blood sugar levels.
Obesity is also closely linked to PCOS. Many women with PCOS are advised to reduce weight in order to fight the hormone imbalance and reduce the potential risk of cardiovascular diseases. Along with exercise, a healthy diet can play a vital role in shedding those extra pounds. Studies have shown that a weight loss of as little as 5% can help regulate menstruation or bring androgen levels down. Even in the case of women who are slim but have PCOS, a diet aimed at weight management can considerably reduce the risk of developing heart diseases in future.
If allowed to flourish unchecked PCOS can be a devastating affliction, but following a few simple dietary guidelines and leading an active life with some kind of exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week will go a long way in helping affected women manage their PCOS.
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