The Nutrition You Can Add To Your Desi Diet If You Have PCOS

PCOS – something that affects so many of us. And while it requires one to make a few lifestyle adjustments, figuring out what should and shouldn’t be included in our diet has got to be amongst one of the more challenging things. Lucky for you, dietician and nutritionist, Aymen Subhani, tells us exactly what you can and can’t eat – especially amongst your everyday desi favourites! Keep reading to find out more:

What Is PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Cystic ovaries 
  • Weight gain 
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Oligomenorrhea/amenorrhea 
  • Acne 
  • Nausea 
  • Male pattern baldness 
  • Increase facial hair 
  • Extreme mood swings 

Symptoms for PCOS vary and these are only a few – it affects every individual differently. It may never completely go away, but you can fix it by managing your dietary pattern and exercising regularly!

Desi Foods That You Can Add To Your Diet To Help With Your PCOS

Some of the traditional foods that really help in fixing one’s PCOS are: Palak paneer 

  • Palak gosht 
  • Palak pakora 
  • Grapefruit/ orange juice 
  • The ABC juice (apple, beetroot and carrot) 
  • Steamed chicken pieces (breast) and mutton/ beef. 
  • Pumpkin salan with added corn and spinach 
  • Bell peppers and potato dry sabzi 
  • Chicken handi (homemade) 
  • Oatmeal with added chia seeds/ flax seeds or any seeds available Turmeric tea/milk 
  • Chicken skewers 
  • Chicken saji 
  • Lentils (daalein) 
  • Brown rice with any veggies salan 
  • Sweet potato and mutton (alu gosht) 
  • Fish curry/ fish steamed or oven roasted 
  • Saag + corn roti 
  • Aloo Meethi with ½ chapati

Why Are Green, Leafy Vegetables Good For PCOS?

Being low in calories and high in nutrition, they make for ideal choices for individuals struggling with weight gain due to their PCOS. You can add them in your eggs, smoothies and in your general diet easily. 

Healthy Fats For PCOS

Yes, fats are important too even though they’re demonised! Fat is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in seeds and fish, is the most effective compound in treating PCOS. It helps in hormone regulation, fixing insulin resistance, providing fibre, and regulating your menses. You can incorporate seeds in pudding, smoothies, shakes, and top them over your cereals or oatmeals! 

Swap Your Food For The Whole Grain Alternative

Refined carbohydrates can be troubling for women suffering with PCOS as they will spike the blood sugar level; that’s why these little switches can go a long way! 

  • White rice to Brown rice 
  • Whole grain chapati 
  • White bread to bran bread or whole grain bread 
  • White sugar to jaggery or brown sugar 

Foods Allowed:

  • Fruits and vegetables (all) 
  • Seeds 
  • Portioned nuts 
  • Brown bread/ whole wheat bread 
  • Whole wheat chapati 
  • Brown rice/ white rice (portion of plate) 
  • Chicken breast (avoid leg piece) 
  • Mutton, beef, fish 
  • Steamed, air fryer or oven baked veggies and protein like chicken.
  •  1 serving of milk everyday until the body’s inflammation isn’t fixed.

Antioxidant Foods To Include:

Blueberry, strawberry, dark chocolate, pecans, broccoli, spinach, carrot, reddish, lettuce etc. 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods: 

Fish, tomatoes, berries, nuts, turmeric, green leafy veggies etc.

Foods Not Allowed:

  • White flour products or refined carbohydrates like pasta (having once a week is fine)
  • Bakery items
  • Extra salty foods 
  • Deep fried foods or junk food (once in a while is fine)
  • Excess sweet 
  • Sugary beverages like sodas
  • Solid fats like margarine 
  • Fatty meat 

One Day Sample Meal Plan:

Breakfast 

1 slice + 1 veggie omelette with added spinach 

1 cup green tea 

Snacks 

5 almonds, 3 pistachios +2 dates 

Lunch 

Red beans salad with added chicken (no mayo) 

Or 

plate rice + 1 small bowl rajma (red beans gravy 

Snacks 

½ cup grapefruit juice 

Dinner 

Keema + peas + ½ chapati

Snacks 

½ cup milk + ½ tsp turmeric 

Note: Do not lie down immediately after eating. Exercise regularly: 3-5 days a week.

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