Eating a specific PCOS Fertility Diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant. A big part of the problem with PCOS is the high insulin resistance. Resistance to insulin increases the body’s insulin levels which affects normal ovulation by preventing the body from ovulating or limiting the maturation process of the released egg. This directly has an effect on your fertility and ability to conceive.
Women who are insulin resistant are also 4-5 times more likely to have a miscarriage. Imbalanced insulin levels due to PCOS make it difficult for the embryo to attach properly to the uterus. PCOS is also a huge red flag for the beginning of type 2 diabetes. I do not say all this to scare you, but I do want you to know that this is a serious matter. But there is a lot you can do to turn this all around, naturally. The biggest step you can take is to change your diet to a PCOS diet.
The benefits of following a PCOS Diet are:
- Increases the rate of spontaneous ovulation.
- Significantly improves the environment of the uterus, preparing it for a healthy conception.
- Decreases the potential for miscarriage
- Prevents PCOS from turning to diabetes
PCOS Diet Guidelines
1. Balance your daily protein with equal amount of carbohydrates
This will help to eliminate the insulin yo-yo. When you eat equal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, this helps to keep your insulin at a balanced level, thus increasing your fertility. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet helpes insulin resistance. High-carbohydrate, low-protein diet makes insulin resistance worse. A diet containing 25% carbohydrates improves insulin resistance, whereas a diet that includes 45% carbohydrates does not.
The types of carbohydrates you choose are also an important factor. Choose whole grain, or sprouted grain products. They contain more protein and fiber (thus balancing insulin better) than the processed counterparts. Avoid white processed carbohydrates which cause a spike in your insulin levels and provide no fiber, or nutrients. Make sure the proteins you are eating are complete and organic. Organic meats and dairy contain essential fatty acids and will not contribute to any hormonal imbalances.
2. Eat Foods Low On The Glycemic Index And Glycemic Load List
Blood glucose rises and then falls when you eat a meal containing carbohydrates. How high it rises and how long it remains high depends on the kind of carbs (glycemic index, GI) and the amount you ate (glycemic load, GL). Low glycemic index foods are carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body, and don’t cause such a dramatic spike and then drop in insulin levels. The glycemic load takes into consideration the amount of the glycemic index food you consume and how that affects your blood sugar.
The glycemic load combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate into one ‘number’. It’s the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food. The serving size of the amount of carbohydrates consumed really matter here. Be sure to eat no more than 100g of low glycemic index carbohydrates a day if you have insulin resistant PCOS and are overweight. Increase the amount of low glycemic index carbohydrates consumed a day to over 100g if you are thinner or underweight. Some examples of low glycemic index foods are:
- Beans and lentils
- Unprocessed foods
- Grapefruit and apples
- Walnuts and almonds
Processed carbohydrates that break down quickly are likely to make the insulin levels jump dramatically. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index such as sugary and starchy foods: pancakes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, scones, white bread products, pasta and so on.
3. Eat A Diet High In Fiber
Fiber helps in two ways with PCOS. The first way they help is by slowing down the digestion of sugars in the body, so there is no spike in insulin. The second way they help is by promoting healthy estrogen metabolism which aids in the reduction of elevated levels of androgens. Great sources of fiber are: whole grains, apples, and dark leafy greens.
4. Eat 5 Meals A Day
By eating more often, the body will not go into fasting mode. When you look at the way most Nigerians eat, it is usually three big meals a day. With such a large gap of time between meals, the body goes into fasting mode which causes metabolism to become imbalanced. The five meals a day should consist of three regular meals and two healthy snacks or 5 small meals. The first snack should be eaten in the mid-morning before lunch and the second snack to be eaten less than an hour before bed. Between eating 5 meals a day and eating a serving of protein (3-4 ounces), low GI/GL carbohydrate (1/4-1/2 cup or serving size), vegetables (1/2 cup to 1 cup) each meal. Alternately, you could have your last snack between lunch and dinner, eating your dinner right before bed. Find out what works best with your lifestyle.
5. Eat Essential Fatty Acids Daily
Eating essential fatty acids (EFA’s) helps you to lose weight, produce balanced hormones, and creates a healthy environment for conception. The best source of EFA’s is Fish Oils. Omega 3 EFA supplement– Take 1-3 capsules daily with your snack. Make sure to use an oil that contains DHA which is essential for the baby’s healthy brain. You can take this daily and during pregnancy.
6. Exercise 30 Min. 5 Days A Week
Exercise helps PCOS by improving your insulin sensitivity, increasing your metabolism and helping to shed any excess weight. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are good. Researchers found that participants of resistance exercises showed better improvement in insulin sensitivity than with aerobic exercise alone. You could walk and lift weights or take a Pilates class and run on the treadmill. Discover what you enjoy doing and do this 5 days a week for at least thirty minutes.
7. Eat Organic
You will be eating a high protein diet, so it is essential that any animal proteins (meats and dairy) you are eating are organic. In commercial meats, there are large amounts of added hormones (estrogens) that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS, there is usually a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogens can make it even worse. Studies have shown that organic foods contain more vitamins, minerals and healthier proteins.
8. Quit Caffeine
Caffeine increases estrogen levels. A study from Fertility and Sterility shows that drinking just two cups of caffeine-containing products a day boosts levels of estradiol, a natural estrogen. Women who drink 4-5 cups a day produce 70% more estrogen in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (when the body is trying to produce a viable follicle for ovulation, which is already an issue in women with PCOS.)
All the aforementioned are just precautionary measure and are guaranteed to help you succeed in your struggle against PCOS. If you need a natural remedy for PCOS, click here to read about PCOS Remedy Kit that can help you treat PCOS naturally without any negative side effects.
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