One of the most prevalent endocrine disorders in women of childbearing age is a polycystic ovarian syndrome, also referred to as PCOS. 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the United States will experience PCOS in their lifetime.
While medication options are available to relieve symptoms, lifestyle changes are necessary for long-term well-being and are often prescribed as the first intervention. Studies show that healthy eating and physical activity can help to regulate PCOS symptoms.
The gut microbiota is the largest group of microorganisms that live in the intestine of the human body. Research has shown that intestinal microbiota may induce insulin resistance and, by affecting energy absorption, the brain-gut axis, and much more, may contribute to PCOS growth.
The intake of probiotics to treat PCOS was discussed in a 2020 study. Research results indicate that probiotics may be used to monitor gut microbiota and to treat metabolic disorders, which also points to a potential therapeutic path in the treatment of PCOS-related metabolic abnormalities.
In females with PCOS, unsaturated fats have been shown to regulate hormones and optimize insulin levels. Healthy fats, such as some nuts and seeds, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which provide the body and brain with ample health benefits.
Research published in 2017 in Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes found that, through a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids for 12 weeks drove a decrease in testosterone levels and increased insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
A paper published in the European Journal of Endocrinology in 2018 endorsed evidence that PCOS women are at a higher risk than their counterparts of contracting type 2 diabetes.
The slow-release carbohydrates are whole grains rich in fiber, such as rolled oats, bulgur, quinoa, and buckwheat. This suggests they have a "low glycemic index" that releases sugar at a slower, more normal rate into the blood. They are less likely, therefore, to cause increases in blood sugar levels. They will also give you an energy boost and keep you happy for extended periods of time.
Loads of magnesium are packed in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, which are extremely effective in battling insulin resistance, seen in many PCOS individuals.
A study published in Food Science & Nutrition in 2019 found that increasing dietary fiber and magnesium could help reduce insulin resistance and hyperandrogenemia (increased androgen development, common in PCOS women).
Compared with other vegetables, leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, and mustard greens contain significant quantities. There is 157 mg of magnesium (37 percent DV) in one cup of cooked spinach. Leafy greens are also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as iron, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K.