The Simplicity of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet for PCOS & many other syndromes
The Simplicity of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet for PCOS
Many women with PCOS want to know how to eat better but are confused by the volume of nutritional advice out there. Since PCOS has a component of inflammation, following an anti-inflammatory diet is a great option that may bring relief. People generally underestimate how powerful a good diet can be.
Some foods can induce high levels of insulin, oxidative stress, and cause weight gain—all of which stimulate an inflammatory response. Research shows that modifying your diet to reduce inflammation can have a beneficial effect on PCOS.
In a study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, women with PCOS followed an anti-inflammatory diet for 3 months.
- Participants consumed 2 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrate for every gram of fat consumed.
- This diet was designed to be low calorie, low-fat, low-saturated fat, low glycemic index, and moderate-to-high fiber and emphasized anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, legumes, nuts, olive oil, herbs, spices, and green tea.
The results: women lost 7% of their body weight and showed significant improvements in their cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers. Sixty-three percent of women regained menstrual cyclicity and 12% conceived following this type of diet.
Following this regime for 1-3 months will help reduce inflammation and combat fatigue.
Think of each meal as an opportunity to nourish and nurture your body.
Whenever possible, opt for food in its most natural state possible, which has been minimally processed. Try to stay away from packaged food and cook for yourself as much as you can. This also ensures you are minimizing your intake of genetically modified foods.
If money permits, it is always better to go organic as this guarantees your food isn’t genetically modified.
Following our program is a great way to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Below is a list of specific foods to eat and which to specifically avoid. ONE of the items that surprised me was Stevia.
Foods recommended are:
- Nuts – if you can tolerate them (ideally almonds & cashews)
- Grass-fed meat (grass-fed meat has a balanced ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, making it a healthier option)
- Free range chicken – organic if possible
- Livers and kidneys – only organic
- Vegetables of all kinds (except corn – which actually a grain)
- Fruits (avoid pineapples and grapes)
- Healthy fats – olive oil, avocado, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Eggs – free range
- Fresh herbs
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha
- Green leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli and dark green cabbage. Adding a squeeze of citrus to these vegetables turns the iron content into one our bodies can absorb more easily, a great tip if you are anemic.
- Oily fish – wild salmon, not farmed. Trout, kippers, mackerel, sardines
Foods to avoid are:
- Soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, and soy
- All processed packaged foods
- ALL Grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice, quinoa, couscous, semolina, bulgar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sweeteners such as stevia, rice malt syrup and molasses
- Beans and legumes – including peanuts, kidney beans and chickpeas
- Fizzy drinks – sparking mineral water is okay
- Cooking oils such as sunflower, peanut, safflower, canola, vegetable oil
Avoiding all types of grains for a few months is a good option. Even gluten-free grains can cause inflammation and are hard to digest for some people.
Legumes should also be avoided; they contain a protein called lectin. Lectin can affect the gut and contribute to a lack of absorption of other nutrients.
Processed foods contain high levels of salt, sugar, artificial sugars, and preservatives, all of which will create inflammation. They are not very nutrient-dense, meaning they have a low nutritional content and are often higher in calories.
Sugar makes the blood sugar levels rise and drop rapidly, this can mean we suffer from swings in energy levels, and it can contribute to brain fog. It can also contribute to inflammation.
What should be on my plate each day?
For each meal of the day, it is vital to include a source of protein. This is of particular importance earlier in the day. Protein helps the body to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and prevents those swings in energy and brain fog. Good protein sources are eggs, fish, meat, and nuts.
As a general guide, each portion of meat you consume should be the same size and thickness as the palm of your hand.
You want to include vegetables at every meal.
Always try to create a colorful rainbow on your plate; go for as many different varieties of vegetables as you can. They all contain different antioxidants which will benefit your health.
Our final tip
Stick to the 80/20 rule.
Be good 80 percent of the time and don’t beat yourself up for being bad 20 percent of the time!
Wendi Francis had a podcast on PCOS. Learn more about and hear other callers who suffered wit PCOS by clicking on this link: https://stme.in/Rcg2eOjUkU
Published May 2022 IHC of Charlottesville, Dr. Kirk Childers