Having turned vegan in January 2018 and only being recently diagnosed with PCOS, I was surprised to discover how popular this condition is in women and how little information there is about it.
For those who don’t know much about PCOS, it stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome and is a disease which causes the follicles in the ovaries that are responsible for hormone release and balance to go crazy.
Symptoms (not everyone will get all of these): Hair loss, depression, insulin resistance, pelvic pain, mood swings, acne, headaches, high cholesterol levels and possible infertility and diabetes.
I must stress that everyone with PCOS is different – not everyone will get all of these at once and the severity differs too. It is because of my symptoms that I was diagnosed with PCOS and unfortunately do have a cystic ovary but trying to stay positive as it doesn’t necessarily mean I am infertile.
However, struggling to find out what food can make my symptoms better and I want to do this completely natural without going down the medication route.
- WATCH CARBS AND GLUTEN
White carbs – processed and refined carbs are the worst things to feed our bodies with PCOS as they cause our blood sugar levels to spike therefore causing bloating, imflammation, water retention etc. Choose rye bread, spelt and wholewheat pasta, sweet potatoes, bran flakes, barley, wild rice instead.
Fruit – I have fruit smoothies almost every morning for breakfast and if I don’t I have fruit in other ways for breakfast. If you choose fruit that is low in sugar then eat a little more, if you choose fruit high in sugar then eat a little less.
Legumes – There are loads of different types of legumes out there but the main ones I eat are chickpeas, black beans and lentils. They are super high in fiber and protein and are low in carbs. Some beans may disagree with you though so try them and listen to your body.
Gluten free carbs – Going gluten free is the best thing for PCOS warriors and I am still getting to grips with it but don’t go for pre-packaged gluten free products as they are made with lots of starches and thickeners. Starches are a high GI and should be used in moderation. Go for the most natural option like buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes.
Sweeteners – Maple syrup, coconut sugar are good in 1 or 2 teaspoons every day.
2. RAISE PROTEN INTAKE
Breakfasts should contain a decent amount of protein as it keeps you full and won’t spike your blood sugar levels and combine with healthy fats. I always make sure to add some sort of nuts, healthy fats, protein into my breakfasts packed into a box ready to eat on the go or at work.
My top breakfasts:
- Berry Nice Choconut Smoothie – Cacao powder, frozen berries, banana, apple, coconut oil, coconut milk, hemp seeds and peanut butter.
- Turmeric Fineapple Smoothie – Almond milk, turmeric, peanut butter, biscoff spread, pineapple, apple, hemp seeds and coconut oil.
- Stewed Apple Yoghurt – cooked cinnamon apples, coconut yoghurt, flaxseeds, peanut butter, maple syrup, banana and grapes
3. SOY, SOY, SOY! The isoflavones in soy affect the hormone release and long term can have a negative impact on ovaries with PCOS. I personally, eat a very minimal amount of soy (only in my 1 cup of coffee per day) and in any vegan meats which could be once a week. Fermented soy products like miso, tamari and tempeh are actually beneficial.
I hope you find this useful – let me know and I will carry on blogging about PCOS and being vegan 🙂