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pcos size fantastic weight lossPCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) affects an estimated 1 in 7 women worldwide (Hechtmann, 2010). This can cause symptoms from mild discomfort, to more severe symptoms such as infertility. Unfortunately, the numbers are rising, particularly in western society.

The good news? Through diet and lifestyle, you can really make a positive impact on the condition.

Never underestimate the power of good nutrition, what you eat and put in your body daily will either: ensure it thrives or unfortunately becomes imbalanced.

Here are some things you can do from a nutritional standpoint if you have PCOS:

  1. Eat low glycaemic foods and reduce refined carbohydrates in your diet, this is because women with PCOS are more insulin resistant. Try a diet for 2 weeks of 30% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 30% lipids. There have been significant reductions in cysts just from lowering high GI foods (like sugar, white bread, refined breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, sweets). The best way to achieve this is to swap out refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pastas and lollies and replace them for more complex lower GL carbs like brown rice or quinoa, oats and berries (Hechtmann, 2010) (Holford, 2010).
  2. Try eliminating or significantly reducing inflammatory foods for a month e.g. alcohol, caffeine and smoking.
  3. Avoid deep fried foods, they are low nutrient density, inflammatory and even though can taste fabulous at the time provide no nutritional benefit.
  4. Minimise sugars, this is really important. Sugar elevates your blood glucose levels, therefore require higher insulin. If your body isn’t metabolising insulin and glucose effectively, this is only going to contribute to the problem. Opt for a maximum of 2 fruits per day (aim low G.I. such as melons, pears, grapefruits and berries).
  5. If you are going to eat high G.I. foods, have it with a source of protein and fats to reduce an insulin spike.
  6. Increase foods high in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA); Atlantic wild-caught salmon, freshly ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocado, walnuts (most nuts and seeds) and seafood. Omega-3 EFAs improve insulin sensitivity and comprises anti-inflammatory properties.
  7. Nourish your body with B-vitamins! Whether you opt for a good activated B-supplement, there are still great ways to include B-vitamin dense foods in your diet such as spirulina, green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, bok choy, silverbeet), free-range eggs, or organic liver. B-vitamins are absolutely critical to a healthy functioning body, improving; energy, cellular division, glucose metabolism, breakdown of nutrients and so much more.
  8. Include foods high in zinc. Zinc is essential for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body! It helps to regulate gene expression, signal transduction and many more cellular communication functions particularly, insulin regulation. (Oseiki, 2014)
  9. Keep hydrated! Yes girl, that’s right, your 1.5L – 2L a day of water is super important. Keeping hydrated influences pretty much every biological function in the body, so get drinking! Try adding berries, mint, cucumber or basil for a little extra nutrients and flavour. Organic herbal ice-teas are perfect for these warmer months.
  10. Ensure you get your Vitamin E hit daily. Vitamin E is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, therefore making it one heck of a protective and vital nutrient you need in your diet. Best sources; almonds, eggs, hazel nuts, sunflowers, green-leafy vegetables and avocado. (Ministry of Health, 2014)

Hechtmann, L. (2010). Clinical Naturopathic Text Book. Sydney: Elsevier.

Holford, P. (2010).

Ministry of Health. (2014, April). Vitamin E. Retrieved from Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and NZ:

Oseiki, H. (2014). The Nutrient Bible – 9th Edition. Banyo, QLD, AUS: AG Publishing.

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Posted on Oct 26, 2017 - Last updated on Oct 26, 2017

About the Author

Lisa Cutforth is the founder of Size Fantastic. A nutritionist and foodie with a degree in Nutrition with Psychology and a passion for health, Lisa’s ambition is to take health off the “too hard” shelf and restore her clients confidence in themselves and their ability to heal and be well… Size Fantastic to us means: looking and feeling great, inside and out!