By Aooshi Garg
PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a health issue that happens due to excess male hormones in a female. Usually, women who have achieved puberty and are of the childbearing age are affected by this. Excess male hormones in females can cause weight gain, difficulty in conceiving, irregular periods, heavy bleeding, acne and abnormal facial hair growth in women.
It is usually diagnosed when women have missed periods and are confirmed by a blood test which shows high levels of male hormones, a misbalance between female hormones or by an ultrasound to detect cysts in the ovaries.
Making small sustainable changes to your lifestyle is the most successful treatment for PCOS. Weight loss of at least 5 to 10 % of a woman’s body weight can aid in the restoration of ovulation cycles and the improvement of the menstrual cycle.
A well-balanced diet that includes all food groups in the right proportion helps in maintaining a negative calorie balance i.e. the calories expended are more than the calories consumed helps in an ideal weight loss. This also prevents insulin resistance.
One should choose nutrient-rich foods which are high in micronutrients. Selenium, magnesium, Vit-B and Vit-D are proven to reduce PCOS symptoms and help in normalising periods. Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds are particularly high in these micronutrients.
A natural treatment process, known as Seed cycling is suggested to treat PCOD. This includes consuming a combination of 4 seeds which helps in regulating the female hormones. This includes eating 1 tablespoon each of freshly ground flax and pumpkin seeds per day for the first 13–14 days of the menstrual cycle, known as the follicular phase. During the second half of their process, which is known as the luteal phase, they eat 1 tablespoon each of ground sunflower and sesame seeds per day until the first day of their next period when the cycle starts again. Following this pattern helps in relieving PCOS symptoms.
One should avoid skipping meals as that could lead to food cravings and overeating in the next meal.
All forms of refined flour, sugary foods, and processed foods must be avoided. More millets, pulses, sprouts, fresh fruits and vegetables with moderate consumption of unsaturated filtered oils of groundnut, mustard and sesame are suggested. All types of saturated fats like butter, margarine, and Vanaspati should be avoided.
One doesn’t have to spend 2 hrs a day at the gym to reverse PCOS. Exercises session- each of 45-60 mins 5 times a day can help in reversing the hormone imbalance and lead to weight loss.
A 20-minute cardio session like a brisk walk, slow jog, swimming, or cycling. Combined with 30-40 mins of strength training workouts that could include simple home-based body weight exercises and core strengthening exercises would give the best results.
If one has access to a gym or is interested in Zumba, dancing, or Pilates- all are good. If you are a beginner, then start with low-intensity workouts and level up as you master it.
A well-balanced diet with a regular exercise routine and dedication to work on PCOS reversal is all that is needed to reverse and overcome this lifestyle disorder that affects around 5-25% of women in the world!
(The author is a GOQii Lifestyle Expert. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)