What diet can I use to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms?

Understanding PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), is typically marked by irregular periods, or no menstruation.

PCOS patients often have multiple cysts in the ovaries. This is due to an excess of androgens.

Between 33 and 83 per cent of women with PCOS are also overweight or obese. These are some common symptoms:

  • Acne
  • hirsutism (excessive hairiness)
  • male pattern baldness

People with PCOS may be more at risk, especially if symptoms aren’t managed.

  • Heart disease
  • endometrial cancer
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Many women with PCOS find that they can manage their symptoms and lower their risk of developing other health problems by making lifestyle and dietary changes.

How does diet affect PCOS?

Insulin levels in people with PCOS are higher than usual. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps cells convert sugar (glucose), into energy.

Your blood sugar levels may rise if you don’t produce enough insulin. Insulin resistance is a condition that prevents you from using the insulin you do make effectively.

Insulin resistance is when your body produces high levels of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Your ovaries may produce more testosterone if you have too high levels of insulin.

A higher body mass index may lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can make losing weight more difficult, so PCOS sufferers often have this problem.

High intakes of refined carbohydrates such as starchy and sugary food can lead to insulin resistance and weight loss that is more difficult to manage.

What foods should I include in my PCOS diet?

Additions of food

  • Broccoli is a high-fiber vegetable.
  • Lean protein, such as fish
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and spices like tomatoes and turmeric, such as tomatoes and tomatos

High fiber foods can reduce insulin resistance by slowing digestion and reducing blood sugar levels. People with PCOS may find this beneficial.

These are some high-fiber foods:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
  • Greens such as red leaf lettuce, arugula and other leafy greens
  • Red and green peppers
  • Lentils and beans
  • Almonds
  • Berries
  • sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin

Although they don’t contain fiber, lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, or tofu are very filling and nutritious for those with PCOS.

It is possible to find foods that reduce inflammation. These foods include:

  • tomatoes
  • Kale
  • spinach
  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Blueberries and strawberries are some fruits.
  • Fish high in omega-3 fat acids such as salmon and sardines are good choices.

What foods should I avoid or limit because of PCOS?


  • Foods high in refined carbs, such as white bread and muffins, are not recommended.
  • Sugary snacks and drinks
  • Inflammatory foods like red and processed meats

Refined carbohydrate can cause inflammation and increase insulin resistance. They should be avoided or reduced in quantity. These include highly processed foods such as:

  • White bread
  • muffins
  • breakfast pastries
  • Sugary desserts
  • Anything made with white flour

Pasta noodles with semolina or durum flour listed as their first ingredients are high in carbs and low in fiber. Pasta made with bean or lentil flour in place of wheat flour is a healthy alternative.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, and PCOS should limit its intake. Look out for sugar’s different names when reading food labels.

  • sucrose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • dextrose

You may need to cut down on soda and juice consumption if you are following a PCOS diet.

Before you eliminate certain foods from your diet, consult a doctor. A doctor can help you choose the right eating plan for you, based on your needs.

When should you see a doctor?

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Acne
  • Additional hair growth
  • Weight gain, especially around your belly
  • Oily skin
  • Periods of irregularity
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • It is difficult to get pregnant

These symptoms are not always serious enough for many people to seek medical attention. Many people wait until they experience difficulty conceiving to seek medical attention.

These symptoms are common and should be discussed with a doctor. The sooner they begin a treatment plan, the better.

Also read: PCOS: All You Need To Know To Manage It


There is no cure for PCOS. However, there are ways to improve your quality of life and reduce symptoms.

PCOS can be managed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy fats, lean protein, moderate amounts of low-GI carbohydrate, and achieving a healthy body weight.