An estimated one in five women suffers from PCOS in India. Doctors say this can be simply controlled by a proper diet and lifestyle changes. Let us understand what preventive measures women can take to keep PCOS at bay. If you have already been diagnosed with PCOS, these measures will help you keep it in control.
Loose Weight: Doctors state that 80% of women with PCOS are overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease insulin resistance and regulate periods.
Balanced Exercise: Maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight. But too much of it can disrupt your hormones. Gentle, low impact exercises like Yoga and Pilates can be practised safely. Swimming, aerobics are also good. High-intensity training and running may relieve symptoms of PCOS. Check with your doctor on what is recommended for you.
Reduce Stress: Stress goes a long way in maintaining hormonal balance in the body. So maintaining a stress-free lifestyle is important to prevent the problem.
Proper Sleep: Sleep affects our stress levels. Hence, ensure 8 to 10 hours of sleep and a good bedtime routine.
Avoid Processed/Canned Foods: Processed foods/canned foods often contain endocrine disruptors that mimic male and female sex hormones and cause confusion in the reproductive system. Some endocrine disruptors include dioxins, phthalates, pesticides, BPA and glycol ethers. Focus on whole foods free from artificial sugars, hormones and preservatives. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes is the best.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture increases blood flow to the ovaries, reduces cortisol levels, helps in weight loss and regulates your insulin flow.
Regulate Calorie Intake: A low-calorie diet keeps your weight in check and in turn, helps prevent PCOS.
Limit Carbohydrates: A low fat, high carb diet can increase insulin levels. Choose complex carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Focus on getting healthy proteins instead. Add more plant-based protein sources such as nuts, legumes and whole grains to your diet.
Limit Coffee Consumption: Caffeine consumption is linked to changes in estrogen levels and hormone behaviour. Try green tea instead.
Include Soy Products in Moderation: Soy acts like estrogen in the body. It helps balance hormones. But eat it in moderation.
Thus, a balanced lifestyle, good diet control and exercise, proper sleep and avoiding processed foods goes a long way in keeping PCOS at bay.
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