1. Embrace a low grain, low glycemic index and low inflammatory diet – to best achieve this avoid wheat and dairy as both can cause inflammation. Avoid all processed carbohydrates such as pies, pastries, bread, cereals, biscuits, crumpets, pasta etc. Avoid white rice, rice noodles or egg noodles.

2. Aim to avoid sugar as much as possible, especially processed sugar. Read labels and check ingredient lists; you will be surprised at how much sugar is in cereals, sauces, yoghurts, peanut butter and processed foods. Avoid dried fruits and fruit juices. Instead, choose only “Low GI” fruits (lowest in sugar) and keep your intake of these to a minimum, 1-2 serves a day. eg. Berries, apples, nectarines, peaches, grapefruit.

3. Ensure you have adequate fibre in your diet by choosing truly complex carbohydrates such as – roots vegetables (carrots, parsnip, sweet potato etc), vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Legumes (if tolerated) – chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, green beans and peas. Whole grains, ensuring they are not the bulk of the meal – quinoa, black rice, brown rice, sorghum and buckwheat.

4. Avoid skipping meals to keep your blood sugar stable.

5. Increase Omega 3 fats where possible in your diet – deep sea fish, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, walnuts, oysters, caviar and avocado. Diets higher in omega 3 fats were found to reduce androgens and excessive hair growth and support proper estrogen and progesterone function.

6. Make sure you have protein at each meal, this doesn’t mean to eat meat 3 times daily, instead include various types such as: fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu, (depending on the individual this may not be appropriate) and to some extent legumes. Dairy products also contain protein however, have been linked with cyst formation and hormone changes.

Depending on the individual driving force of PCOS supplements will be needed to kick start the change in hormones and re-establish an ovulatory cycle. If your cycles are irregular or you have confirmed PCOS, don’t stress, book in and get an assessment with Sam, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can be ameliorated with the right lifestyle and supplements.

By Samantha Van Dort, IVF Support, Natural Fertility Pregnancy, Hormones

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