With PCOS, a lot has been said about making lifestyle changes through diet and exercise. This is because there are no specific medicines that exists to ‘cure’ PCOS. However, a proper balanced diet can greatly reduce the impact of this disorder by helping manage weight and insulin resistance. Hence, creating a ‘PCOS friendly Indian kitchen’ is an important step in your PCOS journey.
When you come across a PCOS diet, going gluten-free and dairy-free are the most common things you hear. That seems unmanageable to most of us in India because wheat and milk are ingredients that every Indian household consumes on a daily basis. So, let’s explore the Indian kitchen and find ingredients that are PCOS friendly and anti-inflammatory. We bet you will find them all in your kitchen cabinet.
1. Whole Grains
Consuming millets is not a new thing to Indians as it has been a major staple food in India since ages. Millets like jowar, bajra, ragi, maize and barley are gluten free and have high fibre content and antioxidants. So, start including millet in your diet consciously. Having millets as a replacement for wheat or rice is a good idea you can begin with.
2. Fenugreek (Methi)
Fenugreek has properties that can reduce cyst size and facilitate a normal menstrual cycle in women suffering from PCOS. Consuming fenugreek leaves or seeds will help in maintaining normal insulin levels.
3. Turmeric (Haldi)
No Indian meal is complete without a pinch of haldi. The anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is its yellow pigment called curcumin. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have this ingredient to reduce inflammation as well as treat digestive disorders.
4. Ginger (Adrak)
Research has shown that ginger has a better therapeutic effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain and inflammation. Ginger also inhibits the activation of several genes involved in an inflammatory response.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, cinnamon has been shown to have antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer and lipid-lowering properties. Cinnamon goes well in anything from breakfast grains, to soups and stews, to desserts and drinks.
6. Dairy Options
According to research, reducing dairy intake could potentially help certain women with PCOS lose weight and help some of their hormonal PCOS symptoms. If you do have acne or want to see if dairy has an effect on you, you may first want to start with eliminating dairy entirely and slowly reintroduce it in small amounts after 2 weeks to see if it has an effect.
Milk alternatives such as almond, hemp, rice and coconut milk can easily be used in place of cow’s milk. Many vegetables like kale, broccoli provide a good source of calcium as does fish, seeds (chia, sesame and flax) and quinoa.
To everyone’s shock and surprise, you can eat ghee as part of your PCOS diet! Ghee contains omega-3 fatty acid DHA and omega 6 (CLA). These fats can help in increasing lean body mass while also reducing fat mass. Ghee also helps in mobilising fat cells to be burnt for energy.Ghee has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with Vitamin D deficiency and B12. Having a teaspoon of ghee in your meals can be beneficial for women with PCOS, people with heart disease, high blood pressure, constipation, weak joints and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and it is good for the skin too.
Start creating your own ‘PCOS friendly Indian kitchen” today!
Healthy eating should not be an extra burden and here are PCOS friendly ingredients that are found in every Indian kitchen. By adding these ingredients in your daily diet there certainly will be a great development in your lifestyle leading to a PCOS free life.