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Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Posted on March 1st, 2021. Authors: Lyndsay Lang, BSN; reviewed by Dahlia Abou El Hassan, MScFN, RD.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects 1 in 10 women. Resulting from a hormonal imbalance, PCOS affects the female reproductive system and can result in symptoms including ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, fertility challenges, unexplained weight gain, excess hair growth, acne and higher rates of anxiety and depression. Those with PCOS also have a greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Although there is no cure, healthy lifestyle changes including good nutrition can play a significant role in managing symptoms. Here are three nutrition tips to help you manage your PCOS.

1)Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain many key nutrients that are an essential part of a healthy diet.

They are rich in antioxidants which have protective anti-inflammatory properties that can help

reduce the risk of heart disease and overall support the management of PCOS. Fruits and

vegetables also contain minerals such as magnesium and folate, which can help to manage

symptoms including insulin resistance.

Some nutrient dense fruits and vegetables include:

  • Dark leafy greens such as kale & spinach

  • Berries such as raspberries & blueberries

  • Asparagus

  • Broccoli

  • Oranges

2) Increase healthy fats

Consuming a diet rich in healthy fats can help to improve heart health, reduce inflammation

and balance hormone levels in the body. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids can help to boost

fertility by improving ovulation and egg health. Foods rich in omega 3's are also often good

sources of vitamin D; an important vitamin in managing PCOS.

Reach for foods such as:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna

  • Eggs

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Olive oils

3) Up your fibre

Fibre is an important nutrient that encourages healthy digestion, keeps you feeling fuller for

longer and benefits heart health. Additionally, it can help to control blood sugar levels, which is especially important as those with PCOS are often insulin resistant.

Here are some ways you can increase your water consumption:

  • Grains such as oats, barley and quinoa

  • Legumes such as kidney beans and chickpeas

  • Fruits and vegetables

Overall, adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and fibre, can make a big difference in managing PCOS. Other lifestyle factors including physical activity and adequate sleep are also essential.

What steps do you take to manage your PCOS?

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