Phone: 01564 33 99 55 Email:
Andrea Bayles Nutritional Therapist
ND, Dip Nutr, Dip Herb, MBANT, MURHP, MCNHC

PCOS Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

by -

A Nutritional Guide to help manage symptoms and reduce your risk of infertility.

If you have PCOS then you will know your own set of symptoms and that these can vary from month to month as well as from person to person.

There are known causes of PCOS such as hereditary, high levels of LH (Luteinising Hormone), insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, and stress and the cortisol connection and obesity.

So, how can diet and nutrition help? Well, every piece of food that we consume will have an influence of the production of our hormones and the intricate balance of the endocrine system. Food triggers hormonal responses therefore what we eat plays a significant role in the management of PCOS. Eating correctly and ensuring you are getting the right nutrients will have an effect on your hormone balance, your moods and your long-term health.

So my tips for helping to ease your symptoms and reduce your long-term health risks are as follows:

1. Monitor your sugar intake

Sugar in excess raises blood sugar levels which stimulates the production of insulin. Yes sugar does give you energy, but as well as increasing your insulin production, it also suppresses the immune system, triggers POS symptoms and leads to weight gain.

Choose fresh fruits or go for low-fat options when cravings are high eg, skinny muffins and packs of dried fruit. The sugars you need to avoid are abundant in cakes, pastries, juices, cola's, soda drinks, refined, processed, packaged foods (often have hidden sugar in them).

Begin by reducing your intake of the foods that contain high amounts of sugars anything with excess of 5g per portion is excessive and should be avoided.

2. Eat the correct fats

Eating bad fats increase your risk of health complications because of PCOS whereas good fats or oils can support your symptoms of PCOS.

Bad fats what are they? Saturated fats found in red meats and dairy products can contain hormones that contribute to your symptoms as well as causing you to gain weight and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Don't avoid fats this is another myth our body needs fats on a daily basis because they are essential for hormone balance and weight management.

So by consuming lots of oily fish such as salmon, tuna, olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocado, sardines, flaxseeds, nuts and even sea vegetables, you are increasing your intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are essential fats

3. Eat plenty of protein each day

At least 20% of your daily food consumption should be made up of protein. Protein is essential for controlling blood sugar control as well as providing essential amino acids to support cell renewal and repair and hormone production. Without adequate intakes, your body will become dysfunctional.

However, too much protein for PCOS sufferers can also be a problem. Eat a range of low-fat protein with every meal each day and you can be sure that you are getting the correct amount to maintain your health.

4. Eat phytoestrogen's regularly

Phyto (plant) oestrogens are substances found in our food which mimic the actions of oestrogen. They have a hormone-balancing effect either decreasing levels of oestrogen if they are high or increasing them when level are low. They are also known to have a heart protective function too as they lower bad cholesterol.

Vegetables re the main source of phytoestrogens especially green leafy veg or veg from the cruciferous family eg broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage.

Dr Marilyn Grenville an expert of female health suggests 45mg per day of isoflavones. So other sources of isoflavones are lentils, soy, flaxseeds, bens and chick pea.

Ensure your daily protein intake includes a portion of these to get hormones back in balance.

5. Drink more water

Water the most essential nutrient to life. Without water we would die. Water helps to keep the body hydrated and is absolutely essential for maintaining hormone balance. Water helps to maintain your body temperature and keeps high blood pressure under control. Dehydrated bodies allow blood to clot more quickly so keeping cells hydrated and fluid is important.

Ideally you should try to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Every time you drink a coffee or a tea you should replace this with a glass of water.

The best source is plain pure drinking water fizzy drinks and juices contain too much sugar try herbal teas as an alternative to coffee or tea if drinking plain water is difficult.

6. Eat a good variety of antioxidant foods

Antioxidant foods are a group of vitamins and minerals that work in the body to counteract oxidisation ie ageing. The more antioxidants you have in your diet, the research shows you will stand a better chance of long term good health.

Antioxidants will provide many benefits to PCOS sufferers and a daily intake of fresh juices or power packed smoothies containing a variety of fruits and vegetables all colours of the rainbow will help support your symptoms.

Some of the more favoured sources include dark (70%) chocolate, red wine, blueberries and green tea.

This is just a brief introduction to some of the changes you can make with your diet and lifestyle. As a Nutritionist, I work with individuals on a one to one basis. Each person is unique. Their symptoms may be similar, but lifestyles and management will all be different. A s Nutritional Therapist, I can analyse your current diet, look at your symptom picture and past medical history and provide you with a written plan with food and lifestyle advice for you to follow. If further testing is required, I can provide recommended biochemical tests to establish underlying issues.

Please feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion to see how Nutritional Therapy can help you.


Back to index
  • "Natural Solutions helped me with allergy and intolerance tests. I was found to have a cat allergy and intolerance to dairy and wheat.  I have made good progress with the dairy intolerance.  I now enjoy almond milk as an alternative.  However, I am having to wait for matters to take their natural course with regard to the cat, however, who although frail and elderly is still with us!   "Alan