If you are a woman struggling with irregular periods, hair loss, weight gain, and adult acne, it could be due to an underlying condition called PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. 


It is a very common condition, affecting over 15% of women of reproductive age. Despite being very common, 70% of women who are affected remain undiagnosed and suffer the symptoms. 


If left untreated for a long time, combined with a poor lifestyle, PCOS may result in infertility, even increasing the risk of endometrial cancer. 


But on the bright side, it is totally possible to reverse the symptoms of PCOS and lead a normal, healthy life. 


Read this to uncover a detailed explanation and nutrition tips for PCOS


Understanding PCOS and its Symptoms

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. Characterized by an increased level of estrogen and testosterone. Unlike the regular circumstances of events where an egg is released on a 28-day cycle, an abnormality is seen in PCOS patients due to an imbalance of hormones. 


This imbalance of hormones reflects various symptoms in the body. 


  1. Irregular Periods: Missing periods, no periods at all, or heavy bleeding during menstruation 
  2. Abnormal hair growth, especially facial hair, is a distinct indication of high androgen levels.
  3. Acne: Adult acne, notably hormonal acne, is a result of PCOS. 
  4. Obesity: 40 to 80% of people with PCOS have obesity, with the extra fat being the producer of estrogen. 
  5. The darkening of the skin around the neck, armpits, and pubic area is called acanthosis nigricans. 
  6. Cysts: Follices that did not ovulate turn into cysts that are visible during an ultrasound. 
  7. Thinning hair: Hair loss on the head may sometimes cause baldness. 


Other symptoms include: 

  1. Binge eating
  2. Mood swings 
  3. Body image issues 
  4. Poor mental health 
  5. Sleep disturbances 
  6. Difficulty losing weight 


If you are having at least two of the above symptoms, it would be a wise decision to visit your nearby OB-GYN. 


The role of nutrition in PCOS management

The role of the PCOS Management


Although battling with PCOS is tiring and frustrating, with lifestyle modifications and consistent exercise, PCOS patients can lead a regular life. 


One of the primary conditions seen in PCOS patients is insulin resistance, where the excess insulin in your body acts as a cursor for fat storage. Fats are sites that produce estrogen, hence increasing the hormonal imbalance in patients. So, having foods that raise insulin slowly, called low-glycemic index foods, is an ideal choice for PCOS management. 


Eating regularly by consuming whole foods and balanced meals is the holy grail of PCOS management. Furthermore, it is important to include rich sources of vitamins and minerals in the diet. 

Balance your carbohydrates.


Insulin rises quickly while consuming sugary and starchy foods. Carbohydrates are the villain per se and are one of the macronutrients required for the body to perform correctly. So, instead, you can replace processed carbohydrates with natural carb sources. Or replace sugar with honey. 


  1. Choose complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrate sources are white rice, bread, candy, sugar, and maida, which cause a sudden spike in insulin. These sources rarely have any other protein or fiber source in them, making them a bad choice. Instead, consume complex carbohydrates, which take considerably longer to break down, causing insulin to slowly climb and drop. Complex carbohydrate sources include whole-grain bread, millet, oats, and brown rice. legumes, etc. 


2. Monitor portion sizes.

It is often common for patients to have excessive portions of food or too little if they are trying to lose weight. Having an ideal portion, following the rule, of one-quarter of the plate for protein, one-quarter for carbohydrates, and half of the plate for fiber, with some fats, is a simple yet effective way for management. 


3. Pair carbs with protein and healthy fats.


Proteins play a major role in PCOS, and enough fiber and healthy fats such as egg yolks, olive oil, avocados, and nuts have been shown to improve insulin resistance and inflammation in women. Eating in order—fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates—is also a proven way to avoid sudden glucose spikes. 


Prioritize lean protein.

Lean proteins like tofu, chicken fish, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, lentils, and almonds are all great for helping boost metabolism, control appetite, and improve blood sugar control. 


Protein keeps off hunger for longer by giving the feeling of satiation. When combined with exercises, protein helps build muscle, boosting metabolism, which further fights the symptoms of PCOS. 


Research has shown that women on high-protein diets saw definite changes in weight and improvements in symptoms. 


Incorporate healthy fats.


Fats do not raise blood sugar, and they are the elements that slow digestion and help in the slow passage of food between the small intestine and stomach. Mono and polyunsaturated fat sources like nuts, olive oil, nut butter, avocado oil, avocado, and seeds are helpful with PCOS. 


Combining with protein sources increases the satiating effect, and importantly, they taste good. By incorporating fats, it is easier to stick to a diet. 




PCOS is a tiring hormonal condition that affects women of reproductive age and is often characterized by unwanted symptoms that affect their physical and mental health. It is necessary to take medication and make PCOS lifestyle changes to battle the condition. 


With proper diet and exercise, many women have reversed their PCOS, conceived children, and are enjoying a healthy life. 


So, meet your OB-GYN, follow a PCOS nutrition guide, and live stress-free.