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PCOS and Mental Health: Dietary Tips for Improving Women’s Health

February 16, 2024
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder commonly found in women of reproductive age. It is characterised by cysts on the ovaries, irregular periods, excess androgen (male hormone) levels, and other symptoms such as weight gain, acne, and hair growth. PCOS can also affect mental health.

The hormonal imbalances, physical symptoms, and difficulties in conceiving associated with PCOS can lead to anxiety, depression, mood swings, and decreased quality of life. Women with PCOS also have a higher risk of developing conditions like bipolar disorder and eating disorders. Fortunately, certain dietary changes can help manage these symptoms. Read on as we share a few of these tips.

Here are a few dietary tips that can help improve mental health in PCOS:

1. Consume a balanced diet

Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of nutrients is essential for overall health, including mental well-being. Include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in your meals.

2. Choose low-glycemic index (GI) foods

Opt for foods with a low glycemic index, like whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables. These foods release sugar into the bloodstream more gradually and can help stabilise mood and energy levels.

3. Control sugar intake

Limiting your consumption of added sugars and refined carbohydrates can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes and mood swings.

4. Include omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, have been linked to improved mood and decreased symptoms of depression. Including these in your diet may have mental health benefits.

5. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can affect your mood and cognitive function. Aim to drink enough water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.

6. Consider antioxidant-rich foods

Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, such as berries, spinach, and broccoli, have been associated with improved mental health. They help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which are factors that can contribute to mood disorders.

7. Prioritise gut health

A healthy gut contributes to overall well-being, including mental health. Include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables in your diet to support gut health.

8. Manage caffeine intake

Caffeine can affect sleep patterns and exacerbate anxiety symptoms. It is advisable to moderate your caffeine consumption, especially if you notice negative effects on your mental well-being.

9. Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine

Alcohol can have negative effects on mental health, including depression and anxiety. It is suggested to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether.

10. Seek professional advice

Consulting with a registered dietitian or a healthcare professional experienced in PCOS can provide personalised guidance for your dietary needs to improve both physical and mental health.

These dietary tips can help improve mental health in PCOS by supporting hormone regulation, stabilising blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and maintaining overall physical health. However, it’s important to note that diet alone cannot replace professional mental health support, and it’s always advisable to reach out to a healthcare provider if you are experiencing mental health concerns.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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