In this article, we delve deeper in what foods boost weight loss in women with PCOS. Our bodies need a large variety of nutrients regularly in order to function properly.
Unfortunately, there is no one magic food that we can eat to guarantee weight loss. This is true in any case but especially true for PCOS.
So, What foods boost weight loss in women with PCOS
When thinking about weight loss friendly nutrients there is a lot that needs to be considered. However PCOS makes our needs much more unique. So I have put together a some information to help guide you.
Spearmint has many benefits for PCOS. It has anti-androgen properties which helps lower levels of testosterone and DHEA (male sex hormones) in our bodies. This is especially important when we have symptoms like acne, hair growth, male pattern baldness and belly fat! Remember, an excess of androgens can also contribute to weight gain!
- The best way to get spearmint into our diet is through drinking spearmint tea (not to be confused with peppermint!). It is also full of anti oxidants and a great substitution for coffee if you are looking to improve your PCOS symptoms.
2. Probiotic-rich Foods:
Poor gut health is actually one of the root causes of PCOS! For an adequate metabolism the bacteria we find in our gut are essential. Gut health is a new area of interest in health, interestingly studies have actually shown that women with PCOS may have less healthy gut bacteria than women without PCOS. Certain strains are actually shown to contribute to weight loss.
Probiotic-rich foods: yogurt (non-dairy is also beneficial), kefir (non-dairy works too), sourdough, miso sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, pickles and kombucha.
3. Vitamin D:
Lately we have been hearing a lot about vitamin D. Mainly because so many people seem to be deficient of this vitamin. Research consistently shows that having PCOS is a risk factor for low vitamin D levels. We do not really know why this happens as yet – perhaps a genetic mutation however over 90% of women with PCOS have low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D has a direct role in suppressing the parathyroid hormone. The role of this is to trigger fat accumulation in our fat tissue. In fact in a study PCOS patients who were prescribed vitamin D supplements and had normal Vitamin D levels lost more weight than women whose blood levels remained low when having the same lifestyle and nutrition plan. This shows that keeping vitamin D levels in a healthy range could benefit weight loss.
Sources of Vitamin D:
- Being in the sun for around 20 minutes a day without sunscreen. Please note that if you live in a country with extremely strong UV factors this is not recommended in the summer months.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines
- Fortified milk and plant-based milk (Alpro is a favorite of mine)
- Egg yolks
4. Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are the gold standard when it comes to reducing inflammation. If you suffer from PCOS I am sure you have heard how most women with PCOS particularly those who tend to put on weight suffer from a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, meaning we have to work extra hard at avoiding anything that causes inflammation. What is the BEST way to do this naturally? Consuming foods which reduce inflammation daily.
Obesity research over the past decade has been suggesting that omega-3s may help people lose weight more easily with or without PCOS.
Sources of omega-3 fatty acids:
- flax seeds
Magnesium is one of those supplements I used to recommend for almost everything when I was still working in a community pharmacy and I still take supplements to this day myself. It is essential to our mood, energy, immune system, cardiac health, digestion, as well as sleep. Magnesium also helps decrease insulin resistance and may serve as a key weight loss aid.
Sources of magnesium:
- dark chocolate
- Fatty fish
- dark leafy greens like spianch and kale.
- legumes such as lentils, black beans, and chickpeas.
Ever wonder why bell peppers have different colours? They come in red, yellow, orange and green. Carotenoids are a family of compounds (including beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein) that give certain fruits and vegetables their colours.
The antioxidant activity of carotenoids plays a big role in inflammation reduction. This Inflammation is associated with both hormonal imbalances (esp in PCOS!) and insulin resistance, both of which promote weight gain, not weight loss. So you want to try and include as many colours as possible into every meal including your snacks.
Sources of carotenoids:
- Bell peppers
- Pink grapefruit
- Sweet potato