Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Seeds are healthy, and they even have nutrients which can help in managing PCOS, hormonal imbalance, irregular bleeding and weight issues.
Weight management issues, irregular menstrual cycle, a hormonal imbalance which can lead to skin problems, mental health issues, insulin resistance, hirsutism, and even infertility—Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is indeed a disease that can wreak havoc on your overall health. The exact cause of PCOS is not yet known and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. But if you are dealing with it, you already know that medical intervention is indispensable to reverse the condition. But guess what? Lifestyle and diet changes have been found to be beneficial too! When it comes to diet, seeds are a nutrient powerhouse and a superfood that is friendly for women with PCOS.
Rich in essential nutrients like fatty acids, omega-3, fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals, consuming seeds regularly can manage hormonal imbalance as well as weight management.
Dr Swati Gaikwad, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Pune, listed down five seeds that are good for women with PCOS.
Have these seeds to ease your journey with PCOS:
1. Pumpkin seeds
They are jam-packed with magnesium, antioxidants, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, protein, monounsaturated fats, and vitamin A, and offer an insane amount of health benefits to women suffering from PCOS. Did you know that Having these seeds will allow you to slash down the chances of osteoporosis after menopause also. They also help in maintaining hormonal balance and improving overall well-being.
Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants called lignans. These can help in controlling excess estrogen production which can further lead to bloating, mood swings, cramping, breast tenderness, and even acne in women with PCOS. Not just that, flaxseed also helps to improve ovulation and in reducing common PMS symptoms such as breast pain and cramping.
3. Chia seeds
You can also add chia seeds to your PCOS diet. Chia seeds are rich in omega fatty acids and fiber and can help with hormonal fluctuation, mood swings, and metabolic syndrome. These magical seeds can also aid in regularizing one’s periods. In addition, chia seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc which are good for your overall health.
4. Sunflower seeds
Just start eating sunflower seeds right away. They are loaded with vitamin E which helps boost progesterone levels and deal with Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Along with this, they are rich in selenium, fibre, and protein and have anti-inflammatory properties which can help with PCOS symptoms.
Also, read: Can you be underweight with PCOS? It’s time to find out
5. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E that increase progesterone production in women and help deal with PMS symptoms like bloating, mood swings, and headaches. The seeds are also loaded with protein which helps regulate hormone disorders.
Moreover, women with PCOS should avoid these foods:
1. Refined carbohydrates
It is the need of the hour for those with PCOS to cut down on white bread, pasta, and pastries, and stick to a well-balanced diet containing all the vital nutrients.
Also, read: 6 lifestyle tweaks to manage PCOS
2. Oily and fried foods
Avoid namkeens, samosa, vada, chips, and bhajiya that are laden with oil and can give you a tough time.
3. Processed foods
Dr Gaikwad says you must give up on cake, biscuits, ready-to-eat products, canned vegetables and fruits, buns, cheese, candy, ice cream, pizza, frozen meals, and pastries.
4. Sugary drinks
Along with sweets, and desserts, one will have to avoid colas and sodas. Even fruit juice jam-packed with sugar is a strict no no.
So ladies, include these seeds to your diet, and don’t forget to avoid these foods to manage your PCOS condition.
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