Seeds that Can Help Manage PCOS
November 23, 2022
November 23, 2022
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as PCOS, is a hormonal imbalance in menstruating women. An unwanted spike of male hormones in the female body is the prime cause of PCOS development. At the same time, irregularity in the menstrual cycle is the main sign of PCOS. This endocrine malfunction leads to various diseases. For example, PCOS leads to metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity, cancer, amongst other key health disorders.
Unfortunately, according to statistics, one in every ten women suffers from PCOS. Therefore, it is a fairly common disorder among women. Though the exact cause of PCOS is still not very clear, lifestyle changes are the most feasible solution for PCOS. Here is the exciting part, with the intervention of tiny seeds in your diet, you can manage PCOs effectively.
With advancements in the medical field, you can treat any condition through medication. But, nutrition is a better way of preventing and managing any disorder. Therefore, dietary changes and a few lifestyle modifications can do wonders in PCOS management.
You should adopt a stress-free lifestyle to regulate hormonal imbalances. Studies suggest that women with PCOS generally have higher rates of weight gain and are at higher risk of developing unhealthy weight, with up to 60% having an unhealthy weight. In addition, some research suggests that hormones involved in controlling appetite and hunger aren’t appropriately regulated in some women with PCOS. Hence, weight management is necessary for people with PCOS as it leads to future complications like obesity, heart ailments and certain metabolic disorders etc. Therefore, it’s important to modify your food and exercise habits to keep your body and mind active to perform any physical activity to keep your body and mind active.
Several studies suggest that diets rich in vegetables and fruits form a balanced diet. Fibre-rich foods help control many metabolic disorders that come as a side-effect of PCOS. In addition, fruits like berries are rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
You should consume vegetables like green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, gouds and other fibre-rich vegetables abundantly to improve health. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper are mandatory to treat PCOS. Nuts and seeds are super-food groups that women with PCOS should consume in large quantities. Nuts and seeds, which are high in critical nutrients including Omega-3 fats, vitamin E and key minerals that can help regulate hormonal activity and weight fluctuations when consumed regularly.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron. They are also full of proteins and good fats such as monounsaturated fats—these components help balance the hormones. Also, after menopause, these minerals present in pumpkin seeds avoid the risk of osteoporosis, which results in bone health deterioration. Studies show that pumpkin seeds also are a rich source of plant sterols that helps control blood cholesterol levels. You should take pumpkin seeds for boosting immunity.
You can consume pumpkin seeds separately or add them to yoghurt, smoothie and salads. These seeds are very versatile. They can also be roasted and mixed with spices like pepper and cinnamon and eaten together with vegetables and fruits. Here, cinnamon is a valuable herb/ spice in treating PCOS.
Flaxseeds also contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy reproductive system. In addition, they are particularly rich in antioxidants. Studies conclude that the omega-3-fatty acids in flax seeds balance oestrogen production. If oestrogen is higher than required, it hinders the normal functioning of the menstrual cycle. Flax seeds can regulate that. These seeds also give relief to other side-effects of PCOS like mood swings, painful periods, muscular cramps, etc.
Chia seeds are rich in iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. These mainly control the emotional fluctuations that occur during periods. People with PCOS experience uncontrollable mood swings more frequently than ordinary people without PCOS. This condition affects the daily activities of the patients. Thus, chia seeds’ regular consumption controls the hormones and regularises the menstrual flow. Chia is also rich in fibre content. Nutritional data shows that 30 grams of chia seeds contain about 10 grams of fibre.
When mixed or soaked in water, chia seeds create a jelly-like consistency. Therefore, it gives a reasonable volume and richness to smoothies, drinks, etc. In addition, you can also use it as a vegetarian alternative for eggs in the baking process. In a nutshell, chia seeds are a boon for overall health and are very versatile.
Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, calcium and magnesium. It also possesses vitamin E, which is essential for fertility. Research shows that these vitamins and minerals regulate the hormone imbalance by increasing progesterone secretion. In addition, proteins in sesame seeds are for overall health. For example, the plant sterols in sesame seeds such as sesamin and sesamolin help control blood cholesterol levels.
You can add sesame seeds to many dishes and combine them with savoury foods and sweet foods. They are a great choice of salad dressing.
Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E and help in infertility. They also improve PMS (Pre-Menstrual Symptoms). Sunflower seeds are critical in stimulating the production of progesterone hormones. They also help regulate other PCOS symptoms like inflammation, mood swings, etc. Sunflower also has abundant selenium and magnesium. Studies show that sunflower seeds have many plant sterols that work together to provide cardio-protective health. Selenium in sunflower seeds helps in liver detoxification in the liver.
You can add sunflower seeds to salads. You can also combine them with cereals and smoothies. These seeds have a suitable texture when ground and can coat fish or meat while frying.
Seed cycling is when you consume certain seeds on particular days of the menstrual cycle. It is also known as a “seed rotation diet”. This method helps in regulating the hormonal balance in the female body. Although it is not a scientific-based approach for PCOS management and treatment, the NUNM report shows its positive effect. Seed cycling has been gaining popularity recently because it is a natural yet effective treatment.
Apart from regulating the period cycle, seeds help when trying to get pregnant. They aid in producing correct levels of progesterone and oestrogen. In the case of seed cycling, you should consume grains by grinding the raw seeds. It enhances the nutrient absorption rates. To see any benefit from consuming seeds, it takes about 3 to 4 months. So be patient and consistent with your effort in improving the nutrient cycle in your body.
The main benefit of seed cycling is hormone regulation—the production of hormones essential for good and regular menstruation and reproductive health. The female hormones that play a vital role in menstruation are oestrogen and progesterone.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc is an essential component in secreting progesterone in the body. Meanwhile, flax seeds possess phytoestrogen. You may also call them lignans. They are good antioxidants. These lignans react with excess oestrogen and help the body remove it. It regulates or maintains the hormonal balance. Also, flax seeds extend the ovulation period, which increases your fertility window. Chia seeds relieve the pain during periods. They also regulate the mood swings happening during that time. Chia seeds also improve insulin resistance, control other metabolic disorders, and regulate hormones in the follicular phase.
Fertilisation occurs in the luteal phase. The eggs are in fully developed condition and released from the follicles of the follicular phase. If it comes in contact with sperm, fertilisation happens. Sesame seeds are rich in zinc and selenium. They remove excess oestrogen by binding to it. Likewise, sunflower seeds, which are a good source of vitamin E, help in progesterone secretion. In this way, you can achieve a hormonal balance through seed cycling.
PCOS can disrupt women menstrual cycles and challenge the reproductive process. An unfavourable increase in male hormones causes PCOS symptoms. To manage PCOS, lifestyle and nutritional adjustments are essential. Diet and physical activity are two effective methods for losing weight. You can control PCOS with dietary adjustments that include a high intake of fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, spices and seeds. Seeds are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 and minerals like iron zinc that help you have a better menstrual cycle.
Roasting and grinding the seeds to powder or soaking them overnight has more benefits. It entails using minerals and vitamins to keep the reproductive organs and hormonal balance. Many women use seed cycling to alleviate PCOS symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycle and fertility problems. If any of these natural methods fail to provide relief, you should seek a doctor’s advice.
A: There are various ways to have seeds for PCOS. It will help if you eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of seeds daily for PCOS. You can also mix 3 to 4 different seeds.
A: Nuts good for PCOS are Walnuts, Almonds, Pista, hazelnuts and pine nuts. Seeds good for PCOS are pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds.
A: Fibre-rich foods, vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and fruits like berries and grapes help improve PCOS related symptoms. Lentils, legumes and fish also help with the same. In addition, you can also have nuts like almonds, walnuts, seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and herbs like basil, cinnamon and turmeric.
A: Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fats that help manage PCOS symptoms. It is also rich in antioxidants called lignan that regulate oestrogen production and control the hormonal imbalance in the body.
A: Seed cycling is an excellent method to regulate hormonal flow in the body. It is a concept of consuming seeds at a particular time of day. It controls hormone production aiding in menstruation, reproduction, or fertility.
A: Chia seeds ease the PCOS symptoms. These seeds control hormonal imbalance by eliminating the high oestrogen drive. Flaxseeds also work for the same.
A: Black sesame seeds help in managing hormonal imbalance. These seeds reduce the male hormone secretion in the female body. They also ease the symptoms of PCOS.
A: Cinnamon helps maintain the blood glucose levels and insulin levels in the body. They also increase the production of female hormones like progesterone. In addition, they reduce male hormones like testosterone.
A: Fenugreek is an excellent herb to heal PCOS. They improve insulin resistance and control diabetes and cholesterol levels. In addition, you can also use it to dissolve ovarian cysts. Fenugreek is also known as a fertility enhancer.