Recipes to help overcome PCOS and improve fertility

Amy Huggins - How reducing BMI can help women with PCOS improve their fertilityIt is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 women in the UK suffer from PCOS, making it one of the most common causes of infertility. Whilst the cause of PCOS is not yet fully understood, the good news is that symptoms can be greatly improved with proper diet and nutrition as Amy Huggins (Adv Dip NHF) explains in this guest blog provides some great recipes to help overcome PCOS and improve fertility.

Women with PCOS may find it more challenging to conceive, due to an imbalance of sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which may lead to irregular or absent periods. Other symptoms of this increasingly common condition include enlarged ovaries, ovarian cysts, acne, excess hair and obesity.

A key step which can be taken to improve PCOS and its symptoms is to manage weight and reduce BMI.

An excess of body fat increases the amount of oestrogen in the body, causing hormone imbalance which has a negative impact on fertility. It is believed that those affected by the condition may be insulin resistant which can cause unbalanced blood sugar, as well as insatiable cravings for carbohydrates and sweets which can make it even more difficult to maintain a healthy BMI.

Therefore, adopting a food plan which keeps blood sugar balanced throughout the day is essential. The easiest way to manage blood sugar is to adopt a low GI diet, avoiding foods with a high glycemic rate, which cause spikes and subsequent crashes in blood sugar.

High GI foods (with a GI of 70 or above) includes simple and refined carbohydrates including sweets, biscuits, and baked goods. Sugar with its GI of 100 should be eliminated completely, and replaced with low GI alternatives including coconut sugar, stevia and xylitol. Using these natural sweeteners means you can still enjoy delicious indulgent desserts whilst reducing your BMI.

All meals should be protein based, accompanied by a good fat source and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, or buckwheat noodles, as well as a generous helping of vegetables. Replacing carbohydrate heavy breakfasts such as cereal, with a protein rich one such as scrambled egg with avocado is an excellent choice.

A great lunch option would be chicken or salmon with a large green salad and quinoa.

For an evening meal, steamed fish with sweet potato and wilted greens, or a large king prawn, cashew and vegetable stir fry would be both nutritious and satiating.

It is worth noting that eating good fats will not make you fat, but will actually increase your body’s ability to become a fat burning machine.

Snacking between meals, and therefore having six small meals a day, may also be effective for those with PCOS, and a proactive way to prevent the dreaded 3pm reach for the biscuit tin. It is worth noting that caffeine and alcohol also insulin to spike and should be limited.

Whilst a diagnosis of PCOS can be upsetting (especially as there is much about this condition which is yet unknown) adopting some simple dietary changes can have excellent results in a relatively short space of time, not only boosting fertility but improving overall wellness and vitality.

Nutrition Guidelines

  • Eat little and often (4-5 times per day)
  • Cut out refined sugar completely
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Adopt a low GI way of eating
  • Eliminate sugar and replace with stevia or xyliotol
  • Eat low GI fruits such as berries and apples and avoid high GI tropical fruits
  • Eat protein with every meal and eliminate simple carbs

 

Recipes to help overcome PCOS 

Berry Bliss Breakfast - recipes to help overcome PCOSBerry Bliss Breakfast Recipe

This delicious smoothie containing good fats, proteins, fibre and anti-oxidants will keep hunger locked up until lunch!

  • 400ml unsweetened coconut water
  • Large handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1 medjool date
  • Handful of frozen kale
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 3 ice cubes

Method: Blitz all ingredients in blender and enjoy immediately

Sugar free chocolate mousse

You would never guess this indulgent and creamy chocolate mousse was made with avocado!

  • 1 large ripe avocado.
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk.
  • 2 tsp stevia (or other natural sweetener)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • Handful of raspberries (for topping)

Method

Purée the avocado until smooth.

Mix together the cocoa powder and milk until combined and add to the avocado.

Stir in the stevia, and vanilla extract

Transfer the mousse to individual bowls and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

 

More information

Read some of our patient stories about PCOS here, here and here.

For more information about Amy Huggins please visit www.amyhuggins.com or www.facebook.com/healthandhappinessfertility

Related articles

Sort By Date
  • Major causes of female infertility
    June 1, 2018
    Major causes of female infertility
    For many causes of female infertility there may be no symptoms other than a...
  • Free fertility advice with a Bourn Hall Fertility Nurse Specialist
    May 3, 2018
    Free consultation with a Bourn Hall fertility nurse specialist
    Free fertility advice from an expert.
  • PCOS would cause infertility
    October 31, 2016
    Children for Lucy after 10 years brings hope to those with PCOS
    Lucy was shocked at age 18 to be diagnosed with PCOS, which can cause...