Are berries good for PCOS?


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that leads to many problems such as infertility, irregular or no periods, emotional distress, acne issues, weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, depression and hair fall, among others.

With an excess of information available on the internet, one is bound to get confused about what they should eat and what they shouldn’t. “One of my mantras is to think about what food you can add to your diet versus what foods you should ‘supposedly’ cut out. Fruit gets a bad rap in the PCOS world. Wrong! Fruits can have many health benefits for PCOS,” wrote nutritionist Martha Mckittrick, in an Instagram post in the backdrop of PCOS Awareness Month which is celebrated every September.

Experts believe that berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are good for PCOS. Mckittrick said, “They are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.” She suggested that berries are the best in fresh form but frozen can be just as good.

Listing out their benefits, she said, “They can help improve three drivers of PCOS- insulin resistance, inflammation and gut health.”

Inflammation

Although inflammation is a protective response of the body but in case of PCOS, chronic inflammation can lead to problems in ovulation. “Berries are the richest fruit in antioxidants and contain other vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium that protect the body from free radicals and fight inflammation,” the nutritionist said.

Insulin sensitivity

Mckittrick said that berries are high in fibre and, thus, can help in the slow absorption of sugar into the blood. “This reduces the release of insulin after eating which helps to improve insulin sensitivity,” she added.

Improves gut health

“Many women with PCOS have an latered gut microbiome (more bad bacteria and less diversity of bacteria). This can even be a driver of PCOS,” she said. She further told that berries have high soluble fibre content. “It feeds the ‘good’ bacteria in the large intestine and improves the bacterial balance in your gut.”

Make you feel full

Since berries have a high fibre content, they can help in making one feel full. “It increases feelings of fullness and satiety and helps to manage hunger, ” she said. Feeling full can help with weight loss, too.

The expert went on to suggest some interesting ways in which you can eat berries:

*Dark chocolate dipped strawberries
*Mash and use as jam
*Add to chia seed pudding
*Mixed berries with handful of nuts
*Top salad with a few raspberries
*Blend berries with yogurt, ice, ground flax seeds, and vanilla for a refreshing shake

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