Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common endocrine disorder among women between the ages of 18 and 44. It is caused by the presence of elevated levels of androgen – male sex hormones – in women. Unfortunately, there is no real cure for PCOS.

The Silent Killer

It has been estimated that between 10-20 percent of women in the specified age group may be at risk, which means that a great many women don’t even know that they are suffering from this disorder. Apart from the usual signs and symptoms of PCOS – irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain – the disorder is also one of the leading causes of poor fertility. However, it isn’t all bad news. The effects of PCOS can be managed via lifestyle changes. To find out more, #QueMag spoke to New York State Dietetic Association spokesperson, Anita Mirchandani.

Eat Your Way to Good Health

Overweight women are more prone to PCOS since excess insulin (which is usually the case with overweight individuals) may lead to an increase in levels of androgen in the body. “A healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended for all women with PCOS, particularly those who are overweight. Those who are affected may have high cholesterol, or may be diagnosed as borderline diabetic or diabetic,” says Mirchandani. The good news is that the specific dietary needs to combat PCOS are easily available within the typical Indian diet. “It is important to focus on foods that are high in fibre, low in sugar, lower in refined carbohydrates, higher in protein, higher in water content,” advices Mirchandani. The key to this diet lies in moderation and portion control. Control the weight and you control the disorder to an extent. Here’s what she recommends you eat: Breakfast 250 ml warm water with 1 tsp lemon juice 2 figs 2 hardboiled eggs 30gm cheddar cheese 1 slice of oat flour or alternative grain bread Morning Snack 10 almonds 10 walnuts 500 ml water Lunch 1-2 cups sautéed vegetables. Sautéed them lightly in olive or coconut oil, season with ginger, garlic, turmeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties. 2 rotis made from either jawar or bajra 1 cup of salad; even a simple katchumber salad will do Afternoon Snack 1 cup unflavoured Greek yogurt –  low in fat, a dietary source of calcium, and high in protein 2 tbsp high fibre-high protein granola mix 500 ml water Dinner 100-150 gm grilled chicken, grilled mutton chops, or grilled fish of choice 2 cups fresh leafy green salad – try a mix of arugula, kale, spinach or micro greens, topped with any vegetables of choice. 2 tbsp feta cheese Note: Coffee or tea are optional. Just be sure to hydrate adequately.

Like this article? Also read: The Ridiculous Food Myths Team Que Grew Up Believing In Cover Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com