We've spent a lot of time, now, talking about what you should NOT have! I seem to say NO quite a bit in life…maybe that's why my children "lovingly" call me Mommy No-Fun!
I feel I need to redeem myself a bit with you all. I KNOW this sounds like there is just nothing in the world you can eat. I promise you, there is a world of delicious foods out there for you. It may take some experimenting and time to get use to them and how to cook them, but it is worth it.
Here are the TOP TEN foods that I think every women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) should eat regularly.
1. Green Vegetables
There are a LOT of great green vegetables, so instead of making my entire top too vegetables, I made one category for them...they are that important and cool! Most of us, not just those with PCOS, need to increase the green. This really does many anything GREEN! Green vegetables are a rich source of Vitamins and Minerals, many of which are extremely important to those managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). There really is no set right green vegetable that is better than another. I think variety is the best way to approach. My rule of thumb is to have something green at each meal, if you can, if not at the very least once a day. Here are some of my favorites and why?
Most Green Vegetables, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, work to cleanse the Liver. They are also used to Nourish the Yin (cooling aspect and fluids) and Blood (well, blood).
There many others, but these are common, easy to cook with, and taste great. Get creative, and go GREEN.
Use herbs to flavor foods naturally, while giving a little extra boost in nutrition. Many of the herbs be use in cooking are excellent sources (much like the greens up top) in vegetable base fat-soluble vitamins. They add flavor that is satisfying and creates dishes that are notch above just plain salt and pepper.
Herbs, as medicine, are a big part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Parsley works similar to other leafy greens being good for the liver, yin and blood. Herbs are often used in TCM cooking to create a stronger medicinal effect on the dishes.
There are definitely others, but Parsley is the King.
Most people have Cinnamon in their pantry. Not only does it have beautiful and slightly sweet and spicy flavor, but it is medicinal.
Known as Rou Gui and Gui Zhi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cinnamon is warming. It is good for helping to regulate the digestion and body temperature. It is a common remedy for alternating fever and chills, or hot flashes followed by chills. It warms the Spleen and Stomach
Beans, Beans the magical fruit….we all know how it goes, right? There is a wide variety of beans, and some are higher on the glycemic index, so take a look. Most of the common varieties are just fine, and very good for our digestive systems, as well as giving us good protein, and nutrients. The combination of Fiber and Protein is beneficial for helping with blood sugar control. The fiver in legumes, works similarly to the fiber in leafy greens to inhibit amylase enzymes that breakdown carbohydrates, thus slowing the breakdown and absorption.
Avocados are crazy popular these days. Mostly because of the health benefits associated with the fat in the fruit. I think most people think it is the saturated fats in Avocados that are so healthy (since there has been a swing to better saturated fats), but honestly, Avocados are only 1/9 saturated fat, the rest is a combination of Omega 6 polyunsaturated and Oleic Acid Monounsaturated. They are 75% fat, with vitamins and minerals.
Read my article on differentiating Dietary Fats for more on these fats.
REALLY all nuts should be welcome on your plate. They are each full of wonderful nutritional benefits…Walnuts with Omega 3. I really like Almonds.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nuts (in general) warm the essence, the internal energy, of the body. Almonds in particular, are good for the intestines.
7. Primitive and Wild Grains
I say "Primitive and Wild Grains" because these are the grain that tend to be lower on the glycemic index, and contain a better ratio of proteins and fats, and more nutrients. My favorites are Quinoa and Wild Rice. They give a steady flow of GOOD glucose (because we do need some), while being balanced. Always combine with other proteins and fats.
When you are choosing grains, always choose WHOLE GRAINS. This means in their natural form and fully enact with bran.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Grains are good for nourishing the Spleen and Stomach, and nourish the blood.
Not everyone loves fish, and that's okay. We now have awesome, quality nutritional supplements that help you get your fish…hooray for fish oils. FIsh is a great way to get our Omega 3 fatty acids. Like I mentioned before ALA is the plant form of Omega 3. When an animal consumes plants based Omega 3, it must be broken down into EPA and DHA to actually be used in the body. The food chain of fish is Algae, small fish, and then large fish. By eating fish like Salmon, we are eating a concentrated form of Omega 3. Algae is a high source of plant based Omega 3. All the little fish eat the algae, and the salmon eat the smaller fish and they accumulate more. Fish is our highest meat source of Omega 3 fatty acids in a very usable form.
Caution when choosing fish sources. Choose sources that are low in mercury. If you do consume mercury rich sources, limit.
Most seafood, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is Yin nourishing.
I absolutely love eggs for anything reproductive…fertility, pregnancy, postpartum. In several tribal cultures, eggs were only given to women and children. With pregnancy women consuming up to a dozen a day. Why?
Egg are made to grow and sustain life. They provide almost every nutrient, in high amounts, needed for reproduction, pregnancy, and breast-feeding.
There is a difference in quality though, not all eggs are created the same. Commercial chicken eggs are often very devoid of the nutrition that should be there. BECAUSE these chickens are missing out essential foods (insects), as well as sunshine (poor caged chickens.) When choosing eggs, go with pasture-raised (not just cage free), they are worth the price!
Pasture Raised eggs have twice as much Vitamin E, twice as much Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and a Third more Vitamin A. They also contain Vitamin D, and B vitamins.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eggs nourish and tonify the Kidneys (the main organ responsible for reproduction in TCM)
Good Quality oils are super important for good fat sources. Add a drizzle of cold pressed oils to top off your meals. It will an array of different forms of healthy fats, without the worry of ruining them in cooking. There are several fun and creative options to try, (like using the Walnut oil as a drizzle on my sweet potatoes.)
Look my previous post on CHOOSING COOKING OILS, for more information...
Breakfast #9 "Paleo" Biscuit Sandwiches with Berries
Makes 4 servings
For Biscuits: Preheat to 350
In a bowl add Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt. Combine with a whisk. Add in one egg at a time and incorporate smoothly. Fold in cooled Fat (should be somewhat solid, but not hard). GENTLY roll into 4 equally sized biscuits. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Let cook 10 minutes before slicing.
In a skillet add sausage patties and cook through, set a side. In same skillet fry eggs.
To assemble: slice biscuits in half, add sausage, egg, and top with other biscuit half. Serve with 1/2 cup berries.
Dinner #9 Mediterranean One Skillet Chicken; Quinoa Tabbouleh
PCOS Nutrition Part 1: Basic Dietary Principles
PCOS Nutrition Part 2: Avoiding Dairy
PCOS Nutrition Part 3: Sugar
PCOS Nutrition Part 4: Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
PCOS Nutrition Part 5: Building Your Meal
PCOS Nutrition Part 6: Understanding Hormones
PCOS Nutrition Part 7: Fat Soluble Vitamins
PCOS Nutrition Part 8: Increasing Dietary Fats
PCOS Nutrition Part 10: Tips for Implementing the PCOS Diet