PCOS and PCOD are terms used interchangeably for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Disease. This condition refers to a common disorder in reproductive-age women, that can cause infertility, hirsutism (excess body hair), and irregular menstrual cycles. As one can imagine, PCOS and PCOD are a source of much concern for a lot of women and their families!

Other common attributes of PCOS sufferers are insulin resistance, weight gain, and obesity. Hence doctors and nutritionists advise weight loss as the first line of treatment. However, simplistic calorie deficits will not alleviate PCOS; one needs to also avoid certain triggers that cause the hormonal imbalance. An elimination strategy is a good place to start, starting with eliminating milk products, sugar and wheat. Excessive consumption of ‘healthy’ soy products that results in the exact opposite effect – plant estrogens in soy can also cause havoc with our hormones. Highly processed foods, in shiny long-shelf packages, coded with a long list of tongue-twisting ingredients may be convenient or even trendy, but should be just left on the shelf!
Chemical preservatives in these foods are likely causing or exacerbating your polycystic ovarian condition, so please, please avoid such items! Also on the no-no list are hormone-injected meats and chicken, whose hormones are making animals, birds and us sick as well!

So what can one eat?? Many, many healthy and delicious foods, actually. Lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, Legumes too along with certified hormone free meats. You can incorporate gluten-free grains like millets, brown rice and quinoa. And to choose naturally grown or organic produce if they can. Along with this healthy diet, it is imperative that PCOS patients exercise. Choose your favorite form of movement, be it dance, Yoga, Zumba, swimming or walking. You will boost your metabolism, your self esteem, and your fertility! A huge lifestyle change is required to keep PCOS/PCOD in check, but the good thing is, you have help! Doctors, nutritionists and other metabolic specialists can come to your aid, you just have to choose healthy action over inaction, nutrition over empty calories, and hope over distress.