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How To Achieve Hormonal Balance With PCOS Through Smart Nutrition

Beanie Robinson is one of London's best Nutritionists. She is the Founder of The Health Space, an online Nutrition Clinic that specialises in Weight Loss, Hormonal imbalances; PCOS, IBS, Gut health & Type 2 diabetes.

 
Executive Contributor  Beanie Robinson

Living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can feel like navigating a minefield of symptoms, from irregular cycles to weight fluctuations to acne and unwanted hair growth (hirsutism). But fear not, because your diet & lifestyle choices can be a powerful tool in managing this condition and balancing your hormones. Let’s explore how you can leverage nutrition to support your health and well-being with an insightful PCOS diet plan.


Woman holding Uterus and Ovaries model.

Understanding PCOS: A hormonal roller coaster

PCOS is more than just a reproductive issue—it's a complex hormonal disorder that can affect many aspects of your health.


One key player in PCOS is insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain and difficulty shedding those extra pounds.


Additionally, imbalances in androgens (male sex hormones) can cause unwelcome symptoms like acne and unwanted hair growth.


By making smart dietary choices, you can help manage these symptoms and finally lose the weight you haven’t been able to shift!


Steering clear of blood sugar spikers

Keeping blood sugar levels stable is key when it comes to managing PCOS, especially considering insulin resistance is common.


While cutting back on simple carbohydrates & sugars can help improve insulin sensitivity, extreme diets like keto might not suit everyone.


At The Health Space, we encourage a balanced approach, focusing on wholesome sources of complex carbs like lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, fresh lower-sugar fruits, and fresh vegetables.


These nourishing foods provide sustained energy, are full of fiber, and will support your gut health.


By embracing a diet that promotes stable blood sugar levels, people with PCOS can effectively address symptoms and enhance their long-term health journey.


When crafting your PCOS diet plan, these are some examples of foods that wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.


Minimising these foods is a great place to start


  • Refined Carbs: white bread, white pasta, white rice, breakfast cereals, pastries, and baked goods.

  • Ultra-Processed Snacks: Crisps, protein snack bars and sweet treats.

  • Sugary Beverages: Fizzy drinks, fruit juice & most supermarket smoothies

  • Conventional Dairy: non-organic Cow’s milk, yogurt and cheese.


These culprits are worth minimising to prevent a blood sugar rollercoaster ride, which may further exacerbate insulin resistance and other PCOS symptoms. Click here for more examples of foods to avoid or reduce consumption of.


Building a blood sugar-friendly PCOS diet

Now for the fun part: embracing a bounty of good quality whole foods that keep your blood sugar steady.


Non-starchy veggies

Such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, and cavolo nero – are excellent choices for hormonal health and PCOS due to their high fiber content, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and support gut health.


Lower sugar fruits

Like grapefruit, berries, pears, apples, kiwis & pomegranate are beneficial for hormonal health and PCOS as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without causing spikes in blood sugar levels.


Seeds

Lke pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are essential for hormonal health and PCOS as they are rich in fiber & healthy fats, which aid in blood sugar regulation, support gut health.


Plant-based proteins

Such as lentils, beans, edamame, organic tofu & organic tempeh are beneficial for hormonal health and PCOS as they provide great alternative proteins for those wishing to lower their animal protein intake.


Healthy fats

From sources like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and organic cacao nibs are brilliant for hormonal health and PCOS as they help reduce inflammation, aiding in symptom management.


Herbs and spices

Such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, parsley, and coriander are excellent additions to a PCOS-friendly diet as they possess anti-inflammatory properties and may help regulate blood sugar levels, promoting hormonal balance and overall health.


These wholesome options not only aid in blood sugar regulation but also provide essential nutrients that support natural hormone balancing.


Harnessing the power of macros for PCOS management

Organic lean protein takes centre stage in a PCOS-friendly diet, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and curb cravings by keeping us fuller for longer. Try and make your first two bites of food in the day a protein.


Aim for around 35% of your daily food intake to come from protein-rich sources like lean organic meats, sustainably sourced quality fish, lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, tempeh, eggs, organic Greek yogurt, and organic sheep's feta.


When it comes to carbohydrates, aim for around 35% of your daily intake. Instead of focusing on grains (bread, rice, pasta, wrap, bagels, pitta, chapati), focus on including a wide range of non-starchy

vegetables as well as one higher carbohydrate vegetable option like; sweet potato, carrots,


beetroot, butternut squash, peas. If you want to incorporate grains, instead of refined white carbohydrates, aim for organic wholegrains; quinoa, freekeh, buckwheat, bulgar & amaranth as well as black & red rice.


And don’t forget your healthy fats, which can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. Aim for 30% of your daily calories from sources like coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil (unheated), extra virgin olive oil (unheated), organic eggs, organic meat, anchovies, sardines, herring & mackerel.


Tracking and adjusting your macros for PCOS

Tracking your macronutrient ratios can be a helpful tool in managing your PCOS symptoms and optimising your diet.


Experiment with different ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to find what works best for you.


There are plenty of apps and websites available to help you track your intake and make adjustments as needed. I’ve also written a blog post on the best macros for PCOS, click here to read!


Remember, it's all about finding the right balance that supports your unique needs and goals.


Final thoughts empowering your PCOS journey

Navigating PCOS can be challenging, but with the right nutrition and lifestyle choices, you can manage your symptoms and take control of your health.


Whether you're striving for weight loss or want clear glowing skin, a thoughtful PCOS diet plan can make all the difference.


Don't hesitate to reach out for support and guidance—I'm here to help you on your journey to hormonal balance and vibrant living.


 

Beanie Robinson, Nutritionist

Beanie Robinson is a leader in sustainable healthy weight loss, hormonal imbalances; PCOS & IBS. Her personal journey with PCOS left her searching for a natural and holistic way of alleviating her symptoms. She has since dedicated her life to helping others optimise their health through Nutrition & Lifestyle medicine. Beanie passionately believes in our bodies capacity to heal & guides clients on their journey to full health & vitality.

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