Take Control of Your PCOS, part 2

Submitted by Angie Fri 06/18/2010

Dr. Mark Hyman offers these tips to women living with PCOS: Choose from a variety of the following real, whole foods:
• Choose organic produce and animal products whenever possible.
• Eat high-quality protein, such as fish — especially fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, sable, small halibut, herring, and sardines — and shellfish.
• Cold-water fish such as salmon, halibut, and sable contain an abundance of beneficial essential fatty acids, omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation. Choose smaller wild Alaskan salmon, sable, and halibut that are low in toxins. Canned wild salmon is a great “emergency” food.
• Eat up to eight omega-3 eggs a week.
• Create meals that are high in low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans (try edamame, the Japanese soybeans in a pod, quickly steamed with a little salt, as a snack). These foods slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which helps prevent the excess insulin release that can lead to health concerns like obesity, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
• Eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, which are associated with a lower incidence of nearly all health problems, including obesity and age-related disease.

• Eat more low-glycemic vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
• Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, pears, and apples are optimal fruits. Cantaloupes and other melons, grapes, and kiwifruit are suitable; however, they contain more sugar. You can use organic frozen berries (such as those from Cascadian Farms) in your protein shakes.
• Focus on anti-inflammatory foods, including wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fats, red and purple berries (these are rich in polyphenols), dark green leafy vegetables, orange sweet potatoes, and nuts.
• Eat more antioxidant-rich foods, including orange and yellow vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc.), anthocyanidins (berries, beets, grapes, pomegranate), purple grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and cherries. In fact, antioxidants are in all colorful fruits and vegetables.
• Include detoxifying foods in your diet, such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and Chinese broccoli), green tea, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, artichokes, garlic, citrus peels, pomegranate, and even cocoa.
• Season your food with herbs such as rosemary, ginger, and turmeric, which are powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and detoxifiers.

• Avoid excessive quantities of meat. Eat lean organic or grass-fed animal products, when possible. These include eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, buffalo, and ostrich. There are good brands at Whole Foods and other local health-food stores (also see mail order sources).
• Garlic and onions contain antioxidants, enhance detoxification, act as anti-inflammatories, and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
• A diet high in fiber further helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates and supports a healthy lower bowel and digestive tract. Try to gradually increase fiber to 30 to 50 grams a day and use predominantly soluble or viscous fiber (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit), which slows sugar absorption from the gut.
• Use extra virgin olive oil, which contains anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, as your main cooking oil.
• Soy Products such as soymilk, soybeans, and tofu are rich in antioxidants that can reduce cancer risk, lower cholesterol, and improve insulin and blood sugar metabolism.
• Increase your intake of nuts and seeds, including raw walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin and flax seeds.
• And yes … chocolate can be healthy, too. Choose only the darkest varieties and eat only 2 to 3 ounces a day. It should contain 70 percent cocoa.

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