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Recipes That Help With PCOS

Written by Deborah Onoja on Fri, 11 November 2022

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PCOS stands for Polycystic ovarian syndrome. We all know that estrogen and progesterone are both essential hormones required for the smooth functioning of female reproductive health. In people with PCOS, more than normal levels of testosterone are produced in their ovaries leading to the formation of cysts. This condition is termed PCOS.

PCOS can be managed with proper treatment. However, diet and exercise play a major role in its management. PCOS diet recipes need to be high protein, high fiber, anti-inflammatory, low fat, low sugar, low sodium, and most importantly, whole and fresh.

Healthy food recipes are a must for fighting battles against menstrual problems. Questions like how to deal with PCOS?, what is a PCOS diet?, how to lose weight with PCOS?, how do you make your diet schedule for PCOS?, might pop up in your mind and even worry you at times. But worry not we have your back!

Here are some healthy food recipes for PCOS that you can try for a healthy life and better management of PCOS.

1. Spinach curry with tofu

Spinach is a leafy green that is packed with nutrients. It is high in fiber, trace elements like magnesium, iron, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, and loaded with vitamins like A, C, and K.

Protein is a very essential component in the fight against PCOS. Tofu is a rich source of plant-based protein and increases the nutritional value of this recipe.

Here's how to go about making this Spinach Tofu Curry that is gluten-free and can work as a great PCOS diet lunch idea to prevent weight gain.

You will need:

  • fresh spinach leaves, blanched and pureed in a blender.
  • 2 minced green chilies
  • 1 chopped onion (medium-sized)
  • 8-9 cloves of minced garlic.
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds.
  • 1 cardamom, crushed.
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
  • 250g tofu cut into cubes of the desired size.
  • Salt to taste

Procedure:

  • To a pan add olive oil and let it heat.
  • To the heated olive oil add cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • To this add crushed cardamom, minced garlic, minced green chilies, and chopped onion. Saute this mixture until it's aromatic and the onions become translucent.
  • When the mixture is ready, add the green puree of spinach and mix everything well.
  • Add salt to taste and adjust the consistency with some water.
  • Add Tofu cubes and bring them to a simmer for 5 minutes

Your healthy and nutrient-packed spinach curry with tofu is ready. Best served with brown rice or any type of whole-grain bread.

2. Tuna in lemon sauce

Tuna is a fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a bunch of nutrients like iron, potassium, and vitamin B12. It's a source of good fats and some essential nutrients. Lemon on the other hand has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is also packed with Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

A recipe with these ingredients can prove to be a boon for PCOS and even help reduce weight and PCOS belly.  This recipe can be included in the 7-day PCOS diet plan or 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss. Here's how to make Tuna in lemon sauce.

You will need:

  • 1 lb Tuna steaks
  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped dill

Procedure:

  • Coat the tuna steaks with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place them on a pan with medium heat.
  • Cook the fish for approximately 2 minutes on each side.
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, freshly chopped dill, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey. This is your lemon sauce.
  • Serve the fish with freshly prepared lemon sauce on top. Enjoy!

This recipe is nutritious and full of flavors. It is also extremely healthy and a must if you're looking for a PCOS-friendly diet.

3. Pan tossed broccoli with pumpkin seeds

Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables packed with fiber, vitamin K, C, B12, folate, potassium, and manganese.

Other foods good for PCOS are pumpkin seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, zinc, folate, magnesium, and many more nutrients. Consuming these nutrients can ease PCOS symptoms in the long run, and you can include this dish as a healthy breakfast option for PCOS. Here's how to make this plant-based dish!

You will need:

  • Fresh broccoli
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 diced onion (small)
  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds

Procedure:

  • Place a wok/ pan on a medium flame.
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil and add the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds to it. Toss them until they get slightly crispy and set them aside.
  • To the pan, add 1 tbs olive oil and toss the diced onion and chunks of broccoli onto it. Saute for 3-5 minutes, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds and the pumpkin seeds on the broccoli and serve hot!

This quick recipe is as nutritious as it is easy. Do give it a try for a healthy and fibrous meal.

4. Raspberry cinnamon smoothie

Everyone loves smoothies! But sometimes they can be sugar-loaded and not so healthy for us. To preserve the goodness of smoothies and make them especially for PCOS, we need to use our ingredients wisely. Fruits for PCOS such as Raspberries are a good choice. 
Click on the link below to learn about various Smoothie recipes that can help ease out PCOS.

Cinnamon is an aromatic anti-inflammatory agent with antioxidant properties. It is touted to have therapeutic properties as well. Raspberries are packed with Potassium and omega- 3- fatty acids that are good for you.

This recipe is the most perfect addition to your list of healthy PCOS meals that will help you lose weight.

You will need:

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder.

Procedure:

  • Blend the frozen raspberries, protein powder, cinnamon powder, and coconut milk.

Serve this anti-inflammatory smoothie fresh!

5. Legume bowl

Legumes are a rich source of proteins, fiber, vitamin B12, iron, folate, and many more nutrients. They are healthy whole foods that can enrich our diet and health. To fight PCOS protein is a necessity and legumes are an essential source of plant-based protein. To make a legume bowl,

You will need:

  • Any legumes of your choice, soaked and boiled. (red beans, chickpeas, black-eyed 
    peas, fava beans, kidney beans, mung beans, yellow split lentils, whole red lentils, 
    green lentils, etc.)
  • 1 chopped onion (medium)
  • 1 chopped tomato (large)
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Dry mango powder (optional)

Procedure:

  • In a large bowl, combine all the boiled and cooled beans.
  • Add the chopped onion, tomato, and coriander. Mix well without smashing the beans.
  • To this add lime juice, salt, black pepper, and mango powder to taste and combine it all well.

Serve as a salad, main dish, or a snack by adjusting the proportions of legumes and veggies in it. Serve fresh!

6. Chicken in basil sauce

Basil is a delicious herb with lots of antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to possess active free radical scavenging activity. It is a great ingredient to include in a PCOS diet. Chicken being a source of lean protein is essential for a healthy diet and smooth functioning of the body.

Here's how to make Chicken in basil sauce!

You will need:

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and herb to taste
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 drops of lemon juice.

Procedure:

  • Add some olive oil to the pan and place the 2 chicken breasts in it. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs. Add some water for the chicken to cook. 
    Cover the pan with a lid and keep the flame on medium while the chicken cooks for 20 mins.
  • To prepare the Basil sauce, grind together fresh basil leaves, some salt, and pepper. Add a few drops of lemon juice to this paste and adjust the consistency with water.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, place it on the plate, and drizzle it with some chicken stock and fresh basil sauce.

Serve hot and flavourful! Try out this healthy and flavorful chicken that is made with PCOS soothing ingredients in mind.

To keep PCOS at bay, incorporate one or more of these healthy food recipes for menstrual health into your diet.

7. Yogurt walnut pudding

Nuts are a great source of fiber, good fats, Vitamin E, and trace elements. Walnuts are one such ingredient that has the right balance of momo-unsaturated fats. They can help in lowering the free testosterone levels and balancing out the estrogen levels during PCOS. Here's how to make this yogurt walnut pudding.

You will need:

  • ½ cup shell-free walnuts
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
  • Coconut shavings
  • 1 tbs honey

Procedure:

  • In a transparent glass, add some low-fat yogurt.
  • Tip it with some chunky pieces of walnuts and drizzle it with some honey and coconut shavings.
  • Add some yogurt on top of it and repeat the steps 3 times in total to create alternating layers of yogurt and walnuts.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for an hour and allow it to set.
  • Garnish with crushed walnuts and serve like a dessert or a healthy snack! 
    Enjoy this tasty and healthy yogurt walnut pudding without any guilt!

Good food and healthy recipes can encourage a healthy lifestyle that is very essential for battling PCOS. Keep in mind the foods to avoid with PCOS Try out these recipes for yourselves and stay healthy!

To read about more recipes, click here.

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Deborah Onoja

Deborah Onoja is a passionate Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics obtained from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She qualified as a Registered Dietitian after completing her Dietetic Internship training at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu where she was exposed to clinical dietetics. She also holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Diet Therapy from the University of Ibadan.

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  1. Aghfoori Z, et al. Nutritional management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A review study. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2017 Nov;11 Suppl 1:S429-S432.