If you have polycystic ovary syndrome and want to improve your fertility, you have options. Among them are yummy and healthy smoothies to help with PCOS.
Even if you don’t want to get pregnant but simply want to improve your PCOS symptoms, a fertility smoothie can help. It’s important to know the ingredients you should use and the benefits you can enjoy from consuming these rich, healthy drinks.
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a medical condition that adversely affects the hormones of reproductive-age women. The condition causes women to experience menstrual periods that are spaced far apart due to having excess male hormones. Women with PCOS frequently have difficulty getting pregnant and their ovaries may not always release eggs for ovulation.
Unfortunately, the root cause of PCOS is widely unknown. However, if the condition is diagnosed early enough and a treatment regimen is started right away, it’s possible to keep your weight steady or lose weight and avoid complications like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Women with PCOS have too many male hormones known as androgens, which often results in excess hair, weight gain and acne. Women with the condition often have trouble becoming pregnant. Those who do become pregnant often have difficulty carrying their pregnancy to term, as miscarriage is common.
Ingredients in Smoothies to Help with PCOS
All fertility smoothies to help with PCOS should include certain vital ingredients. Generally speaking, you want to aim to get healthy fats, proteins and fiber in your smoothie and keep ingredients like sugar and carbohydrates low. The following should be incorporated into your fertility smoothies:
- Liquid Base: Because of the reaction that dairy can play with some women’s PCOS symptoms, try choosing an unsweetened option of coconut water, nut water or milk (almond, cashew, oat or coconut).
- Protein: The best protein sources to add to your smoothie to help with satiety and fuel muscles throughout the day are nonfat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. These are better than the options that contain fruit flavoring due to their higher protein content. You can also use plant-based protein powder or nut butter to get your protein.
- Fruit: Fruit is chock-full of vitamins and minerals and can add natural sweetness to your smoothie. It’s also a good choice for carbs to provide energy and disease-fighting phytonutrients. While these are healthy options, avoid adding too much, as it can have the adverse effect of raising your blood sugar. One cup of fresh or frozen fruit, whether you choose one or more options, is best. Some of the best choices include berries due to their high antioxidant levels, bananas, mangos, cherries, limes, and pineapple.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats like avocado or nut butter can help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood glucose levels even by slowing down the digestion of carbs. They’ll also help increase the flavor intensity and creamy texture of your smoothie. When it comes to these healthy fats however, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. A single tablespoon or so is all you need to reap the benefits.
- Fiber: Adding fiber can help to keep your blood sugar low, keep you feeling satisfied longer and provide you with healthy gut bacteria. In addition, some fibers can even help balance your cholesterol levels, making it a PCOS super nutrient. The best ingredients to add to your smoothie to get quality fiber intake include flaxseeds, chia or hemp seeds, wheat or oat bran, or glucomannan powder.
- Greens and other veggies: Fiber, iron, folate, vitamins, minerals, calcium, you name it, the veggies have it! So, add greens and leafy veggies like spinach, kale, zucchini, cucumbers or collard greens to your smoothies. You can also add other veggies such as carrots and cauliflower for additional nutrients and flavor.
- Other ingredients: If you’re looking to add more of a flavor index to your smoothie and a little extra nutritious add-in, you can add flavorings like fresh ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, unsweetened pumpkin pie spice, raw honey, dates, bee pollen, unsweetened cocoa powder or unsweetened coconut shavings.
Benefits of Fertility Smoothies
- Anti-inflammatory agent: Some key smoothie ingredients can help with PCOS symptoms because they contain anti-inflammatory agents, which additionally, can help to regulate your hormones. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, nuts (almonds, walnuts), and berries.
- Balances blood sugar: The main focus of a PCOS-friendly smoothie is to help keep blood sugar stable and help improve insulin resistance. That’s why creating a healthy option that avoids processed carbs and foods with added sugar is crucial for soothing PCOS symptoms and risk factors.
- Full of vitamins and minerals: Your body needs plenty of vitamins and minerals, which a fertility and PCOS-friendly smoothie delivers. This nutrient packed option can help regulate hormones and your menstrual cycle, to provide symptom relief and boost fertility.
- Provides additional supplements: With the addition of ingredients like collagen, glutamine or maca, you get plenty of additional nutrient supplementation that your body may be in need of, depending on your type of PCOS and symptoms.
Like many recipes, trial and error is the trick. When you experiment with the right ingredients, you can create the perfect smoothies to help you with your specific PCOS symptoms. These are tasty and healthy and can help to regulate your reproductive system regardless of whether you are planning to conceive.