Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal problem that occurs among women at reproductive age. It affects around 8-10% of women. Women with PCOS generally have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. Their ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
The lack of ovulation alters levels of estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteal hormone. Estrogen and progesterone levels are lower than usual, while androgen levels are higher than usual. The excess male hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle, resulting in women with PCOS having infrequent periods. This results in a higher level of insulin in the women' body causing obesity .
A woman with PCOS should be on a diet which will provide them with the needed nutrition while maintaining their insulin levels. This, in turn, can help prevent unintended weight gain, which can be difficult to lose for this particular problem.
Indian Vegetarian Diet Guidelines for Women with PCOS
Women with PCOS should avoid the consumption calorie-dense, processed foods as they can cause weight gain. Below is the diet plan for women with PCOS. Select one from each type of meal .
Early morning beverage options
- 1 cup green tea
- 1 cup herbal tea
- 1 cup spearmint tea
- 1 cup lemon and honey tea
- 1 cup cinnamon tea
- 1 glass of green juice made of bottle gourd, cucumber, mint and lemon.
- 1 cup oats with your favourite fruit sliced up
- 1 Jowar roti with green vegetables
- 2 idlis and sambhar
- 1 cup wheat upma
- 1 bowl of ragi or moong dal khichri
- 1 wheat dosa
- Low glycemic index fruits like cherries and berries .
Morning snack options
- 1 cup of a vegetable soup
- 1 fruit like banana or sapota
- Green tea
- ½ cup of mixed nuts & seeds
- 1 cup flavoured brown rice + 1 bowl of green vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beans and legumes
- 2-3 multi-grain chapatis + 1 bowl green vegetables+ 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup dal (labia, rajma or chana) + 1 bowl green vegetables
- 1 chapati + half cup brown rice + 1 bowl of cooked green vegetables + cucumber or green salad
Evening snack options
- 2-4 dry fruits like almonds or walnuts 
- 1 cup sprout salad + ½ cup of buttermilk
- 1 fibre-rich fruit like guava
- 2-3 fibre or multigrain biscuits
- 2 chapati + 1 cup dal/raita
- 1 bowl of green leafy vegetables
- 1 cup quinoa salad
- 2 small Bajra (millet) roti with 1 cup raita/dal
- 1 cup ragi upma
- Vegetable soup
- Lukewarm water with cinnamon
Dietary Guidelines For Women With PCOS
- Replace normal wheat flour with millet or multigrain flour.
- Avoid processed and junk food.
- Consume clear vegetable soup at least once in a day.
- Plan your diet by diving it into 5-6 small meals per day.
- Eat 1-2 servings of fruits per day.
- Take protein from plant-based sources like pulses, chickpeas and tofu.
- Green salad/ cooked green vegetables are essential as they contain a lot of dietary fibre.
- Try finding new recipes to keep it fun!
- Do not exceed more than 3-5 cups of green tea daily.
- Do not miss out on cinnamon water as can help flush toxins out the body.
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
- Focus on obtaining sufficient sleep.