GREAT HEALTH: PCOS & Superfoods | Great Health Guide


‘PCOS & Superfoods’ by Melissa Madgwick published in upcoming Great Health Guide (Sep 2016). Did you know that there are a few superfoods that can help you heal from PCOS? These superfoods help to balance hormones, reduce insulin sensitivity, lose weight & restore health. Read what Melissa’s top seven superfoods to help in her PCOS recovery.
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written by Melissa Madgwick

We live in an increasingly health conscious society where we are becoming more aware of how food can impact our bodies and well-being, healing us or putting us at risk of disease. Superfoods are becoming increasingly popular for their many health benefits. There are many foods that women suffering with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can include in their diets that may help to balance their hormones, reduce insulin sensitivity, lose weight and restore their health.  

Here are my top seven food suggestions which assisted during my recovery from PCOS:

1. Nuts are very nutrient dense and now a staple part of my diet. I especially love almonds, walnuts, cashews and Brazil nuts (sparingly as they have a higher omega-6 content which causes inflammation). If you are going to eat nuts, it is also important to buy them fresh, not baked in any kind of oil or roasted. Being heated can turn these fats rancid, which destroys tissue and causes oxidative damage in the body. As a final note, because nuts are tasty and have a high fat content they are also high in calories. For this reason, people who snack on nuts might find it difficult to lose weight.

2. Avocados – Where were you all my life? For years I avoided avocados during my fat-free and low-fat dieting phase many years ago.  Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and help prevent hormonal imbalances. They are also high in Vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant and is great for skin health.

3. Cinnamon is known to reduce insulin resistance, which is thought to be a leading cause of PCOS. In a recent small study done by Columbia University, women with PCOS who added cinnamon in their diets, had more regular menstrual periods than those who were given the placebo. In fact, two of the women in the trial ended up conceiving during the trial. Start adding cinnamon in your diet, especially when you eat carbohydrates. Note: Make sure you are using real cinnamon made from Ceylon cinnamon to reap the full benefits. It’s such a natural and inexpensive option.

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4. Sweet Potato is high in beta-carotene and has a low glycaemic index. So sweet potatoes won’t spike your blood sugar like other carbohydrates sources, such as white breads or pasta. Include sweet potato with your evening meal. As an example, I include sweet potato with a piece of salmon, broccoli and cauliflower. Yum!

5. Apple Cider Vinegar is beneficial because it helps control blood sugar and prevents the body from producing too much insulin. Less insulin means less testosterone. Plus, it will help you lose weight and improve your overall health. I would drink a warm glass of apple cider vinegar and water every morning before breakfast to wake up my digestive system as well. 

6. Cacao is a food that is incredibly high in magnesium. Magnesium helps to balance insulin levels and is also involved in over 300 detoxification processes in the body. Cacao will also provide you with plenty of antioxidants that are needed for optimal cellular health.

7. Spearmint tea – This a life saver for me due to its anti-androgenic properties. Some recent studies found that drinking spearmint tea can help reduce hirsutism, or excess body hair, by reducing free and total testosterone levels and increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. 

Always be sure to choose organic products as much as possible and eat a balanced diet full of healthy fats, protein and low glycaemic carbohydrates. This will help to balance insulin levels effectively and play a vital role in supporting your hormones!

These are some of the things that every woman with PCOS should know. I have discovered that food and nutrition (the right kind), a good mindset, a supportive environment and most of all knowledge are the most powerful tools to heal yourself with PCOS. I am now feeling more alive and I know you will too.

This article is for information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.  Please consult your General Medical practitioner. Feel free to visit my website where I share more about my journey, tips and tricks, knowledge, experience and support.

Author of this article:
Melissa Madgwick is a 29 year old woman who is on other side of healing from polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Her life now revolves around health. She is an avid health advocate who specialises in working with women who suffer from PCOS and eagerly helps others overcome the PCOS disease holistically.

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