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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a group of symptoms triggered by insulin resistance, high androgen levels, and inflammation. Changing your diet can help you alter these fundamental causes of all PCOS-related health complications and smoothies are a great way to do that.
Smoothies are one of the simplest and tastiest additions you can make to your hormone balance diet. While they cannot reset our hormones independently, they can be an excellent source of antioxidants and essential nutrients.
In this post, we'll examine the top benefits of smoothies for balancing hormones, the top 3 PCOS smoothie recipes, and the nutrients that go into their preparation.
First, let’s look at some of their benefits.
Benefits of Smoothies for Treating PCOS
There are various forms of PCOS, each with a wide range of symptoms. Women with this syndrome usually produce too many androgens or male hormones. These hormones impede ovulation, which leads to infertility and other reproductive problems.
Here are some health complications that may arise due to PCOS:
- endometrial cancer
- heart disease
- Insulin resistance
- liver inflammation
- metabolic syndrome
The good news is that there are many natural remedies to reverse symptoms, treat PCOS, and battle its effects. One of these is by adding nutritious smoothies to your diet.
There are a lot of healthy smoothies for PCOS that may offer different benefits than we seek for relieving this condition. However, sugar-loaded smoothies can do more than good, especially if you are on a weight-loss diet.
For any smoothie recipes for PCOS, milk or whey protein powders are also inappropriate. These ingredients may trouble the digestive system, aggravating any existing inflammatory issues.
Hence, it’s essential to use the right ingredients in appropriate amounts to prepare a delicious and super-healthy smoothie for PCOS.
Here are some of the benefits of smoothies for alleviating common PCOS symptoms.
- They are anti-inflammatory
- Regulate blood sugars
- boosts immunity and energy
- rich in fiber
- improves digestion
- Provides hydration
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
Making A Smoothie That Is PCOS-Friendly
Packaged smoothies from local brands or stores usually contain tons of sugar, sometimes in the form of fruits. If you like consuming smoothies in the morning, it could give a bad start to the day or disrupt digestion.
Even some homemade smoothies may have excessive sugars. Before preparing your smoothie, put any frozen items and ice into your blender, then add other vegetables or leafy greens. Put fruits, powders, or seeds in the last and blend them nicely.
Essential Nutrients for a Smoothie
Kelly LeVeque is a wellness expert, holistic nutritionist, and celebrity health coach from Los Angeles, California. In her book, Body Love, she highlights the importance of understanding blood sugar to promoting healthy weight loss.
She recommends including the ‘Fab 4’ in every meal, including smoothies. That can be an excellent way for women with PCOS to lose weight the healthy way.
What comprises the ‘Fab 4?’
Eating meals including these four elements help us stay fuller for hours since they elongate our blood sugar curve. That means there are no drastic drops or steep spikes in our sugar levels, which make us feel hungry or sluggish.
Let’s find out which ingredients you should add to your smoothie to add the Fab 4.
Greens: Kale or spinach are excellent options. However, you can add some herbs such as basil and greens like swiss chard. You can even add dandelion greens if you don’t mind a bitter taste.
Fat: There are many variations to a smoothie and plenty of options to add good fats. For example, hemp seeds, coconut oil, nut butter, avocados, MCT oil, or chia seeds can be added.
Protein: You can add high-quality collagen or protein powder.
Fiber: Acacia fiber, chia seeds, flax seeds, or even frozen cauliflower rice are excellent sources of fiber.
The liquid base is another component of a smoothie. Many dairy-free milk options are available such as flax milk and almond milk. Other options include cashew milk and coconut milk, etc.
Why Does This Combination Work?
The pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to transport blood sugar to your liver, fat cells, and muscles. The blood sugar surge and drop are more pronounced the more carbohydrates are in a meal. Blood sugar spikes and dips lead to more carb cravings.
If you eat unbalanced meals high in carbohydrates, your blood sugar will swiftly increase and fall within three hours, depleting your body's sugar reservoirs. As a result, you feel tired.
We can prolong our feeling of fullness and prevent the overproduction of several hormones by reducing the steepness and length of our blood sugar curve. Having less extra insulin in our blood also enables us to burn fat between meals and while we sleep.
The combination of protein, fat, fiber, and greens in meals, including smoothies, help us stay fuller longer until our next dinner. Fiber, fat, and protein produce the hormone CCK or cholecystokinin in the gut. This hormone aids digestion and slows down the emptying of our stomachs.
The hormone leptin, sometimes known as the "satiety" hormone, alerts your brain when you are full. So not only do you want your leptin levels to rise after a meal, but you also want your brain’s signaling system to be effective! Both these functions happen smoothly when we eat a meal heavy in healthy fat and protein.
PCOS Smoothies Frequently Asked Questions
I've had a lot of different questions about smoothies for PCOS. That's why I wrote this post in the first place. I've also seen questions online so I'm taking this opportunity to answer them the best I can.
What is the right portion of fruit for my smoothie?
Remember that bananas, mangos, and grapes are high-sugar fruits. Compared to berries and currants, they contain more than three times as much sugar. Therefore, one medium-sized slice of fruit, or half a cup portion, is reasonable enough to maintain an appropriate sugar intake each day.
Why should women with PCOS stay away from dairy and whey protein?
Some PCOS women can tolerate the proteins in milk. However, others may experience adverse effects from these foods, often without being aware of them. In addition, when someone has a subclinical dairy sensitivity, consuming dairy may cause systemic inflammation. That exacerbates several PCOS symptoms.
Likewise, whey protein can harm women because it raises insulin levels. In addition, whey protein may aggravate or contribute to inflammation.
Which protein powders are safe to consume if you have PCOS?
Women with PCOS can consume anything that doesn’t contain added sugars or whey protein. Pea protein isolate is one of the best options for amino acid profile and bioavailability. However, hemp protein tastes the best.
Can I Have a Smoothie in Place of a Meal?
Yes! But remember that you may need more nutrients to last the entire day. So if you want to subsite your daily meals with smoothies, complement them with extra protein and fat. For example, add a side of boiled eggs.
Here are the three best 3 PCOS smoothie recipes that can offer the maximum benefits for relieving most symptoms.
- Green Smoothie with Pineapple and Mango
- Pineapple and Cherries Smoothie Bowl
- Blueberry, Almond, and Spinach Smoothie
These recipes allow for a few substitutions and additions. For example, you can choose your favorite berries or substitute the fruits. Just make sure anything you choose is not loaded with sugar. You can substitute hemp seeds and acacia fiber for chia seeds and vice versa. Add a bit of cashew or nut butter if you like to make it more filling. Help from your nutritionist or a professional dietitian will also let you decide on the most appropriate substitutes for these smoothie recipes.
This selection of smoothies can be a meal replacement, a snack, or an addition to your PCOS diet.
So, here we go.
- Green Smoothie with Pineapple and Mango (1 serving)
- almond milk: ¾ cup
- frozen mango: ½ cup
- ripe bananas: 1
- baby spinach: 1 cup
- frozen pineapple: 1 cup
- seed cycling mix (flaxseed + sunflower + sesame or pumpkin): 1 to 2 tablespoons
- beetroot powder or ashwagandha, maca: ½ to 1 teaspoon
Put everything in a blender to combine them into a smooth mixture. Enjoy this fabulous smoothie for reaping a host of benefits.
- Pineapple and Cherries Smoothie Bowl (1 serving)
- bananas: 1
- almond milk: ½ cup or as per taste
- frozen pineapple: ½ cup
- frozen cherries: ¾ cup
- Optional Ingredients
- your favorite green powder: 1 scoop
Put all the ingredients into a blender. Switch it on and blend all ingredients until you get a well-combined smoothie.
Add toppings like unsweetened shredded coconut, seeds, nuts, or granola to prepare a full smoothie bowl.
- Blueberry, Almond, and Spinach Smoothie (1 serving)
- bananas: 1
- unsweetened almond milk: ¾ cup
- baby spinach: 1 cup
- frozen blueberries: 1 cup
- cinnamon: ¼ tsp
- almond butter: ½ to 1 tablespoon
Combine all ingredients and blend them until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy a refreshing and energizing smoothie for PCOS.
How to Experiment with Smoothie Recipes
While these recipes work for most women, you can experiment with different ingredients to see what benefits you the most.
Here are the essential ingredients you should add to your smoothie to increase its hormone-balancing benefits.
- Fruits: avocados, bananas, berries, or any others you like.
- Green juice powder (optional)
- Greens: wheatgrass, matcha, spinach, kale, and so on
- Herbs (optional): ginger, maca, cinnamon, turmeric
- Liquid base: plant-based milk, water, coconut, green tea
- Natural fats: nut/seed butter, avocados
- Natural sweeteners: dates, raw honey, maple syrup
Here are the quantities you should use to get 16 ounces of smoothie.
- fruit: 1.5 cup
- liquid: ½ cup
- leafy greens (tightly packed) 1 cup
- liquid: ½ cup
- nut butter: 1 tablespoon
- nuts/raw seeds powders: 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Spices and herbs: to taste
Here are some more ingredients that will give your PCOS smoothie a healthy number of antioxidants.
- Cinnamon: works like green tea to improve insulin
- Ginger: another ingredient to improve insulin sensitivity
- Matcha powder is a concentrated green tea that significantly reduces insulin levels.
Adding more protein, fat, and fiber to your diet and reducing liquid carb intake is a great way to prevent insulin spikes, especially if you have PCOS. All these ingredients are not excellent choices for preparing PCOS smoothies but for everyday drinks to stay fit and healthy.
One of the most significant things you can do to improve your health is to adjust your diet. Women with PCOS can achieve the same results by modifying their diet and consuming super-healthy foods like smoothies. Follow our guide and benefit from these powerful PCOS smoothies to manage your symptoms better and live a healthier life. You can consult your family physician or a professional dietitian to rule out any confusion.