3 Nutrition Tips for Balancing Hormones with PCOS

Female reproductive system model


Managing PCOS can be challenging, but a healthy diet can improve your symptoms and overall health. Read on to learn more about foods you can eat to help support your hormonal balance.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder that affects millions of people with ovaries worldwide. It occurs when the ovaries produce too many androgens, which are male hormones. This leads to a range of symptoms and complications. Hormone imbalance is one of the many challenges PCOS presents. This can lead to insulin resistance, imbalanced blood sugar, unintended weight gain, and difficulties with fertility.

While there is currently no cure for PCOS, many people with the condition find relief from their symptoms by making changes to their diet and lifestyle. Dietary changes are essential for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing inflammation. Addressing nutrition can also decrease the risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions that often come with PCOS.

Here are three dietary changes you can make to positively affect your health if you have PCOS:

Don't Skip Meals

To maintain energy levels, prevent overeating, and keep your blood sugar in check, eat regularly throughout the day. PCOS symptoms can worsen when you skip meals because it can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. Aim to eat three main meals and two to three snacks spread out during the day. Each meal and snack should include a mix of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats to optimize your nutrition.

Focus on Fiber

Fiber is the part of a plant that your body cannot digest and has many health benefits. Fiber does not cause insulin levels to rise as high or fast as other foods such as processed or refined carbohydrates because it is digested slowly by the body. Including plenty of fiber in your diet helps control insulin levels, manage weight, and support digestive health. You can find fiber in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Incorporating these foods into your meals and snacks can go a long way in promoting hormonal balance.

Healthy Fats

PCOS symptoms can also be reduced by eating healthy fats. Your body produces more important female hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, when you eat healthy fats as part of a balanced diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are important healthy fats that can reduce inflammation, help with insulin resistance, and improve blood lipid levels. Make sure to include sources of healthy omega-3 fats in your diet, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

A holistic approach to managing PCOS that includes dietary and lifestyle changes can help to restore hormonal balance. Many people have successfully managed their PCOS symptoms and maintained a healthy weight by carefully adjusting their eating habits. Remember that making these changes can be challenging, but with the right guidance and support, you can take control of your PCOS.

Consider scheduling an appointment with the Nutrition team at the one of our clinics to learn more about optimizing your diet and enhancing your overall well-being.

About the Author

Audrey Hummel is a Dietetic Intern at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. She is passionate about empowering individuals to make informed dietary choices for improved health and well- being.


  1. Szczuko M, Kikut J, Szczuko U, et al. Nutrition Strategy and Life Style in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2021;13(7):2452. Published 2021 Jul 18. doi:10.3390/nu13072452

  2. Shahid R, Iahtisham-Ul-Haq, Mahnoor, et al. Diet and lifestyle modifications for effective management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). J Food Biochem. 2022;46(7):e14117. doi:10.1111/jfbc.14117