Fiber is an important part of the diet, especially for women with PCOS. Why is this so?
* Fiber has a bulking effect in the digestive tract, helping to prevent constipation, but it’s also important for slowing the rate of glucose absorption into the bloodstream. This helps to reduce the demand for insulin, which has a positive effect on your hormones and insulin resistance.
* Fiber can also reduce cholesterol absorption and reabsorption, which is good news for the cardiovascular system, and it also helps in the excretion of excess hormones, as they are released into the gut via the liver.
* Another benefit you might not know about, is that soluble fiber (such as in flaxseeds, legumes, nuts, seeds, yams and sweet potatoes) can actually help to lower testosterone. This is not a direct effect, but what happens is that bacteria in the gut ferment the soluble fiber which produces molecules called ‘short-chain fatty acids’. One of these acids stimulates the production of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). SHBG binds certain hormones such as testosterone in the bloodstream. If you don’t have enough, there will be more testosterone available to your cells, contributing to symptoms. The more SHBG you have, the less testosterone is free to run wild! This may help acne, excess hair, and irregular cycles.
* Try this fiber recipe to increase your intake, but remember – you must drink plenty of water to maximise the benefits of fiber:-
1/4 cup of rice bran
1/4 cup of psyllium husks
1/4 cup of slippery elm
1/4 cup of LSA mixture (crushed linseeds, sunflower seeds, & almonds)
Mix together with a fork, store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Put 2 teaspoons daily on low GI cereal, or in juice or a smoothie.