5 Recipes That Help With PCOS

Written by Deborah Onoja on Thu, 15 February 2024

Key Highlights

  • PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, making the body insulin resistant, with higher levels of androgens and an unpredictable menstrual cycle.
  • PCOS diet recipes should be high in protein, fiber, anti-inflammatory, low fat, low sugar, and low sodium.
  • Consuming foods that improve hormonal balance, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity helps fight the symptoms of PCOS.
  • These foods help with fertility and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy.

Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) presents a multitude of challenges, from navigating fluctuating hormones to managing symptoms like insulin resistance and inflammation. As individuals with PCOS, we often find ourselves on a journey of trial and error, seeking solutions that not only alleviate our symptoms but also nourish our bodies and minds.  

Common questions like How to deal with PCOS? What are PCOS recipes? Are there meals for PCOS weight loss? Are there any superfoods for PCOS? etc., might pop up in your mind and even cause worry. But fear not! We have your back!

What is PCOS?

PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition where reproductive hormones are out of balance. It affects 6% to 12% of women of reproductive age. The hormones that lead to this condition are:

  • Androgens: In PCOS, higher androgens (male hormones) levels are in women’s bodies.
  • Insulin: PCOS condition causes less sensitivity to insulin, thereby elevating blood sugar.
  • Progesterone: In PCOS, there are decreased progesterone levels causing irregularity in the menstrual cycle.

This can lead to:

  • Fertility issues
  • Unpredictable menstrual cycle
  • Acne and undesirable body and facial hair ( hirsutism)
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure

What are the most common symptoms of PCOS?

  • Missed, irregular, or prolonged periods.
  • Hair loss or unwanted hair due to excess androgens
  • Acne
  • Darkened skin, skin tags on neck or armpits
  • Mood swings
  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight gain around the waist
  • Depression

PCOS: Why Your Diet Matters

PCOS can be managed with proper treatment. However, diet and exercise play a significant role in its management. PCOS diet recipes should be high protein, high fiber, anti-inflammatory, low fat, low sugar, low sodium, and most importantly, whole and fresh. Healthy food recipes are a must for fighting battles against menstrual problems.

So, what are the foods good for PCOS? It includes Omega-3 rich, olive oil, beans and legumes, non-starchy vegetables and fruits, healthy carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products in a balanced way. These foods act as foods for PCOS fertility, alleviate symptoms and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy.

How to Naturally Treat PCOS with Food

Managing PCOS naturally through food involves making thoughtful dietary choices that support hormone balance, regulate insulin levels, and reduce inflammation. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can play a significant role in alleviating PCOS symptoms.

Emphasizing complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, and legumes, can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts, may help reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health. Limiting processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive caffeine intake can further aid in managing PCOS symptoms.

Furthermore, staying hydrated and incorporating herbal teas like spearmint or green tea may also offer benefits in managing hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS.

While dietary changes alone may not cure PCOS, they can be a valuable component of a holistic approach to managing the condition and improving overall well-being. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized dietary guidance is recommended.

5 Recipes that Can Help With PCOS

Here are five healthy recipes for PCOS that will help in its management.

1. Spinach Curry With Tofu


  1. Spinach is a leafy green that is packed with nutrients. It is high in fiber, trace elements like magnesium, iron, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc, and loaded with vitamins like A, C, and K.
  2. Protein is a crucial component in the fight against PCOS.
  3. Tofu is good for PCOS and is a rich source of plant-based protein, and increases the nutritional value of this recipe.

Here’s how to go about making this Spinach Tofu Curry that is gluten-free. After all, this is a great PCOS meal idea that helps to prevent weight gain.

  • Take a pan, add two tbs extra virgin olive oil and heat. Add cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • Add one crushed cardamom, 8-9 cloves of minced garlic, two green chillies and one chopped onion. Saute this mixture until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the blanched and pureed fresh spinach and mix everything well.
  • Add salt to taste and adjust the consistency with water.
  • Add 250g Tofu cubes and simmer for 5 minutes.

Spinach curry with tofu

Your healthy and nutrient-packed spinach curry with tofu is ready. PCOS tofu recipes are best served with brown rice or whole-grain bread and are one of the best PCOS dinner recipes.

2. Pan-tossed Broccoli with Pumpkin Seeds


  1. Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables packed with fiber, vitamins K, C, B12, folate, potassium, and manganese.
  2. It is also rich in dietary fiber, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
  3. Vitamin C, beta-carotene and selenium in broccoli help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  4. Broccoli contains a compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has been shown to help balance hormone levels in the body.
  5. Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, zinc, folate, magnesium, and many more nutrients.

Consuming these nutrients can ease PCOS symptoms in the long run. Healthy PCOS recipes improve overall health as well.

Pan-tossed broccoli with pumpkin seeds

Here’s how to make this plant-based PCOS-friendly food!

  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil, one tsp sesame seeds and a handful of pumpkin seeds to a pan. Toss them until they get slightly crispy and set them aside.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil and toss the one small diced onion and chunks of fresh broccoli onto it. Saute for 3-5 minutes, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds on the broccoli and serve hot!

These recipes for PCOS are nutritious and easy to make. Do give it a try!

3. Raspberry Cinnamon Smoothie

Everyone loves smoothies! They allow us to incorporate nutrient-dense ingredients into a single, easy-to-consume beverage. But sometimes they can be sugar-loaded and not so healthy for us. To make PCOS smoothie recipes, we need to use our ingredients wisely.


  1. Raspberries are a good choice as they have a low glycemic index, which helps to manage blood sugar levels effectively.
  2. It is also rich in vitamin C and various phytochemicals that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
  3. Raspberries are packed with Potassium and omega- 3- fatty acids that are good for you.
  4. Cinnamon is an aromatic anti-inflammatory agent with antioxidant properties. It is touted to have therapeutic properties as well.

This recipe is a perfect addition to your list of healthy meals for PCOS that will help you lose weight too.

Raspberry cinnamon smoothie

PCOS smoothie recipes can be made as follows:

  • Blend 2 cups frozen raspberries, one scoop of plant-based vanilla protein powder, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 cup of coconut milk in a blender.
  • Serve this anti-inflammatory smoothie fresh!

4. Legume bowl

Legumes are superfoods for PCOS.


  1. Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are healthy whole foods that can enrich our diet and health.
  2. They are a rich source of plant-based proteins, fiber, vitamin B12, iron, folate etc.
  3. Fibers aid in managing insulin resistance, weight management, and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  4. Legumes contain phytoestrogens that help regulate hormonal activity.
  5. The low glycemic index of legumes makes them excellent for managing sugar levels.

Legume bowl

Here’s the recipe for a legume bowl:

  • In a large bowl, combine all the boiled and cooled legumes of your choice, soaked and boiled-red beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, fava beans, kidney beans, mung beans, yellow split lentils, whole red lentils, green lentils, etc.
  • Add chopped onion, one large tomato, and chopped coriander leaves and toss them well.
  • Add the juice of one lime, salt, black pepper and mango powder (optional) to taste and combine it well.

Serve as a salad, main dish, or snack by adjusting the proportions of legumes and veggies in it. Serve fresh!

5. Yogurt Walnut Pudding


  1. Nuts are a great source of fiber, good fats, Vitamin E, and trace elements.
  2. Walnuts have the right balance of mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to improved hormonal balance, reduced inflammation, and improved insulin sensitivity.
  3. Also rich in dietary fiber.
  4. Yogurt contains probiotics that maintain a healthy gut microbiome and may indirectly influence hormonal balance.
  5. Yogurt is a good source of protein and has a low glycemic index which benefits PCOS.

Yogurt walnut pudding

Here’s how to make this yogurt walnut pudding:

  • Add low-fat yogurt, the best yogurt for PCOS into a transparent glass.
  • Top it with some chunks of shell-free walnuts and drizzle it with some honey and coconut shavings.
  • Add some yogurt on top of it and repeat the steps three times to create alternating layers of yogurt and walnuts.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for an hour and allow it to set.
  • Garnish with crushed walnuts, honey and serve.
  • Enjoy this tasty yogurt for PCOS as breakfast or as a snack.

How to Stick to Eating only PCOS Recipes

Sticking to eating only PCOS-friendly recipes can be challenging but is ultimately rewarding for managing symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

One effective strategy is meal planning and preparation. Set aside time each week to plan your meals, incorporating a variety of PCOS-friendly recipes that you enjoy. Batch cooking and portioning meals in advance can help streamline your week and prevent the temptation of reaching for less healthy options.

Additionally, stocking your kitchen with PCOS-approved ingredients and removing processed and sugary foods can create an environment conducive to success. Finding support from friends, family, or online communities can also provide encouragement and accountability on your journey.

Remember to be patient with yourself and allow flexibility for occasional indulgences while staying focused on your long-term health goals. Celebrate your successes along the way, and recognize that each mindful choice brings you closer to a healthier, happier life with PCOS.


Good foods for PCOS can encourage a healthy lifestyle essential for battling PCOS. Remember to focus on a balanced diet that includes a range of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

If you have any food allergies or any underlying health conditions, it is best to consult a dietician who can tailor PCOS food recipes to your needs.

Keep in mind the foods to avoid with PCOS too. Try out these PCOS recipes for yourselves and feel the difference!

Frequently Asked Questions

The best PCOS dinner recipes should include a lean protein source to support satiety and muscle health like the  PCOS tofu recipes or legumes, non-starchy vegetables that are low in calories and carbohydrates but rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like broccoli, spinach, bell peppers etc., healthy fats like nuts, avocado, olive oil and low-glycemic carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes etc. in a balanced portion.

Meals for PCOS weight loss should include fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products- a balanced, nutrient-dense diet with low calories. These can be consumed as smoothies, salads, soups, curries etc. Portion control and avoiding highly processed and sugar-rich foods should be practiced for losing weight.

PCOS-friendly foods should include foods with low glycemic index, non-starchy, high protein, healthy fats rich foods. These foods should be low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, help in hormone regulation and improve overall health.

Some good foods for PCOS examples are Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries, a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, and a drizzle of honey or a dollop of almond butter. Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini) and a lemon-herb dressing.

Yes, curd and yogurt can benefit individuals with PCOS when consumed as part of a balanced diet, as they contain live bacteria called probiotics.

  • These probiotics promote a healthy gut microbiome and support digestion and immune function.
  • It also contains calcium and vitamin D and is a good source of protein. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, supporting hormone production etc.
  • The best yogurt for PCOS is Greek yogurt. It is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to regular yogurt.

Is coffee bad for PCOS? It is a usual doubt but there is no definite answer to it. Some studies say caffeine may impact insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, hormonal imbalances etc. Coffee can be consumed in moderation(1-2 cups) if you have PCOS.


Deborah Onoja

Deborah Onoja is a passionate Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics obtained from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She qualified as a Registered Dietitian after completing her Dietetic Internship training at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu where she was exposed to clinical dietetics. She also holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Diet Therapy from the University of Ibadan.

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  1. Aghfoori Z, et al. Nutritional management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A review study. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2017 Nov;11 Suppl 1:S429-S432.

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Feb, 15 2024

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