Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) doesn’t just alter a woman’s periods. Nope, PCOS affects almost every part of a Cyster’s life. That’s why we shouldn’t “ignore PCOS until we want to get pregnant” like we are sometimes told. Why should you suffer? When you choose the lifestyle choices that support your PCOS, it can make a real impact on your physical and mental health!
If you haven’t started your PCOS diet yet, don’t worry. I’m here to help! My mission with PCOS Weight Loss isn’t just to help you lose weight, but to help you manage PCOS symptoms through an intentional lifestyle. Each week, I explore a different part of the PCOS experience on my blog and podcast.
Today, I’m discussing fruit. We’ll talk about why fruit is good for women with PCOS and which ones you should prioritize. These are fruits that we include in our Cysterhood program. Fruits that may help you kick cravings, get your vitamins and minerals, and alleviate your difficult PCOS symptoms. Here’s the DL on fruit and PCOS:
12 Fruits That Are Good For PCOS
Are Fruits Good For PCOS?
Fruits are great! Fruit holds a ton of health benefits while being naturally sweet. Because of this, they’re great for helping you get your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, they give you a sweet treat fix!
Most fruits have lots of fiber, which delays the digestion of sugar and makes you feel fuller longer. Additionally, fruits have natural sugar, which is called fructose. Fructose is a better type of sugar than sucrose.
That being said, it is still sugar, so still consider your portions and how you eat fruit. Pairing your fruit with nuts or a protein of choice is a great way to slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Studies show replacing your daily snacks with fruit alternatives can help improve insulin resistance, obesity, and high blood sugar levels.
I remember a time when I was constantly snacking on fruit because of my sugar cravings. I didn’t realize that the fruit also had sugar and was contributing to more cravings. What I know now as a Registered Dietitian is that if I paired my fruit with nuts or seeds or a protein of choice, my cravings would have been significantly reduced because I would have stabilized my blood sugar.
Though fruits are great to include in your PCOS diet plan, not all fruits are made equal.
Some will be more helpful to the body than others. You’ll want to opt for fruits with a low glycemic index (GI), and eat skin on if you can, depending on the fruit.* You’ll always get more fiber and benefits that way!
Below, I’ll share 12 fruits that may help you lose weight, reduce inflammation, lower insulin levels, and more! Here they are:
*You can eat the skin of peaches, pears, watermelon, apples, cucumbers, mangos, kiwis, bananas, oranges, and lemons.
PCOS Friendly Fruits
Apples are a great choice for a PCOS friendly fruit! Eating them with the skin on is not a chore, so you can get maximum benefits without sacrificing taste. Apples help with digestion, and they’re packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
These vitamins and minerals can help regulate the menstrual cycle, increase fertility, and reduce inflammation. Studies have also shown that apples can help with hormonal balance! I love to pair my apple with almond butter and cocoa nibs to help slow down the absorption of sugar into my bloodstream.
Pears are high in fiber, and packed with vitamin C, iron, and potassium. They’re super tasty and another fruit you can eat with the skin on. The iron can help with fatigue, while the vitamin C helps manage the menstrual cycle. Plus, the fiber has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, help manage estrogen levels, and flush out toxins from the liver.
Oranges have a lower fiber to sugar ratio than some other fruits on this list, but you can get more fiber if you eat the skin. (I like to add them to smoothies.) Still, a little orange without the peel won’t hurt because they’re packed with healthy vitamin C!
Kiwis, however small, hold a plethora of health benefits for women with PCOS. Studies show that kiwi can help lower blood sugar levels, manage period pain, reduce inflammation, regulate digestion, protect our eyes, and even improve mood issues.
This powerful fruit (that you should eat with the skin on) can do all this because of its vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium content!
You know the drill, eat your peaches with the skin on. These stone fruits have a lot of similar benefits to the other fruits on this list. However, they have a few additional nutrients that can help with inflammation, depression, cyst growth, cholesterol, insulin resistance, and hair loss. I like to pair peaches with prosciutto in the summertime for an addition of protein.
Who doesn’t love grapes? Grapes are high in fiber, antioxidants, folate, vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, *breath*, and magnesium. These little bite-sized super foods can help you foster a better fertility and pregnancy environment in your body by reducing androgens in your system and improving the health of your ovaries!
Cherries are another beneficial fruit for PCOS because they are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. This mixture is a really great support for your adrenal system! Cherries can help alleviate your PCOS systems by contributing to reducing male hormones, lowering your blood sugar and pressure, and regulating your menstrual cycle.
For a woman with PCOS, studies show vitamin C might be essential for a healthy period. Vitamin C also protects your body from free radicals that potentially increase your chances of heart disease. And the best part? Grapefruit has a ton of vitamin C! Making it a really healthy choice for people with PCOS.
Here’s another tasty fruit that holds helpful vitamins and nutrients for people living with PCOS. Strawberries have vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. Together, these vitamins and minerals can help lower blood pressure, and raise good cholesterol.
Melons have a slightly worse GI score than others on this list, so watch your portions when eating cantaloupe. But, for the most part, cantaloupe is a tasty and healthy snack for women with PCOS! It has vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, iron and fiber. This means cantaloupe could help you balance your hormones and reduce fatigue. Healthy and delicious!
Papayas may not be the easiest to find depending on your location, but when you can get your hands on this tropical fruit, it makes a great snack. They’re higher in sugar, so watch your portion size. Every papaya is packed with vitamins C, A, B, E, and K! This blend of nutrients can help you manage your mood and menstrual cycle.
And for the last fruit on our list: pomegranates! This is another fruit you should only eat in moderation, but they do have antioxidants, folate, potassium, magnesium and calcium to help keep your body healthy and strong, and get you through your PCOS symptoms.
Replace sugary snacks and sides with healthy and nutritious fruit!
Depending on your PCOS management plan, women with PCOS may have to face a whole lot of diet changes. Reducing sugar, cutting gluten, and cutting dairy can be super intimidating. In those early days, it can feel like you can’t eat ANYTHING good. But worry not, Cysters. Adding a serving of fruit into your daily meal plan can be a big help – and it’s so easy to do!
Additionally, if you’re looking for support, join the Cysterhood! It’s a community of women with PCOS who all help each other through struggles related to polycystic ovarian syndrome. In the Cysterhood program, you also get recipes, diet tips, workout guides, and more to help you manage your symptoms and reclaim your life.