Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that is commonly diagnosed in women of reproductive age. An estimated 5-6 million women in the United States have PCOS. If you have PCOS, you’re probably looking for ways to cope with the condition and make yourself feel better; that includes your diet. A healthy diet is important, and holistic healthcare experts recommend including soy in your PCOS diet. Here’s why soy can make a big difference in your health.

Tofu in a White Ceramic Bowl Next to Soybeans in a Hemp Sack

PCOS and Soy

PCOS is associated with impaired glucose metabolism, and it can lead to polycystic ovaries, infertility, abnormal hair growth or thinning, acne, and weight gain. Plus, over time, PCOS can elevate your risk for type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, and cardiovascular disease. That means you need to take this condition seriously and think about how your diet has a direct impact on your health. A soy diet combined with natural medicine and exercise can support your health even as you adjust to life with PCOS. A recent study that compared women who took a soy isoflavone supplement over 12 weeks with those taking a placebo determined that soy can improve insulin sensitivity and encourage more regular ovulation in women with PCOS.

Improve Insulin Resistance 

If you visit a holistic medicine clinic for PCOS treatment, your doctor may recommend adding more soy to your diet in order to improve your insulin resistance. The better your insulin resistance, the less challenging and painful your PCOS may be. If there’s a decrease in serum insulin levels, this is one way to tell that your insulin resistance and sensitivity is improving. Holistic medicine healthcare providers may also recommend tests known as HOMA-IR and QUICK1, and they may look at levels of androgen and triglycerides as well.

Diet Staple 

Due to the promising research and results surrounding soy diets in women with PCOS, holistic healthcare providers recommend soy as a staple for nutritional advice. When women come in who are dealing with PCOS and having a tough time, holistic health experts are highly likely to suggest incorporating more soy into their diets. Soy can support better health and target some of the symptoms caused by PCOS. Although a soy-based diet alone is probably not enough to completely change one’s outlook on PCOS, adding it to your diet may help improve your symptoms. Holistic health guidelines say soy foods and/or soy supplements are important dietary requirements for women with PCOS. Soy does not have a direct impact on estrogen levels, and there are no links between soy and hormonal cancers, which means you can feel good about putting more soy in your PCOS diet.

 Soybeans in a Glass Bowl, Soymilk in Glass Cup, Soy Sauce in White Porcelain Dish, Tofu in the background, and Edamame on a Square Tray

PCOS can be challenging and overwhelming at times, but you’re not alone on this journey. You can trust your local center for holistic medicine to make the right recommendations for you, including adding more soy to your diet. If you’re ready to learn more about what you can do to manage your PCOS, call Holistica Integrative Care, a clinic for holistic medicine in Boulder, CO!