A newsletter reader recently reported to us: "Thanks very much for publishing this very helpful newsletter. It's been a fount of useful information for me. Since you gather so much good information for women with PCOS, I wanted to pass on something great that I have discovered."
For years, I have been juicing vegetables and fruits sporadically. However, I recently bought a great new juicer and for the past several weeks I have been juicing almost daily. I drink around 24-32 ounces of fresh veggie/fruit juice each day.
Since doing this, I have noticed a big reduction in the amount of hair falling out in the shower, the hair on my head seems thicker, and I had an almost regular period this month for the first time in several years. My mood is also improved. I have had polycystic ovarian syndrome for about 15 years.
I wanted to pass on this experience in case you want to share it with your readers -- I think it would probably help others as well. It may be that women with PCOS need extra doses of nutrients. I had a relatively healthy diet before, but I suspect it simply wasn't providing enough nutrients."
- Beth C.
She goes on to say, "So far, I have been making roughly the same juice every day with slight variations. It contains lots of leafy greens (spinach or kale, usually), cucumbers, cilantro, parsley, ginger, one apple, one lemon, celery, carrots and tomato. If the juice comes out a bright green I know I did well. : )
For what it's worth, I have heard some women say they cured their PCOS by going raw. There are at least a few videos on YouTube to this effect. I am trying to significantly increase the ratio of raw food in my diet, but I am not willing at this point to go all raw and test the theory. It's not an easy lifestyle."
I think Beth has made a very important point. From what I've seen, women with polycystic ovary syndrome benefit when their nutrition improves. Juice from plant material contains a vast array of micronutrients. These essential micronutrients are not available in the things we typically eat, such as bread, meat and dairy.
What I like about vegetable juice is that is contains concentrated nutrients. These nutrients are essential for your cells to work correctly.
Keep in mind that juice is not a "cure" for PCOS. Neither is a totally raw food diet if it consists only of vegetation. But I think you'll find that juicing vegetables at home will really help you with symptoms.
I've tended to not talk about juicing out of a concern that people would avoid whole vegetables and "drink" their vegetables instead and thus not have enough fiber for improved hormone control. If you are juicing, you also need to eat whole vegetables. You definitely need the fiber.
You can get plenty of juice recipe ideas from the dozens of books that are available on that subject.
So what would be the best juicer?
I think the Norwalk juicer is by far the best. But it is very expensive (around $2,500) and is appropriate only if you intend to make juicing a lifetime habit and are very serious about improving your health.
My next choice would be any "masticating" juicer. You can find one for $200-$500.
Try to use fresh, local organically grown vegetables.
Antioxidants are needed to neutralize a problem called "oxidant stress". Oxidant stress is when your "metabolic fires" are burning in a poorly regulated manner.
It's like when you're sitting in front of a fire and a spark or small hot coal pops out and burns a hole in your clothes or your carpet. But if you put a fire screen in front of the fire, you can prevent this damage.
A similar process is going on inside your body. You need to have a fire screen in your body to regulate metabolic processes and prevent damage to your tissues. If your fire screen is in poor shape, inflammation and hormone dysfunction will be the result. You'll want to avoid this.
A critical part of your internal fire screen is antioxidants. They are especially abundant in whole foods. They are generally lacking in highly processed foods.
According to medical research, a big problem with PCOS is that many of you are in a state of oxidant stress and thus are in greater need of antioxidants.
So it's recommended that you consume whole foods, as described in the PCOS diet e-book.
You can also drink healthier juices. Instead of soft drinks or energy drinks, why not have a cup of green tea or a glass of tomato or V8 juice? These drinks have antioxidant value whereas soft drinks have none.
Source: Harms-Ringdahl M et al, Tomato juice intake suppressed serum concentration of 8-oxodG after extensive physical activity, Nutr J, 2012 May 2;11(1):29.
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A woman with PCOS reports great success with juicing to reduce her symptoms, including more regular menstrual cycles and reduction of hair loss.