Plant Foods Are Necessary for PCOS Improvement and Health

The beneficial effect of plant foods on human health is unmistakable. Time and time again, studies have found foods of plant origin to reduce the risk of most major chronic illnesses suffered by the human population. Possible mechanisms for the preventative effects of these foods are discussed.

Each of the plant groups reviewed was found to reduce the risk of one or more of the following: cardiovascular disease, cancer (lung, breast, colon, rectal, prostate, epithelial, stomach, esophageal, oral, pharynx, larynx, urinary tract, endometrium, pancreas, thyroid, liver, ovary, gallbladder, bladder, and kidney), diabetes, hypertension, bone degeneration, diverticulitis, constipation, gallstones, age-related blindness. Almost no evidence was found to suggest a negative effect on health due to consumption of these plant foods.

Based on this material and a review of conserved animal signaling molecules we surmise that animals require these chemicals to enhance specific mammalian cellular processes, demonstrating phytozooidal signaling. Further, this diet dependency coupling between plants and animals probably evolved because of the abundance of a particular plant material in a local environment, which is now broken because of technological advances.

The overwhelming majority of evidence shows that people may significantly decrease their risks of these diseases by increasing their intake of these foods since they represent a natural method to enhance animal processes and signaling.

This article is an excellent reminder of the essential connection we have with plant foods. It is well understood in the scientific community that plant foods contain elements that are absolutely essential to your good health. In addition to providing energy, they contain a wide array of 'signaling' substances that influence what your cells do.

This fact is especially important for women with PCOS. You have PCOS because your hormonal and other cell signaling systems are not working optimally. Consumption of whole plant foods will improve your condition. A good place to start is to be aware of your eating patterns. Do you regularly consume whole foods from the plant kingdom, especially vegetables and fresh fruit? I bring up this issue because the #1 'vegetable' that Americans consume is the french-fried potato.

Moreover, we're concerned that some women with PCOS are embracing the more extreme 'low-carb' diets in order to reduce weight and insulin levels, without thinking of the long-term health consequences. Let's analyze a recipe taken from a popular low-carb diet plan:

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Soup
4 strips bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can chicken broth
Starch thickener
2 cups half-and- half
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

We can certainly agree this is 'low-carb' But is it healthy? The only 'healthy' part of this recipe is the small onion, mustard and pepper. People who frequently consume bacon and similar products have a higher risk of diabetes, the very disease you are trying to avoid. The two cups of half-and-half and the cheese give you a very generous dose of saturated fats, which has been linked to diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Regular consumption of high-fat land animal products combined with low consumption of fresh plant foods poses many health risks. We'll just mention one of them. This type of diet is high in arachidonic acid and other pro-inflammatory substances that create oxidant stress. Oxidant stress means you don't have enough antioxidants to neutralize the oxidants in the food. As a consequence, your body cannot maintain healthy metabolic balance and your hormones and other signaling molecules get out of whack. In addition, oxidant stress directly damages your cells so that they cannot function as they should. Oxidant stress has been linked to nearly every degenerative disease you care to name. Oxidant damage also plays a significant role in making PCOS symptoms worse.

I suggest that women with PCOS be cautious about embracing any diet that emphasizes high-fat land animal protein at the expense of whole plant foods. Making fresh fruits and vegetables a daily part of our family's meals will also go a long way toward protecting your daughters from developing PCOS in their adolescence.

"Communication between animal cells and the plant foods they ingest: Phyto-zooidal dependencies and signaling, Stefano GB, et al, Int J Mol Med 2002 Oct;10(4):413-21.

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