Tips for Healthy Eating: Is Papaya Good for PCOS?

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 21-Sep-2022Read Time : 5 minutes
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When you think of the most delicious fruits, the word “papaya” doesn’t usually come to mind, right? However, you should know that it is one of the most nutritious fruits with great health benefits. Is it recommended if you have specific health conditions? For example, is papaya good for PCOS? Let’s find out. 

Contents:
  • What is PCOS?
  • PCOS Diet Plan
  • Nutritional Profile of Papaya
  • Papaya: Benefits for PCOS
  • Which is the Best Time to Consume Papaya for PCOS?
  • How Much Papaya Can be Consumed in a Day with PCOS?
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

What is PCOS?

PCOSor Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in which your ovaries produce an abnormal amount of the male reproductive hormones called androgens. This leads to a hormonal imbalance and PCOS symptoms such as irregular periods, excess body hair, weight gain, acnehair loss, and infertility

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Insulin resistance, high insulin levels in the body, and being overweight may contribute to PCOS. 

In insulin resistance, your cells lose the ability to absorb glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream, which causes increased blood sugar levels. This triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin to reduce and stabilise blood sugar levels. The excess insulin in your blood may lead to abnormal production of androgens in the body, causing PCOS symptoms.

Read on to understand the role of diet in managing PCOS. 

PCOS Diet Plan

Two primary ways that diet affects PCOS is weight management and insulin production and resistance. Healthy eating habits can alleviate PCOS symptoms and may reduce the risk of associated health problems. You need to adopt a balanced diet based on whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and seeds, and high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables, to manage PCOS and its symptoms. 

A diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugary foods, and trans fat can make insulin resistance and weight loss more difficult to manage in PCOS. 

Following a healthy diet that meets your nutritional needs, helps maintain a healthy weight, and promotes controlled insulin levels can help you feel better. Fruits should be consumed in PCOS, as they are rich in fibre and delay the digestion of fructose in your body. This delays the rise in your blood sugar levels. 

Fruits are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help improve PCOS, decrease insulin resistance, and lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.

It is important to remember that fruits do contain sugar, which can affect your health in PCOS. All fruits do not behave the same way in your body. You should consume fruits with fewer carbohydrates to manage PCOS effectively. 

Fruits with a lower glycaemic index (GI, the rate at which the food increases the blood sugar level after consuming it) and higher fibre content can help manage PCOS. Papaya, with a glycemic index of 60, is a moderate GI fruit that those with PCOS can enjoy. 

Read on to understand how adding papaya to your PCOS diet can be helpful.

Nutritional Profile of Papaya

Papaya is rich in fibre and vitamins A and C. This is the nutrition information for 1 cup (145 g) of raw papaya

  • Calories: 62
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fibre: 2.5 g
  • Sugars: 11 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 11.6 mg
  • Vitamin A: 68.2 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 88.3 mg

Papaya: Benefits for PCOS

Papaya is a good fruit to eat in PCOS. The following properties of papaya make it a suitable addition to your PCOS diet. 

High in Fibre

Adding fibre to your diet has numerous health benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels, improving digestion and aiding in weight loss. As your body is unable to break down and absorb fibre, it does not cause a spike in your blood sugar and thus helps in improving insulin resistance, and related symptoms in PCOS.

Rich in Antioxidants

Papaya is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene. It helps reduce oxidative stress in those with PCOS. Reducing oxidative stress in the body will help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS and prevent further health complications. Some studies have stated that it lowers the risk of infertility and improves the chances of getting pregnant.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

PCOS can lead to increased inflammation in the body. Choline is an essential and versatile nutrient present in papaya that has anti-inflammatory properties. Choline additionally assists in the absorption of fat leading to weight loss. Even a modest reduction in your weight can improve the symptoms of PCOS.

High in Potassium

Minerals such as potassium control several important functions in your body. Women diagnosed with PCOS are generally deficient in potassium which plays an important role in maintaining fluid balance in the body, transmission of nerve signals and muscle contractions. Consuming papaya regularly can provide you with a steady dose of potassium, thus lowering the risk of a deficiency and improving the symptoms.

Which is the Best Time to Consume Papaya for PCOS?

Papaya can be consumed at any time of the day according to your preference. You can have it as a part of your breakfast in the morning or add it to your salads and consume it at any time of the day. It is also a good idea to have papaya chunks as a snack or add it to smoothies or juices

How Much Papaya Can be Consumed in a Day with PCOS?

You can consume a medium-sized papaya in a day, which is about 2 cups or 275 grams. Excessive consumption of papaya should be avoided as it contains an enzyme called papain and overconsumption of the same can cause respiratory problems such as asthma, chest congestion or wheezing.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in which your ovaries produce an abnormal amount of the male reproductive hormones called androgens. This leads to a hormonal imbalance and related PCOS symptoms. 
  • Two primary ways that diet affects PCOS are weight management and insulin production and resistance. Healthy eating habits can alleviate PCOS symptoms and may reduce the risk of associated health problems. 
  • You need to adopt a balanced diet based on whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and seeds, and high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables, to manage PCOS and its symptoms. 
  • Fruits should be consumed in PCOS, as they are rich in fibre and delay the rise in your blood sugar levels. Fruits are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help improve PCOS and decrease insulin resistance.
  • Papaya, with a glycemic index of 60, is a moderate GI fruit that those with PCOS can enjoy. 
  • Papaya is rich in fibre, antioxidants, and potassium and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. 
  • Papaya can be consumed at any time of the day according to your preference. You can consume a medium-sized papaya in a day, which is about 2 cups or 275 grams.
  • Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides ‎360º care.

Frequently Asked Questions

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