4 Possible health benefits of cashews

PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder that affects many women of reproductive age.

Most studies and researchers believe that cashews are beneficial to patients suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Here are 4 reasons why patients suffering from PCOS should add cashew nuts to their diet:

  1. Healthy snack option:
    • Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a limited snack selection because they tend to bloat or get gastric issues more frequently. 
    • Cashews are thought to be one of the healthiest snack options for them. 
    • Snack on foods that have a low glycemic index and keep them on hand for when you need them.
  2. Cashew nuts are loaded with magnesium:
    • Magnesium is an essential cofactor in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It is necessary for hormone metabolism and helps maintain hormonal balance.
    • According to research, maintaining optimal magnesium levels may improve insulin resistance in PCOS.
  3. Cashews are healthy protein, carbohydrate, and fat:
    • Insulin resistance and dysregulated blood sugar (even in those who are not overweight) are frequently at the root of PCOS-related symptoms, and eating protein with carbohydrate and protein sources, such as cashew nuts, can help blunt the insulin response.
    • Cashew nuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which patients with PCOS should consume regularly.
  4. Rich in iron:
    • Women with PCOS who experience heavy bleeding may suffer from iron deficiency, so it is recommended that they include iron-rich foods in their diet
    • Iron helps increase hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body, thus reducing PCOS fatigue and mood swings.
    • Cashews are thought to be a good source of iron.

Nuts and seeds are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are all beneficial to PCOS symptoms.

  • These contain some healthy fats, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as provide a healthy structure to cells.
  • Minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium, are abundant in many nuts and seeds.
  • A serving of nuts or seeds per day can help your body in a variety of ways.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. It is a hormonal condition that affects about 1 out of every 10 women of reproductive age.

PCOS is characterized by several symptoms that collectively affect a woman's ovaries and ovulation cycles.

10 symptoms of PCOS

  • Several small, fluid-filled sacs that grow inside the ovaries, called cysts
  • Higher than normal production of androgens, a class of hormones
  • Irregular or missing menstrual cycles
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Fertility issues
  • Weight gain
  • Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
  • Acne, oily skin, and dandruff
  • Thinning of hair on the head
  • Pelvic pain

PCOS can lead to more serious conditions, such as:

6 common causes of PCOS

Doctors are not sure what causes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but it is most likely a combination of factors, such as the following:

  1. Genes: PCOS is frequently caused by hereditary factors. So, in many cases, genes are to blame.
  2. Insulin resistance: Women are developing insulin resistance because of poor eating habits. When insulin levels in the body fall or pancreatic cells are unable to use the available insulin, extra insulin is produced to stabilize sugar levels. Extra insulin in the body disrupts the normal functioning of the ovary, causing the ovary to produce more male hormones.
  3. Obesity: Nowadays, many young women work and lead sedentary lifestyles. As a result, they do not have time to exercise, eat or sleep well. Obesity can lead to inflammation, which is extremely harmful to the body because it causes an increase in the production of male hormones.
  4. Pollution: Many cities around the world have extremely high levels of pollution, which disrupts the proper functioning of the body's organs. Pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter, can cause gene mutations, resulting in PCOS, ovarian cancer, and other serious problems.
  5. Vitamin deficiency: It can happen if you are deficient in zinc, vitamin D, and iodine, or it could be due to some defects in the female body's immune cells (autoimmunity).
  6. Increased male hormones: It can occur when the female body's adrenal glands produce male hormones in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH stimulation of the pituitary gland.

QUESTION

What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)? See Answer

What are the treatment options for PCOS?

There is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but there are treatments that can help to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications and increase the chances of becoming pregnant.

The goal of PCOS treatment will be determined by your situation and the symptoms you are experiencing.

  • If you want to become pregnant, your treatment will focus on improving your fertility and giving you the best chance of success.
  • If you do not want to become pregnant, your treatment will focus on symptom management.

Medications

If you want to become pregnant, the following medicines may help:

  • If losing weight has not helped, metformin may help you start ovulating again and make your periods more regular.
  • Fertility medications, such as clomiphene citrate or gonadotropin injections, can assist your ovaries to produce eggs.
  • If these medications do not help, your doctor may recommend fertility treatment, such as in vitro fertilization.

If you are not trying to get pregnant, the following medicines may help:

  • Oral contraceptives can prevent your ovaries from producing excessive amounts of testosterone. This can help improve acne, make your periods more regular, and reduce the amount of excess hair growth you may have in places where you do not want it.
  • If you are unable to use oral contraceptives or if they are ineffective for you, your doctor may prescribe a cream to reduce excess hair growth.
  • If lifestyle changes are not working, medications, such as orlistat, can sometimes help you lose weight.
  • Ethinylestradiol/cyproterone acetate is used to treat acne and excessive hair growth. It can help you get more regular periods.

Surgery

  • If medications do not improve your fertility, your doctor may advise you to have surgery to improve your fertility.
  • If you are trying to conceive, a keyhole procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling may be an option. This reduces the amount of tissue in your ovaries, which alters the hormone balance and may cause your ovaries to release eggs again.
  • Surgery is usually considered only after all other treatments have failed.

Lifestyle changes

Making lifestyle changes can help you control your polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms, improve your fertility and lower your risk of long-term health problems.

Your doctor may advise you to do the following:

  • If you are overweight, you should lose weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can help resume ovulation and get more regular periods.
  • To help control your weight and improve your health, eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly.
  • Eat a low glycemic index diet, which means eating foods that cause your blood sugar levels to rise gradually. This can help alleviate your symptoms.

A follicle is a small fluid-filled swelling that develops before an egg is released. More than one follicle begins to develop, but only one matures into a fully mature egg.

When you have polycystic ovaries, 12 or more follicles begin to develop, but none of them mature into fertile eggs. These follicles, which range in size from 2 to 9 mm, remain on your ovaries and contain undeveloped eggs.

Contrary to the popular belief, those seen in the PCOS scan are follicles on your ovaries and not cysts. You can have many follicles in your ovary and not have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You can have PCOS even if you do not have any follicles on your ovaries.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/3/2022
References
WebMD. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). https://www.webmd.com/women/what-is-pcos

The Office on Women's Health. Polycystic ovary syndrome. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

National Institutes of Health. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pcos

Endocrine Society. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html