Is Cabbage Good for PCOS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Cabbage is good for PCOS because it has glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, and sulforaphane, and they can modulate estrogen metabolism, reduce oxidative stress, and improve insulin sensitivity.

PCOS is a condition that affects your ovaries and hormones.

In PCOS, your body produces too much androgen, a male hormone, and does not ovulate regularly.

This can lead to various health problems, such as infertility, acne, hair growth, weight gain, and insulin resistance.

One of the key factors in managing PCOS is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood sugar levels, inflammation, and hormone balance, which can impact your PCOS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage PCOS, you should consume high-fiber, low-glycemic, and anti-inflammatory foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts, berries, and leafy greens, and avoid refined carbohydrates, added sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods.

Now, cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.

People usually eat cabbage raw in salads, cooked as a side dish, or fermented as sauerkraut or kimchi.

Cabbage is good for PCOS because it contains glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, and sulforaphane, which are beneficial compounds that can modulate estrogen metabolism, reduce oxidative stress, and improve insulin sensitivity.

One cup of chopped raw cabbage can give you 2 grams of fiber (8% of your daily needs), 54 mg of vitamin C (60% of your daily needs), 68 mcg of vitamin K (57% of your daily needs), and 36 mcg of folate (9% of your daily needs).

Glucosinolates can positively affect PCOS by increasing the production of enzymes that detoxify harmful estrogens and reducing the risk of estrogen-related cancers.

Indole-3-carbinol can positively affect PCOS by shifting the balance of estrogen metabolites from the more potent 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone to the less potent 2-hydroxyestrone, which can improve hormonal balance and reduce symptoms of PCOS.

Sulforaphane can positively affect PCOS by activating a protein called Nrf2, which can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, and protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, cabbage is a low-glycemic food and low-glycemic foods are good for PCOS because they do not spike blood sugar and insulin levels, which can worsen PCOS symptoms and increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

You can eat up to two cups of cabbage per day safely. More than that can cause gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort.

Also, you shouldn’t eat cabbage if you have hypothyroidism or are taking thyroid medication to prevent goiter.

Because cabbage contains goitrogens, which are substances that can interfere with thyroid function and iodine uptake.

You can buy fresh cabbage in your local market or can order it online.

Always choose cabbage that is firm, heavy, and compact, with crisp and colorful leaves.

Because these indicate freshness and quality.

You can store cabbage in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care is key to managing PCOS effectively.

I always recommend my PCOS patients to follow a PCOS-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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