Are Sweet Potatoes Good for PCOS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Sweet potatoes are good for PCOS. Because they have beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and resistant starch, which can benefit your skin, eyes, immune system, menstrual cycle, fertility, blood pressure, nerve and muscle function, gut health, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and satiety.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects your ovaries and hormones.

In PCOS, your body produces too much androgen, a male hormone, and has insulin resistance, which means your cells do not respond well to the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

This can lead to various health problems, such as irregular periods, infertility, acne, hair growth, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

One of the key factors in managing PCOS is diet.

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

To effectively manage PCOS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and avoid refined carbohydrate-rich foods like white bread, pasta, rice, and sweets.

Now, sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

People usually eat them boiled, baked, steamed, or fried.

Sweet potatoes are good for PCOS because they contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and resistant starch.

100 grams of boiled sweet potatoes can give you 86 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 11% of your daily vitamin C, 14% of your daily potassium, and 283% of your daily vitamin A (as beta-carotene).

Beta-carotene can help your body make vitamin A, which is essential for your skin, eyes, and immune system.

Vitamin A may also help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve your fertility.

Vitamin C can help boost your immune system, protect your cells from oxidative stress, and support collagen synthesis.

Vitamin C may also help lower your androgen levels and improve your insulin sensitivity .

Potassium can help balance your fluid and electrolyte levels, regulate your blood pressure, and support your nerve and muscle function.

Potassium may also help reduce your risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis .

Resistant starch can act like fiber and feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which can improve your digestive health and lower your inflammation.

Resistant starch may also help lower your blood sugar levels and increase your satiety.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and have a medium to high glycemic index (GI), which means they can raise your blood sugar levels moderately.

GI is a measure of how fast your blood sugar levels rise after a meal .

Complex carbohydrates are good for PCOS because they provide you with energy, fiber, and nutrients.

They also help you feel full and prevent overeating.

However, high GI foods are bad for PCOS because they can cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which can worsen your insulin resistance and PCOS symptoms.

Because of this, you can eat sweet potatoes in moderation and pair them with protein and healthy fats to lower their GI and balance your blood sugar levels.

For example, you can have a baked sweet potato with grilled chicken and avocado salad, or a sweet potato and black bean chili with cheese and sour cream.

You can eat about one medium-sized sweet potato (130 grams) per day safely.

More than that can cause excess calorie intake and weight gain, which can aggravate your PCOS symptoms and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Also, you shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes if you have kidney problems or take blood thinners to prevent high potassium levels and bleeding complications.

Because sweet potatoes are high in potassium, which can accumulate in your blood if your kidneys are not working well, and vitamin K, which can interfere with the effects of blood thinners.

You can buy fresh sweet potatoes in your local market or order them online.

Always choose firm, smooth, and unblemished ones.

Because they are fresher, tastier, and more nutritious.

You can store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for up to a month.

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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