Oily fish

Regularly including oily fish can support those on a PCOS diet. This is because oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and herring are rich in Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. A deficiency of vitamin D is seen with around 75% of those with PCOS. This deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance. Not only is it the hormone that contributes to stronger bones, but it also regulates reproductive processes in women and men. It is involved in the synthesis of female hormones and is involved in follicle development and ovulation.

A recent meta-analysis states that patients with vitamin D deficiency have worse results in assisted reproductive techniques than those without deficiency.


Including a variety nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pistachios, and almonds in your diet can help for a number of reasons, such as their fibre levels, healthy fats which can support inflammation, as well as the fact that they contain inositol – this natural sugar can help improve blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Chickpeas, lentils, or peas

There are many nutritional qualities of legumes, and these foods also contribute to natural inositol obtained from the diet.  As well as their high fibre content, these foods are a source of vegetarian protein and can keep our blood sugar better controlled to prevent spikes in hunger. If you are not a lover of curries or stews, you can benefit from the properties of legumes by preparing some delicious chickpea or lentil salads.

Whole grains

Due to their fibre and inositol content, whole grain cereals such as brown wheat, brown rice, or oats are other recommendations for women with polycystic ovaries. This is because they help to release energy slowly when digested, meaning they keep us fuller for longer and prevent spikes in energy or blood sugar.

Sweet potatoes

As these potatoes are naturally high in fibre (especially when eaten with the skin on), they will also contribute to keeping us satisfied for longer and stabilising blood sugar levels. You can also enjoy regular white potatoes in the diet, but sweet potatoes have the edge for having a lower glycaemic index, which is the rate of how quickly blood sugar can increase. Roast with some olive oil and serve with a serving of oily fish and green vegetables for a meal packed full of PCOS supporting nutrients.

Antioxidant-rich foods

Women with PCOS have been shown to have low-grade inflammation. Elevated inflammatory signals can raise insulin, contributing to worsening of PCOS symptoms.

Examples of antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries especially)
  • Vegetables (spinach, artichokes, kale)
  • Whole Grains (whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice)
  • Unsaturated fats (nuts like pecans and walnuts, nut butters, olive oil, avocado, oily fish)

Get in touch with one of our PCOS dietitian today.  

By Nadia Pico, dietetic student, revised by Reema Patel, Registered Dietitian at Dietitian Fit & Co.


1 – About polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). (2017, January 31) (1)

2 – PCOS: Nutrition basics. (2016, February 25) (2)