Do you ever wonder how nuts and seeds can directly affect your PCOS symptoms?
A lot of what you read will tell you that they are full of calories and fat so stay clear!
But one of the first rules of healing from symptoms of PCOS and hormone imbalance is to stop counting calories.
Instead focus on eating whole, real foods… and nuts and seeds are just that! Healthy fats actually help us to feel better because our entire body including our brain needs healthy fats to function properly.
Nut and Seed Facts
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals which are essential for improving PCOS symptoms. They also include some healthy fats that can have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as provide a healthy structure to all of the cells in our body.
Many nuts and seeds are high in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Just a serving of nuts or seeds a day can support your body in many ways!
And since they contain protein, fat and carbohydrates they are a complete snack.
Almonds are a favorite on-the-go snack that are easy to pack and contain both fat and fiber to keep you full. Almonds have been found to decrease free androgen levels as well as having a positive effect on insulin.
With a daily goal of 30 grams of fiber per day nuts and seeds are a great choice to help with extra fiber. Chia seeds for example contain 10 grams of fiber in every 2 tablespoons.
Here’s a quick delicious recipe using chia seeds: add 2 cups coconut milk, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup raw honey or stevia to taste and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in small jars or larger glass container for at least 4 hours and eat as a snack or a treat. Add berries, chopped nuts, or some unsweetened cocoa powder to add variety.
Fiber helps stabilize insulin levels, remove toxins and keep your gut happy all which can help keep your hormones balanced.
Pine nuts are packed with protein – 10.9 grams for every 1/3 cup! They are easy to use in salads, pesto or as a garnish to your meal. They add an extra tasty crunch as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and E all essential for the proper functioning of your body. Isn’t that fabulous!
Magnesium is necessary to help calm our nerves and help us regulate our cortisol levels. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium as well as beta-sitosterol, which play a part in reducing unwanted hair growth or loss caused by PCOS.
Zinc can be found in walnuts, along with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts can also aide in production of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) – the hormone needed to help reduce free testosterone which is often present in women with PCOS.
Calcium can be found in sesame seeds – a whopping 88 milligrams of calcium can be found in 1 tablespoon! Calcium is essential for regulating blood pressure and reducing body storage. We want all that.
Here are the serving sizes for some of our favorite nuts and seeds – helpful to know so we don’t get carried away – too much of a good thing is not good.
One Serving :
14 Walnuts (higher in omega 3s)
19 Pecans (great for making nut milk – 1 cup pecans + 4 cups water, blend on high for 1 minute and enjoy – no need to strain)
10 Macadamia nuts (one of the best nuts for the healthiest fat)
1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Sesame seeds
2 Tbsp Flax seeds
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds (high in Vitamin E)
30 Pistachio Nuts (high in CoQ10)
Soaking Nuts and Seeds
Soaking your nuts and seeds can help with digestion. They contain phytic acid which can bind to nutrients in the gut causing nutrient deficiencies even though the digestive process does neutralize some phytic acid.
To remove the phytic acid, soak nuts or seeds for 7 hours or overnight and dehydrate them in your oven on the lowest setting or in your dehydrator until they’re crunchy.
- 2 cups nuts or seeds
- 4 cups warm water (enough to cover the nuts/seeds completely)
- 1 tbls. sea salt
Directions: Dissolve sea salt in warm water in a large glass bowl. Add nuts or seeds and soak overnight uncovered on the kitchen counter. In the morning, rinse well and dry thoroughly in the oven at the lowest temperature (150 or 175 degrees) or in your dehydrator. Use parchment paper if you’re using an aluminum baking sheet as aluminum is toxic (it can interfere with magnesium absorption). Store in a sealed container for later use.