Got unwanted hair growing on your upper lip, fingers, and toes? Me too.
As well as unbearable cramps just before and during “that time of the month.”
And let’s not forget dooming blood work showing high cholesterol and glucose levels.
Before I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in 2010, I had no idea that these were just a few of the unpleasant symptoms I’d experience in the future. I also had no idea that two out of three of these symptoms were manageable by adding a single spice to my diet!
What is PCOS
PCOS is a hormonal condition that results in many physical and emotional symptoms. PCOS affects about 10 million women worldwide. Chances are, you know someone that has it, whether they know it or not.
Some women may have cysts on their ovaries, but some may not.
More common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Weight gain: And trouble losing it
- Fatigue: More than just that 3:00 pm slump
- Thinning hair on head: Lose it on the head and gain it on the hands and feet… grrrrrreat
- Acne: It’s not just for adolescents anymore
- Irregular or Missed Periods: Leading to…
- Infertility: PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women
- Headaches: Damn hormones
- Sleep Problems: Linked to insomnia and sleep apnea
- Mood swings, depression, and anxiety: From hormones and dealing with the symptoms listed above
Suggested for You: 4 Simple Tips to Make Living with PCOS Easier
Are Hormones the Answer? (Not Always)
PCOS is not to be taken lightly! Yet when I was diagnosed, my OBGYN simply suggested I take birth control to regulate my periods.
That was it.
I thought, Oh great! Let’s just throw even more hormones into the mix! No thank you. What about my risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke?
I’m not going out like that if I can help it.
My PCOS diagnosis is one of the reasons why I became a Holistic Nutritionist. Through my certification studies, I learned that plant-based foods have the power to help the body heal itself.
So I did some digging and discovered the one spice that’s been humbly hiding in plain sight that is helping me with my own PCOS symptoms.
The Surprising Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon does more than spice up your latte! Numerous studies are supporting the many benefits of cinnamon for the body, including:
- Reduces the severity of pelvic cramps
- Improves blood glucose levels
- Help lower A1C for those with Type 2 Diabetes
In studies done specifically on women with PCOS, cinnamon has been shown to:
- Increase insulin sensitivity
- Decrease fasting glucose
- Reduce total cholesterol, including decrease LDL (“bad cholesterol”)
- Increase HDL (“good cholesterol”)
It’s amazing! Cinnamon treats many symptoms of PCOS, tastes great, smells sweet, and doesn’t require a prescription!
There are many ways to incorporate this health-promoting spice into your daily routine.
Sprinkle Cinnamon in Your Tea or Coffee
Especially when the weather starts to cool down, cinnamon is a perfect pairing for tea. My favorite teas to add cinnamon to are red rooibos, matcha green tea, and (a little extra) chai tea. Experiment with flavor combinations like nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom, and vanilla. In fact, I think I’ll go make myself a cup right now!
Stir Cinnamon into Oatmeal or Yogurt
If you’re not currently including oatmeal and yogurt into your diet, cinnamon may help you reconsider! Kick up the flavor of your boring oatmeal or vanilla yogurt with this spice. Cinnamon adds natural sweetness without any sugar. It’s a win-win!
Add Cinnamon To Delicious and Healthy Plant-Based Baked Goods
Cinnamon and baked goods go hand-in-hand! Even if you’re trying to watch your weight, you don’t have to deprive yourself of healthy plant-based deliciousness! (I sure don’t!) Cinnamon can be an incredible addition to plant-based muffins, cookies, and other baked goods.
Cinnamon Spice, it’s Totally Nice!
To my fellow PCOS Cysters: cinnamon is an easy addition to meals and beverages that may also help you manage your symptoms. It is fragrant, delicious, and affordable. Now go check your spice racks!
It may not stop the hair from growing on my upper lip, but hey, I can deal with that. As long as I’ve got cinnamon in my tea, and hope in my heart for the eventual cure of PCOS, I’m not losing any sleep over it.
Belinda McCall is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of www.WomanBeeWell.com. Her focus is on women’s wellness with an emphasis on whole food plant-based nutrition and empowering mindset. She believes that wellness looks different for every woman and strives to help each woman uniquely shine. Sign up for free nutrition and mindset tips, plant-based recipes, and more.