Eating for your menstrual cycle
Since I started tracking my period a few years ago, I’ve become much more aware of the different phases of my period, the dips in my energy and mood and what I can eat to support my hormones in each phase.
The menstrual phase is when many of us feel super low with less energy and cramps and pain, to boot. During this time, I love eating lots of iron rich foods like grass-fed organic beef and lamb, dark leafy greens, chickpeas and lentils to rebuild my iron levels and lots of vitamin C foods like citrus, berries, peppers and broccoli to help absorb the iron from the iron-rich vegetables.
I continue to eat lots of good fats to fight any sugar (chocolate!!!) cravings.
Do you notice a difference in what you eat in the week of your period?
This usually happens for a week after your period ends. This is the time in your cycle when you feel amazing, with great, glowing skin and loads of energy. Can anyone relate to this?
I love eating lots of leafy greens, flax, pumpkin, beetroot, chilli, watermelon and oily fish during this time of my cycle to support hormone clearance, blood circulation and give my immune system a boost.
Do you notice a difference in what you eat (and crave!) in the week after you finish your period?
Yes, this phase is still important even when we’re not trying to get pregnant! The menstrual cycle has been called the fifth vital sign and ovulation is a sign that things are working as they should.
So what do you eat to support your body when you ovulate? Well, eating a diet rich in fruit and veg, free-range meat and dairy, wild fish and some whole grains will support ovulation – this is something that’s helpful through your cycle.
Vitamin D foods like mushrooms, wild salmon, sardines, organic milk and eggs and a variety of fruit and veg in a range of colours have loads of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help support the immune system during this phase.
My luteal phase, which is at the end of my cycle, right before my period, is when I need lots of healthy fats to support skin health and prevent the breakouts that are so common during this time. I also eat lots of magnesium and tryptophan foods to help support my mood – avocado, wild salmon, sesame and sunflower seeds are great during this time.
Would you eat for your cycle? For some, this is too much detail, so here’s a few basic food principles that will support your cycle no matter what phase you’re in.
- Eat lots of vegetables every day, especially green leafy and cruciferous vegetables.
- Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.
- Drink lots of water.
- Eat and drink fermented foods.
- Eat wild caught fish a few times a week.
- Be mindful about the way you eat sugar and drink caffeine and alcohol.
Do you eat to support your cycle? Would you try it?
Are you feeling perplexed by your cycle? Do you want to finally get to grips with period pain, mood swings and sugar cravings? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!