When it comes to our menstrual cycle, there are numerous ways to support it. Due to all of the hormone disruptors in our environment, is learning how to eat for your menstrual cycle.
By exercising and eating for our menstrual cycle, we can provide our bodies with the support it needs. The recommendations below are based on a normal hormonal cycle.
I recommend tracking your physical to understand what phase you’re in. I use a Daysy (you can get $15 off with code “DaysyUS+465) & the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, is beneficial to have!
As women, we go through four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Typically our cycle lasts for 28-days, but it ranges between 23-36 days. Ideally, you track while you’re not on birth control as birth control disrupts our brains and ovaries’ communication.
Here is a brief overview of our hormonal phases:
This is when our period start, in which we shed the uterine lining. On average, your period can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Hormonal, this is when Estrogen and Progesterone are very low.
The follicular begins the day you start your period and continues until you ovulate. The follicular phase is when Estrogen is increasing to grow a follicle to become an egg. Progesterone also begins to slowly increase, preparing for ovulation. This phase usually lasts 7-10 days.
This is when your ovaries release an egg. It is a very short phase, 3-4 days, in which you can get pregnant, but sperm can last up to 5 in the body.
Estrogen has peaked and begins to decline. At the same time, Progesterone starts to increase rapidly.
The final phase begins right after ovulation and lasts for 10-14 days. Hormonally we see a little rise in Estrogen only to drop off again. However, Progesterone will peak at the midway point (5th or 7th day) of this phase.
Then it will drop off like Estrogen if the egg was not fertilized. Then we start all over again with our period.
Each phase has specific foods and supplements you can incorporate to help your hormones. However, having a whole foods-based diet is the foundation you want. Aim for high-quality animal meats, free-range eggs, organic vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and nuts/seeds.
Aim to reduce processed foods, gluten/wheat, grains (if you can’t tolerate them), conventional dairy, and refined sugar.
The major concern during our periods is the dip in energy levels. This is due to both Estrogen and Progesterone levels being so low. We also have the matter of the loss of Iron. This is when we want to provide our bodies with as many nutrients as possible.
This phase begins on the first day of your period. So for the first week of this phase, you’ll follow the menstruation recommendations. However, as your period ends, the more energy you’ll have.
This is when Estrogen is starting to rise, and we become insulin sensitive (bring on the carbs!)
During this period, we are very fertile. This is when Estrogen levels peak and begins to decline. The goal here is to support the change in hormones and energy.
You will still follow the recommendations for the ovulatory phase for the first 3-4 days. However, the primary goal here is to prepare for our period and detox the excess Estrogen.
With all of the recommendations above, you can pick and choose what works best for you. If you have any form of gut dysbiosis, you can manipulate it to the protocol you’re on.
The cause will help balance your hormones and ensure your body is working efficiently! Here are some simple ways to make eating for your menstrual cycle effortless.
I hope this helps you find foods to support how you can eat to support your menstrual cycle! Pick and choose a couple of things that make you feel good and have a happy period. I also recommend a paleo lifestyle but modified to your needs.
Thank youu so much for reading!