Food is Key: The Power it has to Ensure a Healthy Cycle

Contributor: Avery Geary
Photographer: Bronwyn Huddleson
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Food is Key: The Power it has to Ensure a Healthy Cycle

Certain foods contain properties known to support and influence the menstrual cycle. Incorporating these throughout your cycle, depending on the phase you are in, can greatly enhance your flow, relieve PMS symptoms and help with fertility.

For each phase, it is important to focus on incorporating the basics. These include: whole grains, oily fish, fruits and vegetables, and seeds.  (Please refer to the hormonal support article for seed cycling: insert link here)

The following provides a guideline to nutritionally support each phase of your cycle. It is best to incorporate these foods when possible, but you are not solely limited to them.

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MENSTRUATION PHASE:

These foods are rich in iron to support blood loss.  It is best to incorporate foods rich in protein, fat and low-glycemic vegetables to regulate blood sugar.

  • Grains: buckwheat and wild rice

  • Vegetables: seaweed (dulce, kombu), mushrooms, kale, beets

  • Fruit: blueberries, blackberries, watermelon

  • Meat: duck and pork

  • Seafood: sardines, clams, lobster

  • Legumes: adzuki, kidney

  • Other: decaf coffee

 

FOLLICULAR PHASE:

The foods work to support proper ovulation. Foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, sprouted seeds and sustaining grains (i.e. oat) help to increase energy during this phase.

  • Grains: barley, and oat

  • Vegetables: artichoke, barley, carrots, lettuce, peas, zucchini

  • Fruit: avocado, lemon, lime, pomegranate, cherries

  • Legumes: black-eyed peas, green lentil, split pea

  • Meat: chicken and eggs

  • Seafood: clam, soft-shell crab, trout

  • Other: nut butter, olives, sauerkraut

 

OVULATORY PHASE:  

These foods work to enhance ovulation. Enjoy foods that are supportive for ovarian health. These foods include raw fruits and vegetables, and grains like quinoa and corn to to help metabolize excess estrogen.

-  Grains: amaranth, quinoa, corn

-   Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, persimmons, apricot, cantaloupe, guava, coconut, fig

  • Vegetables:  asparagus, red bell pepper, brussels sprout, eggplant, spinach and tomato

  • Legumes: red lentil

  • Fish: salmon, shrimp, tuna

  • Meat: lamb

  • Other: turmeric, chocolate, coffee, wine  

 

LUTEAL PHASE:  

These foods work to balance hormones and receive PMS symptoms. Add foods such as root vegetables and dark leafy greens to help your liver flush out excess hormones efficiently.

-   Grains: brown rice, millet

  • Vegetables: cabbage, cauliflower, celery, garlic, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, mustard greens, daikon  

  • Fruit: apple, dates, pears

  • Legumes: chickpeas, navy beans

  • Meat: beef, turkey

  • other: mint/peppermint, spirulina

Notes:

  • These foods can be eaten with other foods not listed

  • It is best to incorporate these foods into you diet when possible.