I have always been fascinated by the human body, and the older I become the more fascinated I become by my own body and that means menstrual cycles. Marry that with my passion for nutrition and that means, yes you guess it, we are going to talk about nutrition and the menstrual cycle.
The menstural cycle is 28 days, 4 cycles, and your body's nutritional needs are different during each phase.
Phase 1: Menstruation - Day 1-5
Replenish iron with red meat, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes and citrus.
Fight pain with oily fish, turmeric, ginger, curries, and berries.
Gentle exercise like yoga, walking, and stretching can help soothe pain, boost mood and help you concentrate.
Hormones can make you feel hot and disrupt your sleep. Keep your bedroom cool and hit the sack early.
Phase 2: Follicular phase - Day 1-13
Support hormone production and healthy ovulation with avocado, wild salmon, walnuts, seeds, coconut oil, greek yogurt, hummus, almonds, spinach, broccoli, and parsley.
Oestrogen levels are high after menstruation, which means you'll be feeling good and full of energy. Just be careful, research shows that injury is more likely during this time of the month so make sure you warm up and cool down.
Hormones and temperature should normalise after the first few days of this cycle (menstruation) and you should be able to sleep better.
Phase 3: Ovulation - Day 14
Your oestrogen levels are dropping, so balance your hormones with oestrogen rich foods such as dried-fruits, flaxseed, chickpeas, and beans.
Exercise can help your mood and focus, the changes in hormones can make you feel wonky so take it easy.
At this time of the month you might feel like you need more sleep and naps because of the dip in oestrogen levels and increase in progesterone levels.
Phase 4: Luteal phase - Day 15 -28
Your hormone changes make you crave energy-rich foods, so try to get the extra calories from healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, fish, and lean proteins.
Your body temperature is high during this time, so you might find it hard to workout for long periods. Try doing short bursts of high intense exercise, since you'll have the energy.
Ovulation increases your progesterone levels, which can make you sleepy and have increase REM cycles. In the three days before menstruation, hormonal changes can disturb your sleep.
I hope this helps you understand your cycle and body better and feel good throughout the month.
Love and Health,