notes: menstrual cycle nutrition and hormone balancing

  • limit/quit coffee
  • eat every 3–4 hours
  • support gut health
  • vitamins B and D

🌑 menstrual phase
body’s iron reserves gets depleted → makes you feel tired
cramping and pain → result of uterine contractions and the increased production of inflammatory prostaglandins

estrogen: ⬇️
progesterone: ⬇️

  • tired, achy, less social
  • as the week progresses and estrogen rises so will the mood and energy levels
  • body needs iron to maintain energy especially if you experience heavy bleeding
  • boost iron levels & reduce inflammation
  • ease pain with anti inflammatory & warming spices
  • prioritize rest
  • preferred cooking method: warming slow cooked foods like bone broths, soups, casseroles, and stews.
  • foods rich in iron: high-quality animal protein, avocado, leafy greens, ginger, and dark chocolate (red meats, offal, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, dried fruit, wholemeal pasta and bread, legumes, dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, silver beet, broccoli), oats, tofu)

🌒 follicular phase
high estrogen

estrogen: ⬆️

  • confident, full of energy, assertive, adventurous and feelings good in your body
  • good time for strength training
  • foods: green vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fatty fish, legumes

🌔 ovulatory phase
rising progesterone

estrogen: 🔝

  • sluggish, moody, slightly constipated, possible weight gain
  • foods rich in fiber such as raw (or lightly steamed) veggies and fruit (asparagus, Brussels sprouts, chard, dandelion greens, cilantro, and spinach)
  • to support further detoxification of rising hormones in the liver: antioxidant-rich fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries, and coconut
  • avoid heavy carbs and grains
  • eat regularly to keep blood sugar stable and avoid mood swings

🌕 luteal phase
estrogen and serotonin levels drop
serotonin is a neurotransmitter → responsible for maintaining mood balance → carbohydrates help replenish it

estrogen: ⬇️
progesterone: ⬇️

  • irritable, moody
  • cravings especially for fatty, carby foods
  • eat the chocolate
  • eat the most nutrient dense form of carbohydrates and fat
  • stabilize hormones by eating foods that increase progesterone naturally
  • warming slow cooked foods like bone broths, soups, casseroles, and stews
  • foods: lean protein, cauliflower, cucumber, squash, sesame seeds, spinach, and brown rice.
  • avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine which adds further burden to your liver that’s working feverishly to detox any excess estrogen

foods rich in estrogen
flax seeds, soy beans, edamame, dried fruits, sesame seeds, garlic, peaches, berries, tofu, cruciferous vegetables, wheat bran, tempeh

foods rich in progesterone
beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, nuts, pumpkin, spinach, whole grains

foods linked to chronic inflammation
artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, dairy products, excess meat, fried foods, gluten, processed foods, refined oils, sugar, trans fats

foods rich in probiotics
kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt with live cultures, (probiotic supplement)

vitamins B and D
wild-caught salmon, leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collard greens, and even romaine lettuce, eggs, sunflower seeds, milk, yogurt, and animal protein

🥕 raw carrots
contain unique undigestible fibres to help detox excess estrogen from the body

Raw carrots (not baby carrots) have been found to help by preventing the reabsorption of estrogen from the intestine, meaning the liver can more effectively regulate metabolism. Foods like carrots and coconut oil, that protect the bowel and can improve the hormonal environment, can have a huge impact on hormones and immunity. This salad recipe is pretty easy to put together, you will need:

½ to 1 medium carrot
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt