Is this the first time someone has told you to eat something that is suitable for your menstrual cycle? Most of you might have heard foods for curing menstrual disorders. However, it is incredibly important to plan your diet according to each phase of your cycle even if you are not facing any menstrual disorders. Your cycle is regulated by some crucial hormones and these hormones are released when your body gets proper nutrients.
Why hormonal balance and healthy menstrual cycle is necessary?
You must have heard your grandmother or mother saying that the menstrual cycle in a woman determines her overall health. You must have at least questioned once to yourself as to how can your reproductive organs dictate the overall health of the body. However, you will be surprised to know that hormones control some of the vital processes in your body such as your blood sugar levels, bone density, eyesight, and even mental health. It is, therefore, incredibly important to have proper hormone secretion and a regular menstrual cycle.
Here’s what you should eat during each of your menstrual phases
Follicular Phase: Day 6-Day 10
This is the phase when you will be charged with loads of energy and your body will be in beast mode due to all the testosterone and estrogen in the body. This is also the time when the follicles in your ovaries start growing with the help of all the hormones and the excess energy. Therefore, gorge on some nourishing fats and vitamin E. As estrogen is what your body will need the most during this phase, indulge in some estrogen powerhouses such as broccoli, sprouts, and cabbage.
Ovulatory Phase: Day 11-Day 18
This is the phase when the follicle turns into a fully developed egg and your body is naturally ready to reproduce. This is also the time when the egg is released and is popularly the time when ovulation occurs. You will notice some difference in your digestion patterns. Some of you might feel bloated at times. This is primarily because the body is getting rid of extra estrogen. Hence, nourish yourself with fibre rich and fermented foods to flush out the estrogen and other toxins from your system.
Luteal Phase: Day 19- Day 28
During this phase, the estrogen and testosterone levels drop and progesterone increases. As the body prepares for the final stage in the menstrual cycle during this phase, get ready to experience some mood swings. Your mood swings will gravitate you towards something sugary or salty as you will crave foods that increase your blood sugar levels. Stay away from unhealthy comfort food during this phase and switch to soups and food preparations with leafy greens. If you are craving a huge bar of chocolate then have Cacao to your heart’s content. It tastes like chocolate but has lesser calories and is loaded on magnesium.
Menstrual phase: Day 1-Day 5
This is when you get periods as the body releases the mature egg and the uterine lining sheds away. Gorge on iron-rich foods as you will experience fluctuation in your energy levels during this phase. Indulge in dark chocolate, grains, and spinach sandwiches. Meditation or restorative yoga will help you to stay calm and deal with period cramps during this phase.
The best part of planning your diet according to the days of your cycle is that it helps to combat the problems you face because of hormonal fluctuations. With adequate diet, you can overcome mood swings, low energy levels, cravings and even control breakouts on the face. Hence, you can welcome Aunty Flo without any discomfort every month.
Komal Patil is a business management graduate finding purpose through words, writing stories and poems.