So I haven’t done anything for my holistic health series in a while and I figured it’s about time.
I never really thought that my diet could play a significant role in truly changing my health. I eat my veggies. I drink water. What more could I do? Over time I have learned that my diet tremendously changes my body. I was able to nearly eliminate menstrual cramps, heal my migraines and regain my energy. Ok sounds like an infomercial now doesn’t it?
I wrote a while back about how being in tune with our hormones as a woman, makes us stronger, more productive, and more at peace. And the thing is, food and hormones are in a tight relationship. When you’re well-nourished, your hormones are well-nourished. Which basically makes everyone, and most importantly, you, happier. (And healthier.)
SO. How do we sync our diet with our hormonal cycles to get the best bang for our nutrition??
Phase 1 (menstruation): Sprouted and Fermented Foods
Bean sprouts, broccoli sprouts, kimchi, sauerkraut, vinegar, and yogurt. In the first week, estrogen is rising in the body and these foods contain 3-endole-carbinol, which helps break the hormones down. Fermented food is also high in folic acid, which helps our lady parts produce, well, ahem fluids down there.
Phase 2 (fertile phase): Raw Juice and Fresh Veggies
Get ready for it, there’s going to be a surge of estrogen this phase. If you’re into juicing, make fresh juices from beets, kale, figs, or lemon. Eat fresh salads, or make smoothies. It’s important to get glutathione to the liver to break down estrogen that’s hanging out there. Excess estrogen causes all kinds of ailments – from acne to weight gain. Eating fresh antioxidants is crucial as your body naturally raises its estrogen level as ovulation approaches.
Phase 3 (post-ovulation phase, infertile): Grains and Greens
Eat things like quinoa, kale, whole grain bread, cous cous, and bok choy. In this phase, progesterone and estrogen both surge (at ovulation) and then decline quickly after (leading you into your infertile phase). This greatly affects our moods. Grains contain vitamin B which helps level out serotonin and greens contain magnesium. (Which if you struggle with post-ovulation migraines, magnesium is a great supplement to take.)
Phase 3 (still infertile phase, week before menstruation): Healthy Fats and Root Veggies
Salmon, avocados, olives, sweet potatoes, beets, pumpkin seeds, flax oil and green tea. Think healthy fats – omega3s. This is when I take fish oil supplement, which contains super sized omega3s. In this phase, your body is preparing for menstruation, progesterone and estrogen both begin their decline. To keep your mood and energy, essential fatty acids will are vital. Vitamin A is also crucial is detoxifying the liver in this phase. Also did I mention that Olives are packed with nutrition for your lady parts? I mean the whole gamut. Good for cramps, good for fertility, good for fluids. You get the gist.
So that’s kind of my regimen. It took a few cycles, but for me I noticed a DRASTIC change in my mood and my body after switching over to a more hormone friendly diet. On top of it, a healthier cycle leads to a healthier gut, liver, and heart. Not bad for just a few grocery items at the store every week…
*Some things to keep in mind…I’m NOT a doctor, just a crunchy lady who’s a bit of a health nut. Secondly, if you’re on any kind of hormone replacement therapy (contraception or hormonal supplements) you won’t gain the hormonal benefits, as estrogen and progesterone aren’t rising and falling as they would in a “natural” cycle. BUT you’ll still gain the nutritional benefits. Lastly, I got a lot of this information originally from here, and then I started building from this diet, what I knew worked for my body and what I know about fertility and cycles.