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Jun 13, 2019

How to adapt your diet to your cycle

Getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals from your diet is key to reducing PMS symptoms and having a healthy menstrual cycle.

As your hormones fluctuate throughout the month, so too can your nutritional needs. That's why tailoring your nutrition to your cycle phase may help you feel healthier and happier in the long run!

Download Cycles to find out which phase you're in, and learn how to sync your diet to your cycle through every phase:

Menstrual Phase

During your period, anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce bloating and pain, as well as fighting fatigue. That's why you'll want to choose foods rich in magnesium, Omega-3s, iron, fiber and protein to feel your best during this phase.

What to eat: Dark chocolate, salmon, bananas, broccoli, tumuric, nuts and green leafy veggies. Be sure to drink plenty of water to reduce bloating, and try chamomile tea to soothe cramps and help you get a better night's sleep.

Follicular Phases

After your period, your follicular phase is marked by rising estrogen levels, which is why it's good to choose foods that assist in metabolizing estrogen.

What to eat: Sprouted and fermented food like broccoli sprouts, kimchi, and sauerkraut all help to metabolize estrogen. You can also try kidney beans, black beans, lentils and chickpeas as they are all rich in fiber, folate and iron which are essential throughout your cycle.

Ovulation Phase

Your energy levels may peak during ovulation, and you may find yourself with less of an appetite than during other cycle phases.

What to eat: Opt for similar foods to the follicular phase in order to keep metabolizing estrogen. Make sure to drink plenty of water include a wide range of fruits and vegetables to help your skin clear, as excess sebum is common during this phase.

Luteal Phase (PMS)

Characterized by the lowest hormone production of your cycle, the luteal phase generally results in lower energy and all those pesky PMS symptoms. This means that you’ll benefit from iron and zinc-rich foods, and you might notice that your appetite is higher during this phase as your energy levels dip.

What to eat: Spinach, pumpkin seeds and red meat are high in iron in zinc, meaning they can help manage PMS symptoms. Be sure to eat nutrient-rich food that satiates your hunger, and don't worry if you need to up your calorie intake slightly during this time - your body requires more energy right now.

As well as adapting your diet to your cycle, aim to get quality sleep every night, exercise regularly and practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing. It's can also help to make lifestyle changes, and limit your consumption of the following inflammatory foods where possible:

  • Foods that contain sugar
  • Sugary beverages
  • Too much salt
  • Alcohol
  • Excess caffeine
  • Refined carbs (ie. white pasta, candy, pies, cookies, cakes)

Looking for more? Discover the best workout routine for every phase of your cycle!