Jan 25, 2021

What foods to eat over your menstrual cycle

Between chasing nutrition and battling cravings, knowing what foods to eat over your menstrual cycle can be complicated! When your period starts, that second block of chocolate may be looking mighty fine… however, it could be a good idea to opt for something a little more wholesome instead! While it’s mega important to #treatyoself, it’s even more essential to ensure that your body is getting the nutrition that it needs. Did you know that, depending on where you’re at in your cycle, this can mean different things? From focusing on replenishing iron, to eating gut-friendly foods, we’re here to break it down for you!


First up, why do our nutritional needs change during our cycle? The short answer is that our hormones are influenced by many things – yep, including what we eat! Being mindful of what we eat at each phase of our cycle can be hugely beneficial to hormonal health, physical health and emotional wellbeing. As hormonal levels (namely progesterone and oestrogen) are on a monthly rollercoaster, it’s a great idea to eat to support hormonal activity, production and detoxification!


Menstrual Phase: Days 1 – 5

The first day of your period marks the beginning of the menstrual phase. Your progesterone and oestrogen levels are at their lowest at this point of the cycle; as well as your iron, due to blood loss. To help replenish this and fight your dwindling energy levels, our top tip is take a scenic stroll, followed by a Netflix fest & some delish iron-rich snacks. Think legumes, nuts, dark green leafy veg and lean proteins. Wholesome salads & wraps are your friend, whereas bloat-inducing and energy-crash foods should be avoided. It’s a good idea to also limit your salt and sugar intake. We promise you that your body will thank you for it!


Do’s: Iron-rich foods, plant-based foods and herbal teas.

Don’ts: Salty foods, spicy foods and caffeine.



Follicular Phase: Days 6 – 14

As you say buh-bye to your period, your egg follicles start to prep for ovulation. Oestrogen is on the rise, so you should be eating foods that will help to break it down. Healthy eating & gut-friendly foods like sprouted grains, broccoli and fermented foods can do absolute wonders for you during this time! You may find that your inner Energiser bunny is coming out too, so it’s a fab time to do a little exercise.


Do’s: Probiotic foods and antioxidants.

Don’ts: Processed foods and intolerable foods.



Ovulation Phase: Days 15 – 17

That egg has matured and you’re probably feeling like a whole new woman! Energy and motivation is at an all-time high, and you should absolutely take advantage of this. Get active in all the ways that feel good and get creative in the kitchen. During the ovulation stage of your cycle, the best foods are those that fuel your body while supporting muscle growth and recovery. That means proteins, healthy fats, fruits, veggies & complex carbs – did somebody say drool-worthy wholewheat pasta?!


Do’s: Wholegrains, chia, legumes and kale.

Don’ts: Artificial trans-fats and refined sugar.