Our bodies are beautifully intricate, and the menstrual cycle is a testament to this complexity. Embracing the four distinct phases of our cycle allows us to honour our bodies, energy levels, optimize our well-being, and align our activities with the natural rhythm that naturally occurs, aswell as altering our nutrition to support each phase.
Phase 1: Menstrual Phase - Embrace Rest and Rejuvenation
The first phase marks the onset of your menstrual bleed, a unique experience for every individual that typically lasts up to 7 days. This phase calls for nourishment, rest, and reflection. During this time, it's crucial to be gentle with yourself and focus on replenishing any nutrients that may be lost during your period. Iron-rich foods are paramount during this phase due to blood loss. Incorporate sources like quality red meats, dark leafy greens, and seafood into your diet. Additionally, boosting zinc intake with foods such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, avocados, legumes, and eggs can be beneficial.
Phase 2: Follicular Phase - Ignite Creativity and Energy
The follicular phase begins on day 1 of the menstrual bleed and spans approximately 7-10 days. During this time, your body gears up to release an egg from your ovaries during ovulation. The uterine lining thickens to support potential pregnancy. Oestrogen, luteninzing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone levels rise, leading to increased energy and vitality. Embrace creativity, brainstorming, goal-setting, and getting out in nature during this phase. Boosting healthy fats in your diet, like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, and avocados, can support hormone production. Incorporating fibre-rich foods aids hormone detoxification and excretion.
Phase 3: Ovulatory Phase - Embrace Connection and Vitality
The ovulatory phase, spanning around 3-5 days, involves the release of an egg from the ovaries, ready for potential fertilization. This phase encourages intimacy, enjoyment, and connecting with others. Increase zinc-rich foods like grass-fed red meat, seeds, oysters, and avocados to support progesterone production, necessary for fertilization and implantation. Omega-3 rich foods become important due to increased nitric oxide levels, enhancing blood flow to the uterus. This phase encourages engaging in nature, expressing gratitude, and opening yourself to new experiences.
Phase 4: Luteal Phase - Embrace Reflection and Self-Care
The luteal phase readies the endometrium for potential fertilization, leading to a rise in progesterone. If fertilization and implantation don't occur, progesterone decreases, often accompanied by premenstrual symptoms. This phase calls for self-care, manifestation, and grounding activities. Prioritize protein-rich foods like tofu, legumes, fish, and eggs to support your body's needs during this phase. This is a time for organization, introspection, and embracing your intuition. As the phase progresses, focus on rest, relaxation, and prioritising self-care. The menstrual cycle is an incredible journey that unfolds within us. By understanding and embracing each phase, we can optimize our well-being, and align with our cyclical nature. Remember, these phases aren't limitations; they're opportunities for empowering ourselves in how to best support our wellbeing throughout the month. Get in touch if you’d like more individualised support here.