The Period Diet

When I first got my period I think I was 13 or 14. What I didn’t realize was that, In some respect, I would feel alone In dealing with my menstrual cycle for most of my life. Not that I don’t have any female friends I do It’s that we all go through our monthly friend, crimson tide or shark week differently. Some of us bloat, feel tired, and all we want to do Is watch romantic comedies. Then there are some of us who act like nothing Is happening and they just keep going on through the day as such. I am a mixture of the two. During the cooler months, I’m all for exercising and eating healthy. During the HOT months, I rarely leave the house unless It Involves taking my dogs for a walk.

Today I am going to talk about the Period “Diet”. The Period “Diet” Is broken down Into phases.


Period Phases

Here are the period phases all women who experience periods go through. I also added recommended foods to help you and the science behind It. Obviously, There are some things here that you want but you can’t have. Caffeine Is one of those things that I know that I can’t go without (I need at least 1 cup of coffee a day) so I try and cut back to half a cup. Little changes do also make a difference.

Phase 1: Follicular  The follicular phase Is when the follicles In your ovary mature, just before you enter ovulation.

~Recommended Foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables; hearty whole grains (like buckwheat); lean protein (seafood or beans) It’s been recommended to avoid red meat during your period.

~Science: Hormones are at low levels post-menstruation and nutrient-packed foods will help you get your energy up. Caffeine Is NOT recommended during your period.

Phase 2: Ovulation occurs when your matured egg Is released from the ovary, travels down the Fallopian tube, and patiently awaits being fertilized

~Recommended Foods: Fibrous fruits and veggies and light grains, like corn and quinoa.

~Science: During this phase, testosterone surges, then drops.“elimination” (poop) Is an Important part of ridding your body of the surplus of estrogen, hence all that fiber. Eating lots of raw fruits and veggies gives you the vitamins and antioxidants for high-functioning and healthy ovaries.

Phase 3 The Luteal Phase: ( occurs after ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg) and before your period starts.” In other words, it’s the latter two weeks of a four-week cycle.)

~Recommended Foods:  B vitamin-rich foods including eggs, seafood, and leafy greens; baked root vegetables; probiotic foods like kimchi and sauerkraut; cilantro; vitamin E-packed foods like almonds and avocados.

~Science: This Is when estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone reach their peak concentrations, and then begin to fall to their lowest levels right before bleeding.  Vitamin B foods help manage blood sugar, while the root veggies can cleanse the liver, flushing out excess estrogen. Probiotics reduce bloat, chlorophyll-packed cilantro can clear the skin, and Vitamin E Is an anti-inflammatory that can aid breast pain.

Phase 4: Menstruation: After your unfertilized egg unceremoniously exits the Fallopian tube, It breaks apart and your uterine lining begins to shed.

~Recommended Foods: Low-glycemic fruits and veggies; protein; seaweed; Omega 3 fatty acids; beets

~Science: If you regularly struggle with cramping, “Diet” could be a part of the problem.  Your body Isn’t making enough of the right type of prostaglandins and too much of another type as a result of a lack of essential fatty acids, which also help fight Inflammation. The low-glycemic foods will supposedly keep my blood sugar In check, while beets boost iron for anemic folks like myself, and seaweed can replaces minerals lost.


Menstruation (Days 1-5)

How you might feel: tense, Irritable, and bloated, with pelvic pain, bad skin, and sore breasts. This hormonal shift typically makes women feel tired.

What you should eat: Yogurts, Oatmeal, and fruit. You want to eat light for breakfast.

Lunch will be light also. Salads, spinach, red peppers, and beans. These are lights things and full of fiber and vitamin c which Is what your body needs In the beginning of shark day.

I recommend not working out the first 2-3 days. It’s okay to give your body a break. But If you need some type of exercise try walking or yoga.


Follicular (Days 5-13)

This Is the stage when women tend to feel fantastic. As estrogen levels rise, so too does a woman’s libido and energy.

Increased energy, you will feel a greater drive to work out more and fuel up. You’re naturally going to crave stronger portion sizes than when you were menstruating. Vitamin B12 – found In red meat – Is key to nourishing cells and preparing your body for exercise.

Exercise: Take advantage of the extra energy and get back to your normal workout routine If you feel up to It. Everybody Is Different.


Ovulation (Day 14)

Ovulation happens In the middle of your cycle – 14 days before your period starts. It can happen anywhere between day 12 and day 16 of a woman’s cycle.

Women are at their most active In this stage – and their sex drive Is at Its peak.

Your energy levels are even stronger than in phase two, so eating well is crucial.

Zinc Is also key to aid cell division – whether you’re trying to conceive or not.

It Is In a woman’s best interests to keep the natural fertility cycle moving, even while they are using birth control.

Fish, figs, and whole grains are a good source of zinc.

Exercise: If you have the energy keep doing your normal workout routine. Again everybody Is different. For me, I like to stick to yoga during my shark week. It gives my body a break from my normal routine and It help clears my mind.


Luteal (Days 15-28)

This phase Is long. The first two days will feel good. The rest Is the hardest bit of the entire cycle. Essentially, your uterus Is being prepared for a possible pregnancy and the lining of your uterus becomes thicker.

Pre-menstrual stress (PMS), cramps, headaches, break-outs, pain, lethargy, anger, tender breasts, weak legs, Intense hunger – It all happens at this point.

After the first two days stage, your appetite feels like It’s going through the roof that Is absolutely fine. Your metabolism rates are rocketing. As with every other stage: listen to your body.

You crave carbs, so eat them. Just make sure It Is good produce like whole wheat pasta or sweet potato. You will also be craving sweet food. Try to avoid soda, cake, and candy. Turn to fruit, dark chocolate, a smoothie, or natural peanut butter with a drizzle of honey.

Exercise: I recommend If you have the energy go for your normal workout. My recommendation Is that yoga or walking or anything other light workouts are best at this stage.


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