Picture this—mood swings, hormonal breakouts, unpredictable cravings—yup we’ve all been there and may have even thought “Wouldn’t it be so much easier to be a guy?” Ladies, we hear you.Menstruation—pre, post and during, can be a whirlwind and throw us off our game. But it doesn’t always have to be this way and there are steps we can take to minimise these changes that may seem uncontrollable. By understanding what our body needs at each phase of our cycle as hormone levels fluctuate, you can supplement your body with the nutrients it so dearly needs.
Health Coach, Amanda Luukinen, breaks each phase down and shares her recipes for hassle-free dishes that will support your body through the month. Try incorporating these recipes to improve the wellness of your body and ease any unwanted symptoms.
Phase 1 – The Menstruation Phase
First up, menstruation—during this intense phase cravings can be real. This is because your body loses vital minerals such as zinc and iron causing you to crave nutrient-dense foods in order to keep up this process. This Miso Mushroom Ramen is a simple yet comforting vegan, gluten-free dish to load up on the nutrients and minerals that have been drained from your body during this phase. This dish is loaded with lean protein and minerals, exactly what you need during your menstruation phase.
Phase 2 – The Follicular Phase
During the 7-10 days after your menstruation ends, your hormones levels are at their lowest and begin to rise, resulting in a rise in the energy levels. To sustain your energy levels, your body need proper fuelling.
Eating fresh, light foods such as veggies, lean proteins, and quality grains will provide long-lasting energy. This Avocado Toast is a simple favourite that will have you feeling fresh and vibrant during this phase.
Phase 3 – The Ovulatory Phase
Ovulation, during the ovulatory phase is typically triggered in the middle of your cycle and lasts for 3-5 days. This is also known as your fertile window, as your body is working hard to create the healthiest egg possible. The upsurge of oestrogen level during this phase can cause dreaded hormonal symptoms such as breakouts and bloating.
What you can do to assist your body is to flush out excess oestrogen with foods that are high in fibre and antioxidants. This Warm Quinoa Salad is a good example of high fibre dish packed with antioxidants that you can easily prepare at home.
Phase 4 – The Luteal Phase
Photo: JSHEALTH by Jessica Sepel
Premenstrual symptoms kicks in just about 10-14 days before your menstruation starts, in the luteal phase. As energy levels gradually lesson and the hormones oestrogen and progesterone naturally decrease, you begin to feel sluggish, lethargic and can become more self-aware.
Nutritious food is fundamental to maintain your hormonal balance during this phase. These Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes are a great way is warm, comforting and a great way to flush out excess oestrogen and keep the sugar cravings at bay.