The Menstrual Phase
We are concluding our 4 part series on the dietary requirements for the different phases of the menstrual cycle. By eating the right foods at the right times, we can powerfully restore and balance hormonal health while restoring our body to its natural rhythm. We are talking specifically of a very simple and yet ground breaking approach to hormonal health which was developed by Alisa Vitta in her book, WomanCode: Perfect your Cycle, Amplify your Fertility, Supercharge your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source.
The protocol that is advocated in the WomanCode supports the 5 different hormones that maintain a healthy menstrual cycle namely estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing stimulating hormone (LH), and testosterone. Specific foods are propagated at different phases of the menstrual cycle to support each of these hormones and their optimum levels. Having already discussed the best foods to support the follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases, we now come to discussing how we can support our body during the menstrual phase.
The menstrual phase is the obviously the most well-known of the menstrual cycle. It occurs when the uterine lining is shed and it is an intense process of eliminating what isn’t required by our body anymore. In this stage, progesterone levels drop off and estrogen reaches its peak before it starts declining as well. Our bodies become depleted both physically and emotionally during this phase. Ideally the body and kidneys needs support to help re-mineralize in this phase.
This where meat and b-vitamin rich foods come in. Rich in iron, zinc, and iodine, these foods are wonderfully nourishing during the menstrual stage where our body is working hard at eliminating our uterine lining. The high iron content helps replenish blood loss and the fats in these foods also help keep our mood stable. Some good examples are grass-fed beef/lamb, salmon, eggs, bone broths, dark leafy greens, kale, spinach, and beets.
This entire 4 part series was to illustrate not just a fad but something that is fast becoming a lifestyle for many women. Using something as simple as food, we can not only heal our hormonal health but we can also nourish our body effectively and support it as it takes us through our journey of life.
For added support, you can also check out Alisa Vitta’s app, MyFlo, which tracks your period and gives feedback on what to eat and what exercise are best for the different phases of your menstrual cycle.