RD Shares What Foods To Eat According to Your Menstrual Cycle

For individuals who menstruate, cycle syncing might be an empowering solution to take possession of how hormones affect your physique. For athletes, this may increasingly imply adopting menstrual-cycle-syncing exercises, which account for various hormone ranges and ratios all through the month.

By way of vitamin, Nikki Saheb, RDN, CNS, a registered dietitian, licensed vitamin specialist, and founding father of Salamati Diet, says what we eat is one more essential issue that may affect hormone and menstrual cycles. As such, Saheb recommends adopting a “4 seasons” strategy to vitamin centered round optimizing your food plan to fulfill your physique’s wants in the course of the totally different phases of your hormone cycle.

Take into account, nevertheless, as speaking about hormones and menstruation has been traditionally performed in hushed tones, analysis on menstrual cycles1 remains to be in its infancy on account of obvious analysis gender gaps regardless of there being almost 1.8 billion individuals who menstruate every month2. That’s to say, as a lot as we look forward to extra knowledge to assist hormone well being—particularly for people who menstruate—everybody’s physique is totally different and consulting with a medical well being skilled earlier than adopting any new meals or complement routine remains to be one of the best plan of action.

Cycle syncing vitamin for the ‘4 seasons’ of your menstrual cycle

Winter: Menstruation (Days 1-5)

In line with Saheb, the menstruation section (aka winter) begins on the primary day of your interval.

“Within the absence of being pregnant, the uterus sheds its lining, leading to menstrual bleeding,” Saheb explains. Throughout this time, she factors out that estrogen and progesterone ranges are low, and on account of menstruation, iron ranges can decline. This may go away of us wanting heat consolation meals, very like it’s possible you’ll really feel in the course of the harsh, chilly winter months.

As such, Saheb recommends specializing in three key vitamins throughout this time: iron, vitamin C, and magnesium. “Iron-rich meals are essential to replenish the blood misplaced throughout menstruation and it’s useful so as to add vitamin C to assist in iron absorption. In the meantime, magnesium might help regulate the nervous system and cut back premenstrual syndrome signs (PMS),” Saheb says. Moreover, you’ll discover that lots of the meals she recommends for the “winter” section additionally comprise excessive ranges of B nutritional vitamins, that are essential for power manufacturing and nervous system assist.

What to eat throughout your menstrual section: 

  • Iron-rich meals: darkish leafy greens, lentils, legumes, beans, dried prunes, grass-fed meat, fatty fish, shellfish, dates, and eggs
  • Vitamin C-rich meals: strawberries, colourful peppers, and citrus fruits
  • Magnesium-rich meals: beans, tofu, darkish chocolate, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and whole-grains

On the flip aspect, Saheb recommends avoiding ultra-processed meals, alcohol, spicy meals, and caffeine (if potential) throughout this time as they’ll doubtlessly irritate PMS signs. That stated, Saheb stresses the very last thing you need to do is undertake a restrictive mindset. “Don’t be too self-critical and hearken to your physique and emotional wants,” she says. On that observe, for those who’re experiencing PMS Sahabe recommends O Positiv’s FLO PMS Full to assist relieve signs throughout this section.

Spring: Follicular Part (Days 6-14)

This section begins on the final day of your interval and lasts till ovulation. “Within the mid-follicular section, as soon as bleeding has stopped, estrogen ranges rise, and so does our power. Spring has formally sprung in your physique, so that you’ll need to deal with recent, vibrant, and light-weight meals whereas together with comparable vitamins out of your menstrual section,” Saheb says.

Throughout this time, she recommends specializing in sources of phytoestrogens, naturally occurring polycyclic phenols which are present in sure crops. “Phytoestrogens are essential within the follicular section as a result of they assist regulate estrogen ranges and now have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties,” she says.

Saheb provides that incorporating probiotic-rich meals to assist a wholesome intestine microbiome is crucial for a powerful immune system throughout this time. Along with probiotic-rich meals, Saheb recommends O Positiv’s Prebiotic Fiber Gummies that comprise three grams of fiber per serving.

What to eat throughout your follicular section:

  • Probiotic-rich meals: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kombucha
  • Phytoestrogen-rich meals: flaxseeds, edamame, tofu, broccoli, kale, and pumpkin seeds

Summer season: Ovulation Part (Round Day 15-16)

Ovulation normally happens across the center of the menstrual cycle and is best generally known as the time of the month when being pregnant can happen. “This section is triggered by a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) and a peak in estrogen,” Saheb says. She notes that in this time, the physique’s basal temperature rises, therefore the summer season analogy. This may be accompanied by feeling extra “social and vibrant” than regular, in response to Saheb.

“Throughout this time, we need to assist our physique’s favourite detox organ, the liver. Many cruciferous greens are wealthy in glutathione, which is an antioxidant that helps the liver metabolize extra estrogen from the physique extra effectively. Fiber-rich meals additionally assist estrogen detoxing3,” Saheb says, which is essential for sustaining hormonal stability.

For anti-inflammatory advantages, Saheb additionally recommends pairing the meals under with heart-healthy omega-3 fat like salmon, mackerel, or sardines. Or, for a plant-based strategy, seaweed, walnuts, chia seeds, or edamame.

What to eat throughout your ovulation section:

  • Glutathione-rich meals: cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, and mushrooms
  • Fiber-rich meals: quinoa, berries, beans, candy potatoes, and avocado
  • Omega-3-rich meals: salmon, mackerel, sardines, seaweed, walnuts, chia seeds, or edamame

Fall: Luteal Part (Days 17-28)

“The luteal section is the longest section and is usually categorized into two components. Within the late luteal section, progesterone ranges rise till menstruation,” Saheb says. Throughout this time, she notes that you could be expertise a rise in urge for food. “Advanced or ‘slow-burning’ carbohydrates regulate our ‘glad hormones,’ aka serotonin and dopamine,” Saheb says. This may play a task in retaining temper and urge for food steady.

Through the luteal section, Saheb says rising the consumption of mineral-rich meals—excessive in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc—might help optimize progesterone manufacturing. Moreover, she recommends meals wealthy in fiber and B nutritional vitamins, which she says assist “hold power and blood sugar ranges steady and encourage common bowel actions.” To cut back PMS signs, Saheb additionally notes that upping your consumption of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices—in tea kind or together with your meals—might help.

What to eat throughout your luteal section:

  • Zinc-rich meals: oysters, chickpeas, tofu, and organ meats
  • Calcium-rich meals: yogurt, tofu, sardines, almonds, and darkish leafy greens
  • Potassium-rich meals: bananas, avocado, potatoes, winter squash, and beets
  • Magnesium-rich meals: beans, oatmeal, darkish chocolate, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices: purple raspberry leaf, ginger, dandelion root, turmeric, and saffron

A pleasant reminder: Hormonal cycles are very private and totally different for everybody

Though cycle-syncing vitamin could also be useful for some of us, it definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all resolution. “The menstrual cycle is a strong and complicated system that’s affected by many environmental and life-style components. It’s essential to do not forget that it is a information to assist nourish you all through every stage of your cycle. Don’t stress an excessive amount of about what you shouldn’t eat. As an alternative deal with slowly incorporating extra of the meals listed in every section,” Saheb says.

It’s additionally essential to take into account that ladies with irregular cycles on account of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), amenorrhea, perimenopause, or the usage of hormonal contraception, to call a couple of, can have various hormone ranges and cycles. As such, Saheb says it could be troublesome to pinpoint which “season” you’re in always. The silver lining? “So long as you’re nourishing your physique with nutrient-dense meals all through the month, you’re probably cycle-syncing your food plan with out even realizing it,” Saheb says.

A very powerful factor in Saheb’s purview? “Hearken to your physique and regulate your food plan primarily based in your particular person wants and the way you really feel. Most significantly, ensure you’re consuming sufficient to gas your unimaginable physique that’s working further onerous day-after-day to maintain you alive,” she says.

An RD shares find out how to eat on your menstrual cycle:




Properly+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, sturdy research to again up the data we share. You possibly can belief us alongside your wellness journey.


  1. Babbar, Karan et al. “Menstrual well being is a public well being and human rights concern.” The Lancet. Public well being vol. 7,1 (2022): e10-e11. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00212-7

  2. Rohatgi, Aishwarya, and Sambit Sprint. “Interval poverty and psychological well being of menstruators throughout COVID-19 pandemic: Classes and implications for the longer term.” Frontiers in world ladies’s well being vol. 4 1128169. 1 Mar. 2023, doi:10.3389/fgwh.2023.1128169

  3. Hodges, Romilly E, and Deanna M Minich. “Modulation of Metabolic Cleansing Pathways Utilizing Meals and Meals-Derived Elements: A Scientific Overview with Scientific Utility.” Journal of vitamin and metabolism vol. 2015 (2015): 760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689


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