Understanding and Supporting Your Cycle

Updated: May 12, 2019




As women, we are well aware of our period. It's the one thing we have to consistently deal with every month for the bulk of our lives. However, there are 3 other phases in our cycle that we don't often think about (ok maybe ovulation) but guess what? They're important too.


You may or may not realize this, but we experience symptoms all month long that are related to each phase of our cycle and our lifestyle and stress levels can influence the way we feel during each phase.


Your cycle doesn't have to be a nightmare, but it's important to understand that hormones are always playing a role in how we feel, which is why we need to support them properly.

Here are the 4 phases and how to support them to help you feel balanced all month long.


Follicular Phase

Comes after your period and lasts 7-10 days

Estrogen and progesterone are both low at the beginning

Estrogen starts to slowly climb during this time to thicken the uterus lining to host the egg

FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) is released to prepare for the egg

You feel good physically and emotionally

Energy increases as estrogen rises


Signs of a hormone imbalance during this phase:

Estrogen headaches

Fatigue

Anxiety

Bloating

Moodiness

Emotional eating


Supporting this phase:

Consume essential fatty acids to help control inflammation

Get plenty of exercise

Eat lean protein for building and repairing

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to assist with detoxification

Phytoestrogens like flax, pomegranates, legumes, fermented soy (if tolerated), raspberries, and almonds are very helpful

Practice self-care and stress management techniques


Ovulation Phase

FSH is suppressed and LH (Luteinizing hormone) releases the egg

Estrogen increases

There's a surge in energy for 3-4 days


Signs of a hormone imbalance during this phase:

Pelvic pain


Supporting this phase:

Fish oil to help balance prostaglandins

Bromelain to help with pain

Vitex (chaste berry) can be helpful with pelvic pain (takes a few months to notice a difference)

Small frequent meals to help balance blood sugar

Complex carbohydrates to help sustain energy

Exercise while energy is high


Luteal Phase

Lasts 7-10 days

Pituitary stops making FSH and LH

Progesterone increases and then stops at the end of this phase to allow the menstrual phase

Testosterone and estrogen rise towards the end

Energy can be low during this phase


Signs of a hormone imbalance during this phase:

Low-grade migraines

PMS symptoms

Disrupted menstrual cycle (spotting, early period)


Supporting this phase:

Probiotics

Fiber rich complex carbohydrates to assist with detoxing excess estrogen's

Liver-friendly foods such as cruciferous vegetables

Adrenal adaptogens such as licorice root to help keep progesterone and estrogen balanced (best started in ovulation phase)

Get extra sleep to help with energy levels and to keep cortisol levels in check

Moderate exercise

Manage stress because stress can cause PMS symptoms

Vitamin C and a B complex supplement can help keep testosterone levels in check and prevent PMS symptoms


Menstrual Phase

Progesterone production stops

Estrogen is at it's highest then drops to signal the cycle to start over

Uterine lining sheds and bleeding starts


Signs of a hormone imbalance during this phase:

Lower backaches

Fatigue

Cramps

Cravings

Heavy bleeding and clotting


Supporting this phase:

Magnesium and B6 to help clear estrogen's (blackstrap molasses is a great source and is also high in iron)

Bromelain can help with cramping

Light exercise, go easy during this time

Get plenty of rest

Avoid caffeine and alcohol because these can aggravate symptoms

Eat dark leafy greens, especially from the cruciferous family

Essential fatty acids and probiotics to balance inflammation

The key to having balanced hormones is supporting some key organs in the body. If you want to learn more, check out my FREE 7-Day Hormone-Healthy Kick-Start where I'll show you how to do just that.


Or grab your FREE Quick-Start Guide to Hormone Healthy to learn which foods you can start including today for balanced hormones.


Want to dive deeper? Check out The Hormone Healthy Plan where you'll work with me for 4-6 weeks in my private Facebook group and discover EXACTLY what and how to eat for balanced hormones and a more energetic and vibrant you!

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