What to eat in the phase of the menstrual cycle

Knowing the menstrual cycle is important to feel good, have painless periods and regular cycles . But food also plays a fundamental role in helping to control the great hormonal changes that take place at different stages. However, according to the Second Study on Intimate Health, about 70% of women do not take into account the diet in the days before and after the period or even on the days of bleeding.

Cycle and feeding phases

The first week (day 1 to 5) is accompanied by menstruation and all hormones to a minimum. Colic, swelling, breast tenderness, and general fatigue are likely to be experienced in this phase. During this stage more fatigue and sensitivity to pain may occur. Therefore, consuming foods rich in omega 3 and potassium , which have an anti-inflammatory effect, can help reduce cramps in the uterus.

The follicular or preovulatory phase is the second stage of the cycle, just when the period ends. During these days, estrogen and testosterone levels increase considerably, providing energy and agility. At this stage, our body has greater resistance to insulin, being able to increase carbohydrate consumption and limit fat consumption .

In ovulation or the third phase, there is a decrease in estrogen and testosterone, and an increase in progesterone in case the newly released egg is fertilized in order to prepare the body for pregnancy. Likewise, this hormone also causes the uterus to produce the endometrium, the thick lining of the uterus that, if it does not become pregnant, will be expelled through menstruation. In this phase, you can experience drowsiness, relaxation and loss of energy. This is when foods that naturally regulate and increase progesterone are needed, such as legumes, nuts, and whole grains. In addition, it is necessary to increase iron consumption to fill reserves, reduce carbohydrate consumption (there is no longer so much insulin resistance) and avoid fats.

In the fourth phase, also known as the premenstrual phase , estrogen and progesterone plummet. The endometrium is about to be removed to start a new cycle and serotonin levels begin to drop, causing mood disorders, sadness and irritability. These days it is important to increase fat intake and minimize carbohydrates. In addition, consuming foods rich in fiber and tryptophan (the amino acid that naturally regulates serotonin) and incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables will help to better cope with the symptoms that occur in this phase.

Simple recipes for the phases of the cycle

During the four phases of the cycle it is important, as a general rule, to reduce the consumption of salt, sugars and refined flours, as well as soft drinks. Intimina, in collaboration with Balanced Life, specialists in carrying out actions aimed at improving healthy habits in companies, offers three easy recipes with food that are adapted to each phase of the cycle.

Energy balls for menstruation

Ingredients for 2/3 people:

250 gr dates

200 gr walnuts

50 gr of oat flakes

3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

grated coconut

How to prepare them? Let the dates soak for half an hour. After that time, drain and grind with a hand mixer. Next, grind the nuts and mix with the date paste, then add the cocoa and oats. We take some pasta and make balls with our hands and sprinkle with grated coconut. They can be kept in the fridge and even frozen.

Beetroot hummus for the ovulatory phase

Ingredients for 2/3 people:

A pot of cooked chickpeas

A cooked beet

Two tablespoons of tahini

A splash of lemon

Cumin and salt to taste

Preparation: just mix all the ingredients in the blender and grind until you have a desired consistency. Serve with carrot crudités, crackers, or scolded. It can also be sprinkled with black sesame seeds for garnish.

Avocado, spinach and apple smoothie for the premenstrual phase

Ingredients for 2/3 people:

½ avocado

½ apple

1 handful of spinach

300 ml of vegetable drink (rice, almond, hazelnut, coconut)

How to make it? Wash the fruit and vegetables well before using it. Use a cutting board and knife to slice larger fruits and vegetables. Once cut, pour into the mixer together with the vegetable drink and beat until the desired consistency is obtained.

 

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