You are what you eat

Did you know that you can level up your cycle happiness even more by syncing your meal plan to your monthly phases? Here we’ll break down the foods you need the most in each phase.
Adam Hamdi
Written by

Coni Longden-Jefferson

When it comes to your cycle - it really is a case of you are what you eat. A healthy, balanced diet is a great way to manage symptoms like pain and bloating and help keep things balanced - hormonally and emotionally. But did you know that you can level up your cycle happiness even more by syncing your meal plan to your monthly phases? Here we’ll break down the foods you need the most in each phase. 



Key Takeaways


  • During menstruation, you want to support your iron levels as well as eating inflammatory foods that can help with pain
  • When it comes to the follicular phase it’s all about supporting egg development with foods like flaxseed and lean protein 
  • Around ovulation, it can be helpful to manage high oestrogen levels with foods like mackerel 
  • As you move into the luteal phase, support your progesterone levels with lots of lean meat and good fats - and choose good mood foods like 

        What to eat during menstruation

        Everyone’s period is different, but the chances are right now you might be dealing with some fatigue and discomfort. For some people, this might be one of the most painful times of their cycle, especially if they are facing a condition like endo or fibroids. 

        One of the best ways to reduce pain and swelling is to eat anti-inflammatory foods and those rich in magnesium. Inflammation is often present when we’re struggling with pain and swelling at this time in our cycle, so foods like oily fish and dark leafy greens can help tackle that. Magnesium is great for reducing muscle tension as well as helping to alleviate low mood so make sure your levels are tip-top! Our iron levels also drop as we bleed, which can contribute to fatigue, so make sure you’re getting nutrient-dense proteins like lean red meat and iron-rich vegetables like spinach. 

        Menstruation Phase Shopping List: 

        • Salmon
        • Spinach 
        • Eggs
        • Pumpkin seeds
        • Nuts 
        • Beans & Lentils
        • Lean Beef


        What to eat during your follicular phase 

        As your bleed ends and you start to move towards ovulation, you’ll find yourself in your follicular phase. This is often a time we feel pretty good, as our rising oestrogen levels support good energy levels (and vibes!) 

        However, our body is still very busy maturing a follicle which will be released as an egg at ovulation - so it needs all the nutritional support we can give it! Foods that support your oestrogen production will help with that. Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, supporting healthy ovulation is essential as it can have a knock-on effect on your hormonal balance in the second half of your cycle.

        This is also a time in our cycle when we are great at breaking down carbs for energy, so it’s a great time to fill up complex carbohydrates.  

        Follicular Phase Shopping List:

        • Sweet Potato
        • Eggs 
        • Flax Seeds
        • Tofu 
        • Lean Beef
        • Brown Rice 


        What to eat around ovulation

        Ovulation can be a mixed bag! Some people feel a lovely surge of hormones like oestrogen and testosterone (along with their sex drive) but for others, they can feel bloated and even experience pain. 

        If you struggle with bloating, a great tip is to eat smaller meals throughout the day and to drink plenty of water! You can also include more ginger in your meals as this can support digestion. 

        Supporting egg quality and implantation is essential for both conception and the overall quality of your cycle, so be sure to include foods rich in omega 3 like oily fish and those full of zinc like red meat. 

        Lastly, oestrogen levels are peaking at this time and whilst that might feel great for the time being, oestrogen dominance can lead to more intense PMS symptoms and heavier periods. Try to include foods rich in fibre which can help you metabolise oestrogen.  

        Ovulation phase shopping list:

        • Mackerel 
        • Chia Seeds 
        • Jackfruit
        • Ginger 
        • Sardines 
        • Red meat
        • Lots of water! 


        What to eat around your luteal phase 

        If there’s one phase where emotional eating can take over - it’s the luteal phase. At our progesterone levels, we can find ourselves feeling more sensitive and sleepy - so if you find yourself craving a night on the sofa eating comfort food, you are not alone. 

        But comfort food can still be healthy. Swap super sugary sweets for dark chocolate which is rich in magnesium and antioxidants which can help to reduce PMS symptoms. Manage low energy levels by avoiding too many heavy, refined carbohydrates and instead focus on adding healthy fats like avocado and peanut butter. And think about batch-cooking nutritious meals at the start of your luteal phase that can see you through to the end of your bleeds - we’re huge fans of making a big pot of dahl, lentils are great for this phase of your cycle! 

        Luteal phase shopping list: 

        • Avocado 
        • Yoghurt
        • Sesame Seeds
        • Sunflower Seeds 
        • Chicken Breasts  
        • Peanut Butter
        • Dark Chocolate