Nutrition + Hormones

Nourishing Each Phase of Your Cycle: The Follicular Phase

December 15, 2021

What’s happening during the follicular phase of your cycle + Nourishment for this phase

Did you know that your body requires different nutrients during each phase of your monthly cycle?

The first step in supporting hormone balance is learning about your 28-day hormone cycle. Once you understand what happens in your body during each phase of your cycle, you can better understand how to nourish and support your hormones.

So, what are the 4 phases of your monthly cycle?

  • The menstrual phase
  • The follicular phase
  • The ovulatory phase
  • The luteal phase

WHEN DOES THIS PHASE OCCUR?

The follicular phase of your cycle occurs the 7-10 days after your period ends.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR BODY?

  • As you’re coming out of the menstrual phase, your reproductive hormones are still at their lowest during the first half of this phase, with estrogen beginning to ramp up during the 2nd half.
  • The lining of the uterus begins to thicken.
  • Your ovaries begin to get ready to release an egg during ovulation (the next phase).
  • Your metabolism is slower during this phase as well as resting cortisol levels.
  • During this time, progesterone and testosterone production is still low, which means you may feel a little tired during this phase if your hormones are not balanced.
  • During this time you may notice you feel more open, creative and ready to start new things!

When I’m working with my clients, the first place I always start is with nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation that we build upon and no supplement or self care routine is going to work without it! Below is a list of my top food recommendations to help nourish your body through the follicular phase of your cycle.

FOLLICULAR PHASE NOURISHING FOODS

For women in their reproductive years, the key to optimal health and balanced hormones is to eat, move and supplement in ways that support each phase of their cycle. Remember, the foods you consume in the follicular phase are setting you up for ovulation.

  • Plenty of fresh colorful veggies — As hormone levels begin to rise, focusing on fresh veggies and lighter foods will help to provide more energy as you are coming out of the menstrual phase.
  • Probiotic-rich foods — Think sauerkraut, kimchi and kambucha.
  • Lean protein — Think turkey, chicken and eggs
  • Nutrient dense and energy sustaining grains — GF oats are great for this time of the month…just make sure you’re pairing with a protein! (overnight oats with protein powder and nut butter would be a great quick and easy breakfast option — Grab my Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Overnight Oats recipe here!)
  • Sprouted beans and seeds 

References

Brighten, J., 2019. Beyond the pill. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Murray, M. and Pizzorno, J., 2012. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Atria Books.

Vitti, A., 2020. In the FLO. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

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I'm Spencer,
Your Nutrition Bestie
& Hormone Advocate.

I love chips and guac, hiking with my boyfriend and our pups, I’m OBSESSED with nitro cold brew, and I enjoy cooking healthy meals for my friends and family. I have a passion for helping women have a better relationship with food and their cycle, so they can live their best (and healthiest) lives!


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