In my last blog post, I talked about the first two phases of your menstrual cycle and specifically how to nourish your body with fertility enriching foods to best support during each phase. To recap, there are foods and drinks you should be consuming no matter what phase you are in, especially water. Learning about your cycles and the nutritional support you should give it is one more way that you can naturally enhance your fertility.
In today’s post, I want to talk about the ovulation and the luteal phases.
Somewhere around the middle of your cycle, estrogen will rise- signaling that ovulation is about to occur. During this phase, an egg will be released from one of the ovaries. The best thing you can do at this phase is to eat plenty of foods that are chock full of antioxidants as well as fiber. Load up on veggies – even if you don’t like to eat as many veggies as you should, veggie smoothies are great ! I get my own fix in by mixing up a smoothie made with a coconut water base. There are plenty of veggie smoothie recipes out there that are delicious.
One of my favorite protein sources, eggs, should be a staple for you during this phase (can you tell that I love eggs at every phase of the cycle?). In addition, leafy greens such as collards, mustards, or turnip greens, kale and spinach, cabbage, bok choy, and animal protein, fish (for the omega 3s), whole grains, and legumes should be eaten in generous portions.
It is critically important to continue to hydrate with lots and lots of water.
It is during the luteal phase where your uterine lining thickens – which is important for implantation as well as to maintain the pregnancy once you have conceived. Your progesterone levels are surging at this point. If the egg that you ovulated has not been fertilized, then your estrogen and progesterone will drop, and this signals the menstrual cycle to begin all over again.
For optimal nourishment at this time of the month, foods that are warming- such as stews, soups and broths – are great and nutritious options. Also try a cinnamon spice in your drink. Cinnamon naturally has warming properties which again are important during this phase as you want to create and maintain higher body temperatures to help maintain a pregnancy, and the warming foods and drinks help to do that.
Once the uterine lining sheds and you begin to bleed, your next menstrual cycle has started.
As you continue on your journey of trying to become a mommy for the first time or a mommy again, the importance of a well-rounded and nourishing diet is so critically important. It is my hope that through learning about the menstrual phases, and the foods that best support each phase, that you will continue to build and strengthen your baby’s future home !
All my best to you as you continue on this journey…until next time…
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