Top foods to support your cycle and help you embrace your hormones

14th February 2020 / Health

Top foods to support your cycle and help you embrace your hormones

Emily Shannon

We know that there’s often a lot of information that can come with talking about hormones, but actually, supporting your hormones with the foods that we eat every day is the best way to restore our natural hormone balance. It can also help to MAINTAIN that hormonal balance and keep all the wonderful benefits that come with it, like bags more energy, manageable or negligible PMS, radiant skin and a positive mood to name just a few. So, below we’re delving into mapping out your cycle and our favourite hormone-friendly foods so that you can embrace your hormones!

Mapping out your cycle

The first thing that will get you embracing your hormones, is mapping out your cycle. This way, you know exactly what’s coming your way when - it’ll help you to understand why you’re feeling the way you do, when. It allows you to plan, and to eat the best foods so you can support yourself properly, no matter what time of the month.

The best way to map out your cycle is with a cycle app like Clue, Ovia or MyFlow. This will help you determine where you are in your menstrual cycle, as well as give you a place to note down your symptoms during each particular time of the month. Your menstrual cycle is a really good way to see how well your hormones are balanced, so if you haven’t already a ‘period tracker’ is a really great place to start!

Foods to help support your cycle

There are 4 phases of the menstrual cycle, and during each phase our hormones can tell us so much, knowing each phase can allow you to determine which foods you should be eating, the best foods to avoid and which type of exercise you should be doing when!

Follicular phase - This phase is often known as the 'reset phase’. The hormones estrogen and progesterone have technically ‘reset’ after the previous menstruation and then begin to start rising again, signalling the start of your next cycle. Or favourite foods for the follicular phase are:

  • Fermented foods - including kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir to support the good gut bacteria which are involved in estrogen metabolism.
  • Avocados
  • Brazil nuts
  • Grapefruit
  • Eggs
  • Broccoli


Ovulatory phase - focus on foods help to supercharge the body with selenium, glutathione, vitamin C that gets stored and used by the liver in detoxification which is again essential for estrogen metabolism. Top up on:

  • Fresh vegetables (particularly green veggies like kale, swiss chard, spinach and Brussels sprouts)
  • Citrus fruits - oranges and lemons
  • Berries - raspberries, strawberries and blueberries (organic where you can!)


Luteal phase - This is the phase where women often experience PMS symptoms. If there is more estrogen than progesterone (meaning the levels are not balanced) PMS symptoms are much more common and likely to be more severe. During this phase try eating:

  • Green apples
  • Ginger
  • Green vegetables (rich in magnesium which supports PMS)
  • Sweet potatoes (rich in vitamin B6 which supports PMS)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Walnuts
  • Mint

Menstrual phase - During this phase there are distinct changes in hormone balances between estrogen and progesterone. Certain symptoms during these phases, are good indicators of both where you are in the cycle and how well your body is able to deal with the ratio of estrogen and progesterone. One reason you experience hormonal symptoms could be that your body isn’t able to efficiently metabolize a large amount of estrogen. Top foods to help support this include:

  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Seafood
  • Miso
  • Mushrooms

Here at Link Nutrition, we love to celebrate food, so we love trying to match foods to each unique stage within the monthly cycle. However, it’s important to remember that these foods should be incorporated into your diet alongside plenty of other healthy foods including wholegrains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Just use these checklists to create new recipes, as a top-up to your favourite foods or even as a chance to try something new!