The follicular phase always seems to be the least dramatic of the four stages of my menstrual cycle. I emerge from menstrual phase feeling optimistic and full of energy.
The follicular phase can be a respite if you’ve been struggling with the bloating, mood swings, and cramps that can come with the Luteal and Menstrual phases.
This cycle phase tends to get overlooked because it comes and goes with few symptoms. However, eating to support a healthy follicular phase can set you up for success when it comes to the rest of your cycle.
What Is the Follicular Phase?
Technically follicular phase is the period from when you start bleeding until ovulation. For cycle syncing, I’ll be referring to the follicular phase as the period post menstruation, before ovulation. This portion of the cycle is also sometimes referred to as the proliferative phase. The uterus lining builds up during this time, and an egg is preparing for release.
Key Nutrients for Follicular Phase
Estrogen is the dominant hormone during this cycle phase. Therefore, it’s essential for women concerned about estrogen dominance to eat foods that help metabolize and flush out excess estrogen.
For example, foods such as cruciferous vegetables contain diindolylmethane (DIM). This phytonutrient can help balance estrogen levels. Fiber is another essential nutrient that helps remove excess estrogen from the body.
Follicular Phase Foods
When eating for the follicular phase, think Spring. Lightly sauteed vegetables and plenty of protein are essential during this period. I noticed that I have less of an appetite during this time, so I make it a point to do some meal planning to make sure I’m getting enough calories.
My follicular phase food list is based on Alisa Vitti’s book, Woman Code. I made a few changes for eating to manage fibroids. For example, Vitti’s list includes some grains that contain gluten. I left those off because I avoid gluten. It can be very inflammatory, and my goal is to reduce inflammation.
Grains & Legumes