I was recently asked by a female member for any tips on how to balance out hormone-related cravings at certain times of the month. I thought about it and realised that my friend and amazing fertility expert, Emma Cannon, writes about this subject so well that the best thing would be to ask her if we could share a few tips from her new book Total Fertility. Emmas approach to food and how we eat is so wonderfully balanced and healthy, and in the book she lists foods and included recipes for the four different phases of the month. These foods complement the shifts in hormones through the month, from oestrogen boosting foods in the lead up to ovulation to warming foods (helpful for progesterone) in the latter half. Emma also suggests we eat a little more in the second half of the month, so dont let yourself go hungry as thats when sugary cravings will hit hard.
Phase 1: During Your Period
Include foods that encourage blood movement and avoid sour (constricting) foods like yoghurt, pickles, oranges and grapefruit.
Good: aubergines, butter, eggs, crab, leeks, onions, peaches, turmeric
Just after your period including nourishing foods such as aduki beans, beef, beetroot, figs, dark leafies and oily fish is a good idea.
Phase 2: Pre-ovultation
Include foods that support the gentle build-up of fluids:
Asparagus, avocado, cheese, eggs, honey, lemon, milk, mango, oysters, pear, pomegranate, pork, seaweed, sesame, spelt
Phase 3: Around Ovulation
Plenty of slow-release energy foods in the morning and eat light in the evening. Drink plenty of green tea.
Almonds, carrots, chicken, coconut, figs, lentils, molasses, oats, quinoa, rice, shiitake mushrooms, squash
Phase 4: Before Your Period
Plenty of warming, healthy comfort foods.
Basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, lamb, quinoa, rosemary, thyme, walnuts
A rescue remedy of a tea, it gently balances energy and calms the mind.Makes a big potful 1.5 litres water 6 dried figs 1 tbsp camomile flowers 1 tsp fennel seeds zest of an orange, peeled into strips with a veg peeler
Put all the ingredients in a big pan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced by about a third. Strain, keep warm and sip throughout the day (warm up as needed).
To find out more about Emmas acupuncture clinic (which from personal experience I can tell you is such a tonic),