How What You Eat Can Impact Your Cycle

Plant based diet

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Is Your Period Normal? Are You Truly Ovulating?

Article by Catherine Chong, Dietitian

Understanding your ovulation and menstrual cycle is one of the key steps to work out the “right time” of your fertile window to get pregnant.

Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period. This is when your menstrual blood is a deep crimson red. During the first half of your cycle (Day 1 – 14), your ovaries release estrogen, which causes your uterine lining to thicken and shed during menstruation if you have not fallen pregnant.

In the second half of your cycle (Day 14 – 28), your ovaries produce progesterone, which prepares your uterine lining for a fertilised egg for implantation and supporting the growth of a new life (embryo).

In a normal cycle, ovulation happens around Day 11 – 14. The pituitary gland releases a surge of Luteinising Hormone (LH), triggering the mature egg’s release from the ovary and into the fallopian tube, ready to be fertilised by the sperm.

We Are What We Eat

All the hormones play an important role in fertility and need a healthy balance of everything – as does the food we eat!

Foods that support healthy cycles and fertility are those that are not ‘ultra-processed’. Foods loaded with extra sugar, salt, oil, and calories. Here’s a quick checklist to consider:

  1. How often do you eat take away?
  2. How often do you indulge in treat foods? (processed foods like ice-cream lollies, biscuits)
  3. Do you include all the core food groups in your daily diet, whole grains, lean protein foods, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables?

How did your answers rate? This is just one tool used to assess your diet’s quality and the impact on your cycles.

Catherine is Brisbane’s leading women’s health dietitian & nutritionist. Catherine helps Brisbane couples increase the chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby through tailored meal plans.

You can also follow Catherine on Instagram here @catherinechong.dietitian

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