The right diet during the cycle - you should pay attention to this

Due to the changing hormone balance during the cycle, you should pay particular attention to certain nutrients depending on the phase. In general, you are on the right track with a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. This allows your body to get all the relevant nutrients. With the right ingredients, you can reduce PMS symptoms throughout the cycle.

The four cycle phases

The monthly cycle lasts an average of 28 days. Since every body is individual, your cycle can also be longer or shorter. Thus, the cycle length can amount to 21 to 35 days. The cycle occurs in four phases.

Tip: An app can help you find out what phase you are in. For example, many women use the app called Flo, which you can use for free.
  1. menstrual phase
    Your cycle usually starts with the menstrual phase. The lining of the uterus can detach and menstrual bleeding can occur. The phase can be characterized by low hormone levels.
  2. follicular phase
    In the so-called proliferation phase, the lining of the uterus can be rebuilt. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) can ensure that up to 15 egg cells mature in each ovary. Estrogen levels usually rise during this phase. Estrogen is a female sex hormone that, among other things, may be responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle in women.
  3. ovulation phase
    In the ovulation phase, ovulation occurs. This happens due to estrogen levels escalating, which can stimulate LH production. LH is the abbreviation for luteinizing hormone. This messenger substance can control sexual functions and is formed in the pituitary gland. In the female body, LH can, among other things, trigger ovulation. Following ovulation, the hormone can cause the increase in progesterone levels.
  4. luteal phase
    The secretion phase is the last phase in your cycle. Now the progesterone concentration can increase and there can be a change in the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg cell could implant itself. If no egg nests, the hormone level can drop and menstrual bleeding can begin.

    Cycle and nutrition: The right nutrition for each phase of the cycle

    A nutrient deficiency can have a negative effect on your cycle. For example, a lack of zinc can lead to cycle disorders. Eating the wrong diet can also make PMS symptoms worse.

    Menstrual phase: These nutrients in the diet are important

    During this phase, there can be a large loss of nutrients as your body breaks down the lining of the uterus. For this reason, the following nutrients are relevant.


    Your body loses between 15 and 30 milligrams of iron during the menstrual phase. Therefore, you should pay attention to an iron intake. 

    For example, meat and liver are good sources of iron. However, you should know that animal products contain arachidonic acid, which can lead to an increase in period cramps. As a result, we recommend iron-rich plant-based foods such as oatmeal, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, legumes, beetroot and flaxseed. Arugula, fennel, broccoli and spinach also contain a lot of iron.

    Vitamin C 

    This vitamin can support the absorption of iron. There is a lot of vitamin C in orange juice. Sea buckthorn berries, black currants, sweet peppers and parsley are also rich in vitamin C. You can, for example, prepare a smoothie with these ingredients.


    This mineral can have an antispasmodic effect. Foods rich in magnesium include wheat bran, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

    There are 100 milligrams of magnesium in 550 grams of wheat bran. Cashew nuts also contain around 270 milligrams of magnesium. If you have cravings for something sweet, you can eat dark chocolate, which is also rich in magnesium.

    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A can help the liver convert hormones and be involved in the development of egg cells and blood formation.

    Calf's liver contains the largest amount of retinol, as the vitamin is also called. However, an animal product can increase menstrual cramps. That's why we recommend plant-based foods like carrots, broccoli, and spinach. Dill and parsley are also high in vitamin A.

    Because healthy fats can promote the absorption of vitamin A, you can eat the foods together with oil and, for example, prepare a salad. Healthy oils include canola oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil.

    Follicular phase: This is the best way to eat

    During the follicular phase, your body primarily needs proteins. Protein is necessary because your body is now busy maturing the egg and rebuilding the lining of the uterus.

    More proteins

    With proteins you can support the structure of the uterine lining. Plant-based foods such as nuts, legumes, pumpkin seeds or quinoa are ideal for this. Milk, cheese and meat are also high in protein. If the animal products come from conventional animal husbandry, they usually contain hormones. These can throw your cycle off balance.

    Probiotic Foods

    The ingredients of yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha can be involved in processing the emerging hormones.

    Ovulation phase: ovulation and the right cycle nutrition

    This phase usually lasts a maximum of 32 hours. During the ovulation phase, your energy level can be very high. Your body requires a large amount of fiber, calcium and antioxidants. You should avoid carbohydrates during this short phase.

    antioxidants and fiber

    Peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, blueberries, currants and apples are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. There are also many antioxidants in vegetable oils and nuts. 

    Tip: Spices have a high concentration of antioxidants.


      To support your hormone balance, you can eat foods with a lot of calcium. Examples include broccoli, kale, nuts, and legumes. 

      Dairy products are not recommended. In addition, mineral water contains a lot of calcium. The water bottle label states how much calcium the water contains. A variety with 300 to 400 milligrams of calcium is optimal.

      Luteal phase: Watch out for these nutrients

      This phase usually lasts a maximum of 32 hours. During the ovulation phase, your energy level can be very high. Your body requires a large amount of fiber, calcium and antioxidants. You should avoid carbohydrates during this short phase.

      At this stage, you are about to start your menstrual period, so PMS symptoms can appear. It is not uncommon for women in the luteal phase to suffer from symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, back pain, headaches and other symptoms. You can reduce PMS symptoms with the right food choices.

      B vitamins

      B vitamins, and in this case vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 in particular, can promote the formation of the messenger substances dopamine and serotonin. These hormones can affect mood. Examples of B vitamins are found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, broccoli, chanterelles and avocados.


      In the luteal phase, your energy level drops. Now carbohydrates are important because they can provide energy to your body. Potatoes, whole grain products and oatmeal are good and healthy sources of energy. 

      It would not be healthy if you covered your increased energy requirements with sugary foods.

      Extra tip: Balance your cycle with håvsund Harmony

      Our dietary supplement håvsund Harmony can support your body with cycle-related complaints. In addition to a healthy diet that suits the cycle phases, you can alleviate symptoms thanks to our valuable ingredients.

      Monk's pepper is recommended for various menstrual problems such as irregular periods. This medicinal plant is said to regulate hormones. It was already used in earlier times for menstrual problems. It is advantageous that chaste tree is generally well tolerated.

      Lady's mantle is also a traditional medicinal plant for women's complaints. The plant contains phytohormones that can have a positive effect on the menstrual cycle. Lady's mantle contains phytohormones that are similar to progesterone and can therefore have a calming effect. 

      If you suffer from mood swings during the cycle, St. John's wort is recommended. The plant is said to be able to work against depressive moods in particular.

      Both chaste tree and St. John's wort and lady's mantle are in ours Dietary supplements håvsund Harmony contain. The capsules are 100 percent vegan and gluten-free. Other ingredients in håvsund Harmony include magnesium, zinc and vitamins B6 and B12.

      You should avoid these foods

      While some foods can support the cycle, other foods are more likely to be avoided. These can increase premenstrual symptoms such as tiredness or headaches, especially just before the period.

      • Coffee: The caffeine contained in coffee can inhibit the absorption of iron and thus increase tiredness and other symptoms. In addition, coffee can lead to insomnia and irritated mood. If you suffer from PMS symptoms, it is advisable to switch to herbal tea or mineral water instead of coffee.
      • Alcohol: Some women try to counteract the depressive mood with alcohol. This isn't a good idea, however, because alcohol depletes your body of magnesium. If the body does not have enough magnesium available, abdominal cramps can worsen.
      • Salt: Water retention is one of the typical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Salt can promote water retention, which is why it is better to avoid salty foods such as ready meals and snack foods as much as possible. Opt for herbs and spices that are also rich in antioxidants.
      • Sugar: Maybe you know the great desire for sweets just before your period. However, sugar causes the blood sugar level to rise and fall again quickly. This means that you will quickly be attacked by the next food cravings. So that you don't have to do without sweets completely, you can enjoy chocolate with a high cocoa content in moderation. Cacao contains antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

      Each cycle is individual

      The tips mentioned can only help to a limited extent if the symptoms are too severe or if the hormone balance is too imbalanced. If you miss your period or if you experience breakthrough bleeding or an unusually light or heavy period, you should definitely make an appointment to talk to your doctor. He will look for the cause and initiate appropriate treatment.

      Tip: We recommend keeping a diary. Write down your symptoms and note when and in what phase the symptoms appear. Apps are also available for this. With the help of your data you can create a nutrition plan that suits you.



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