August is all about cycle wellness!
Throughout the month, we’ll share tips and knowledge on how to harness your energy and make the most of your 4 menstrual cycle phases. Here’s a few quick facts about Estrogen and Progesterone, the MVPs of your menstrual cycle.
Estrogen builds up your uterus lining, it also promotes body fat, causes salt and fluid retention. It also has the effect of influencing your mood, depression and PMS symptoms. While estrogen sounds like a handful, progesterone is a bit of the opposite of what estrogen does to your body. Progesterone maintains your uterus lining, it helps use fat for energy. Emotional wise, progesterone is a natural antidepressant, it can even restore your libido which tends to be lowered by estrogen.
This week, let’s talk about the Follicular Phase, which may last up to 10 days. During this phase, two hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), are being released from the brain and travel in the blood to the ovaries. These hormones stimulate the growth of about 15 to 20 eggs in the ovaries, each in its own "shell," called a follicle. FSH and LH also trigger an increase in the production of the female hormone estrogen.
As estrogen levels rise, like a switch, it turns off the production of follicle-stimulating hormone. This careful balance of hormones allows the body to limit the number of follicles that mature. One follicle in one ovary becomes dominant and continues to mature. This dominant follicle suppresses all of the other follicles in the group. As a result, they stop growing and die. The dominant follicle continues to produce estrogen.
What to eat?
It is helpful to incorporate food in your diet that will metabolise oestrogen, which are sprouted and fermented foods like broccoli sprouts, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Light cardio would be ideal during this phase as your hormones are still low especially testosterone, you energy might still on a lower level.
Here's what our practitioner friend over at Balance Health suggest:
"Follicular phase is a time when we are very energetic. Our womb has just shed its lining, we’re back and start blossoming once again. We would have extra energy, and it’s the right time to get back out and do more activities that requires more energy. Socialise more again, slowly build up higher intensity workouts, being more external, or even doing more operational and admin work.