This is the third blog post in a 4-part series on The Cycle Syncing Method®: micronutrient and botanical support for the four phases of the infradian rhythm, or hormonal cycle.

At Flo Living, our goal is to help women balance their hormones and resolve period problems with food, supplements, and lifestyle changes. We take a functional nutrition and systems medicine approach to achieving optimal hormone health. 

The first step for any woman* in balancing her hormones is learning about the 28-day hormone cycle, which is governed by a special biological rhythm called the infradian rhythm. The infradian rhythm plays a vital role in female health and wellness. Knowing what your body needs during each phase of your cycle is key not only to hormonal healing but to your health overall. 

To learn more about the infradian rhythm, you can check out the in-depth post I wrote on the infradian rhythm here, and more about The Cycle Syncing Method® here. For a deep dive, grab a copy of my new book In The Flo, which is all about the unique rhythms of our 28-day hormone cycle, The Cycle Syncing Method®, and the specific supports we can offer our bodies during each phase.

This is the third blog post in our four-part series on micronutrient and botanical support to help better support the infradian rhythm. In this post, we will explore supplement needs during the luteal phase of the 28-day hormone cycle. 

The 4-Phases of the Infradian Rhythm

The infradian rhythm tracks with the menstrual cycle and has four distinct phases. They are:

  1. The follicular phase
  2. The ovulatory phase
  3. The luteal phase
  4. The menstrual phase

For women in their reproductive years, the key to optimal health is to eat, move, and supplement in ways that support each phase of the infradian rhythm. Our bodies require different types of self care during each phase.

The luteal phase is the 10 to 14 days after ovulation and before your period. 

You can learn more about micronutrient needs in the first phase (follicular) of your cycle here and in the second phase (ovulatory) here. In today’s post, we’re going to do a deep dive on micronutrient support for the luteal phase. 

Meet the Luteal Phase

When: The 10 to 14 days after ovulation and before your bleed.

What’s happening in your body: 

  • Estrogen levels continue to rise and the uterine lining continues to thicken
  • Progesterone levels start to rise
  • Toward the end of the luteal phase, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone peak and then begin to drop, hitting their lowest levels just before your period. 
  • PMS during this phase is caused by too much estrogen in the body relative to progesterone, or estrogen dominance
  • Metabolism speeds up

What’s happening in your brain:

Hormone levels during this phase prime your brain to be good at focusing on details and wrapping up projects. Toward the end of this phase, as your hormone levels plummet, you will have less energy and feel more inclined to focus inward rather than on socializing. 

Food, Exercise, and Lifestyle Strategies for the Ovulatory Phase

To achieve optimal hormone health and to ease period problems like PMS, cramps, bloating, acne, heavy or irregular periods and missing periods, it requires a multipronged approach that includes food, movement, and lifestyle strategies implemented in a cyclical way. I encourage women to eat in a cyclical pattern, exercise in line with their cycle, and plan their schedules with their infradian rhythm in mind. 

During the luteal phase, specifically, your metabolism speeds up, and your resting cortisol levels are higher. You must eat more calories daily to maintain stable blood sugar, which helps balance insulin — a critical hormone that greatly affects the degree of PMS you will experience.  In addition, don’t engage in HIIT workouts during this time. Opt for gentler movement, like Pilates and other non-cardio strength training. How much PMS you have is totally in your control and directly related to how much or how little you support your infradian rhythm during this phase. Continue to emphasize cruciferous vegetables during this phase and add in some complex carbohydrates like those found in sweet potatoes, which are nutrient-dense. 

Supplements are important, too. I recommend key micronutrients for every woman in her reproductive years—supplements that are important to take daily. I also recommend taking phase-specific supplements to further support and optimize hormone health during each phase. For phase-based support during the luteal phase, I recommend women take a blend to balance blood sugar.


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