Fun tip for all the women out there (real women)… If you track your cycle you have a chance to time your nutrition for your success! Sound too good to be true??? Well, maybe it is, but it also might be worth a shot!
During the Follicular Phase, which is the first 13 days of your cycle, your estrogen is increasing, at its peak, and then it decreases in the last few days. At around day 14, from day 14 to about 20, the Progesterone begins to increase to its peak as estrogen decreases. Day 14-27 is called the Luteal Phase and towards day 20 and after, as progesterone begins to drop woman can experience PMS, headaches, acne, anxiety and more hormonal issues.
Why does knowing where you are in your cycle matter??? Well, as progesterone remains lower than estrogen insulin levels in women are elevated. This means that circulating insulin is higher and women might be craving more sugar as they look to replace the glucose. One might assume that this would be a great time to reduce dietary carbohydrate and sugar intake in order to better improve fasting blood glucose levels while emphasizing fat burning. This can happen through an ingestion of:
Higher levels of poly & monounsaturated fats… take a tbsp of EVOO at morning and/or night
Keep carbs to around workout times only
Skip breakfast, if possible, but perhaps add some MCT oil or Grass-fed Butter to coffee only
Stick to high glycemic carbs, non-processed sources of course
Supplement with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These tips are not a guarantee but it is interesting how the female body works. It is critical to recognize how there are differences between men and women, but, at the same time be able to pinpoint potential micronutrient deficiencies that could be affecting both genders.
SUPPLEMENT TIP… IRON
Iron’s primary role is to increase red blood cells while carrying oxygen throughout the body! Iron deficiency is more common in women, not men. About 17% of premenopausal women are said to be deficient as a result of their hormonal cycles and their period. Iron deficiency anemia affects >1.2 billions of individuals worldwide, and iron deficiency in the absence of anemia is even more frequent (1). By eating red meat, fish, and organ meat like liver to improve your IRON levels (not being vegan). Additionally, supplementation to make sure you are optimized, whether male or female, with your iron levels can help with the following:
1. Prevents Anemia: Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood while ensuring there is enough red blood cells in the blood. Premenopausal women can be at a higher risk for this as a result of their period, particularly if they bleed a lot during their period! According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016, iron deficiency anemia is 1 of the 5 leading causes of years lived with disability burden and is the first cause in women (1).
2. Boosts Energy: Iron helps in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the body’s energy source. Optimal levels keep you energized while reducing levels of fatigue!
3. Improves Cognitive & Immune Function: Iron plays an important role in brain function, particularly brain development. Iron supplementation may help improve memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function. Additionally, Iron is essential for the production of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and diseases.
4. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy: Pregnant women require higher levels of iron to support the growth and development of their babies (3); as mentioned in #3, Iron helps with brain development so one may assert that it can improve the babies brain development while in the womb. Iron supplementation can potentially help prevent low birth weight, premature delivery, and other common birthing complications.
5. Improves Athletic Performance: Iron is essential for the production of myoglobin, a protein that helps muscles store oxygen. Adequate iron levels can improve endurance, strength, and overall athletic performance. Iron supplementation is crucial for maintaining good health, particularly for women.
Regardless of your gender/sex, if you are low in IRON you will struggle with multiple things and supplementing with it could be that missing link in how you are feeling!
SOURCE 1. https://ashpublications.org/blood/article/133/1/30/6613/Iron-deficiency