Shopping list for menstruation phase

Food goals for the menstrual phase:

  • The key goal during this time is to eat foods that are high in nutrients. The foods in previous phases are all helpful. The body is going through a lot of changes; hormones are decreasing and the body is eliminating waste materials and detoxifying, so essential nutrients are necessary to get through the phase successfully and to start the cycle again in the right condition.
  • It’s OK to eat a bit more during this time of the month. It is important to get in tune with your body and provide it with what it needs. If you feel hungrier than usual, eat! If you feel thirsty, drink! If you feel like you need rest, take a nap! This is your time to practice radical self-care unapologetically, unashamedly, guilt-free!
  • You may feel like snacking more during this time of the month, which is fine. Be mindful about high sugary snacks which can increase blood-sugar fluctuations.

Foods to avoid during the menstrual phase:

  • Raw foods (salads, green smoothies, raw juices)
  • Cold foods & drinks
  • Alcohol, especially hard liquor and pasteurized beer. Occasional wine or unpasteurized beer is acceptable as these are real fermented foods that deliver health benefits. But if cortisol and stress are high, keep to a minimum or avoid altogether for a few weeks.
  • Refined foods such as white flour, white rice, white sugar, and prepared foods with chemical additives and preservatives. Look for natural foods. Many health food stores and some grocery stores have freshly-prepared, natural whole foods with plenty of vegetable options. Whole grains can replace white flour, brown rice can replace white rice, and low-glycemic sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, sucanat, coconut sweetener, lakanto, date sugar or brown rice syrup can replace white sugar.
  • Fast foods and junk foods – there are healthier options for all of these! Avoid and/ or make your own food when you are out of the house for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid caffeine. If you are a coffee drinker, try to eliminate it altogether or cut down to one cup a day. Schizandra can be very helpful for cutting back on your caffeine intake. Switch black tea to green tea, which has much less caffeine. Caffeine stresses the adrenals and can contribute to blood sugar swings, similar to white sugar. This increases fatigue, anxiety and mood swings and can exacerbate hormonal issues. Teeccino caffeine-free herbal coffee or dandy blend (my fav!) is also a good substitute.
  • Dark chocolate is allowed in small amounts and should be 70% cocoa solids or higher. My favorite companies include Giddy Yoyo, Alter Eco or Chocosol.


  • Buckwheat
  • Wild Rice


  • Adzuki
  • Black soybean
  • Kidney

Nuts & Seeds

  • Chestnut
  • Pumpkin
  • Flax


  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Concord grape
  • Cranberry
  • Watermelon

Notice how all fruit for this phase of the month has a very deep and rich red/burgundy/black/purple color. This is an indication that this fruit is rich in iron which you naturally loose while menstruating.


  • Beet
  • Burdock
  • Dulse (sea vegetable)
  • Hijiki (sea vegetable)
  • Kelp (sea vegetable)
  • Kombu (sea vegetable)
  • Wakame (sea vegetable)
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms (button, shiitake)
  • Water chestnuts

Notice how most of the vegetables for this phase are sea vegetables which are high in B vitamins and trace minerals that are depleted during this time.


  • Duck
  • Pork

Fish & Seafood

  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Mussel
  • Octopus
  • Oyster
  • Sardines
  • Scallop
  • Squid

Notice that this is the time of the month when you should be eating more seafood as your body is naturally going through a time when due to loss of blood trace minerals are being depleted. These foods are rich in good quality fat, magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins, potassium, selenium, and iodine.


  • Bancha Tea (a sort of green tea)
  • Miso
  • Sea salt
  • Liquid aminos