Keep your Erewhon, I’ll stick to my Trader Joe’s (kidding—I’ll have both please!). But when it comes to ranking grocery stores by their affordability, product launches that have the internet shook season after season, and a flower section that aligns perfectly with our soft-life summer selves, there’s no contest—Trader Joe’s reigns supreme. And while you might make your weekly visits to TJ’s for all the reasons above, there’s one game-changing truth that’ll make you want to drive to TJ’s ASAP. For wellness girlies and enthusiastic grocery shoppers alike among us, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to feel your best throughout each phase of your cycle.
For insights on the foods to prioritize throughout your cycle—during the menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal phases—I consulted Paige Lindgren, an LA-based certified hormone specialist whose goal is to help women feel their best in their bodies by providing accessible and informative content (and plenty of inspiration for our current cottage cheese obsession.) Lindgren emphasized that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. Instead, always listen to your body and respond to what feels best. The goal of cycle syncing is to support your body, knowing that how you feel will shift throughout every phase. Read on for the foods Lindgren recommended to promote hormone balance and support your overall well-being throughout each phase of your cycle.
The Menstrual Phase
Your period! Everyone’s body is different, but the menstrual phase typically lasts 3-7 days. Your body is doing a lot for you, so focus on increasing nutrients to replenish.
Paige’s favorite foods during the menstruation phase:
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in iron and help replenish lost blood.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and black beans provide iron and fiber, which can help alleviate menstrual symptoms.
- Salmon: High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help reduce inflammation and relieve cramps.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains magnesium and may help improve mood and alleviate cravings.
- Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help reduce menstrual pain.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory effects and may help alleviate pain and discomfort. Add a pinch of black pepper to help with absorption.
- Avocado: Rich in healthy fats, avocados can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Herbal teas: Chamomile, peppermint, and ginger teas can aid in relaxation and provide relief from cramps.
Trader Joe’s grocery list for the menstruation phase
The Follicular Phase
The follicular phase begins when your period ends and lasts about 7-10 days. Focus on fresh, light foods (think: foods that are in season around spring).
Paige’s favorite foods during the follicular phase
- Whole grains: Quinoa, brown rice, and oats provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
- Greens: Well-cooked spinach, kale, and broccoli are excellent sources of folate and iron.
- Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are high in vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption.
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which help balance hormone levels.
- Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon promote hormonal balance and reduce inflammation.
- Eggs: High in protein and vitamin D, a vitamin essential for hormone production.
- Green tea: Contains antioxidants and can provide a gentle energy boost.
Trader Joe’s grocery list for the follicular phase
The Ovulatory Phase
This is the shortest menstrual cycle phase. It’s typically considered to last about 3-4 days, but ovulation itself takes about 24 hours. Focus on fresh, light foods and lots of fiber.
Paige’s favorite foods during the ovulation phase
Paige notes that you can continue to prioritize the same foods as you did in the follicular phase, while also adding:
- Wild-caught fish: Tuna and sardines provide omega-3 fatty acids.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts support estrogen metabolism.
- Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain zinc, which supports hormone production.
- Lean proteins: Chicken, turkey, and organic tofu provide essential amino acids.
- Greek yogurt: High in calcium and probiotics, Greek yogurt supports bone health and digestion.
- Herbal tea: Red clover and raspberry leaf teas can support overall balance and reduce hormonal symptoms.
Trader Joe’s grocery list for the ovulation phase
The Luteal Phase
As the phase after ovulation and before the menstrual phase, the luteal phase lasts about 10-14 days. Your body will likely crave more carbohydrates and warm foods over raw or cold.
Paige’s favorite foods during the luteal phase
- Starchy veggies: Reach for sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, and zucchini for easy-to-digest energy. Great for stabilizing cortisol levels.
- Nuts and seeds: Nosh on almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds for healthy fats and nutrients that help support the body during this “PMS” week.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential for hormone production.
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation which can lessen cramps.
- Pumpkin seeds: These seeds are a good source of zinc, which can help regulate mood.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains magnesium and may help reduce cravings and reduce water retention.
- Herbal teas: Chamomile, peppermint, and ginger teas can reduce symptoms of bloating and stomach discomfort due to hormonal changes.
Trader Joe’s grocery list for the luteal phase