This recipe is my go-to for follicular because it's loaded with fiber (15g) and protein (31g), and keeps me feeling full and nourished all day. A lot of people recommend eating a raw carrot salad every day to help flush out excess estrogen and balance hormones, but another way to get raw carrots into your diet is by adding it to overnight oats! And it's an easy recipe to meal prep, so I never find myself without something to eat when I'm in a rush to get out of the house in the morning.
Ingredients for your follicular phase: rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, carrots, cashew milk, nut butter, greek yogurt, and pumpkin seeds. During the follicular phase, your metabolism naturally slows down, so you want to eat foods that aid liver detoxification to ensure estrogen buildup doesn't occur in the gut.
Oats are high in fiber which makes it wonderful for our body during the follicular phase. Fiber is key to helping our body flush out excess estrogen while our body ramps up production at this time of the cycle. The specific type of fiber it contains is called beta-glucan, which acts as a prebiotic for beneficial bacteria in our gut microbiome. And because a healthy gut is able to best regulate hormone production, this is very important! Rolled oats are also typically gluten-free by nature, so for those of us that are gluten sensitive - this is a great breakfast to have.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s and are also high in fiber, two important nutrients for the follicular phase. Fiber helps our body flush out excess estrogen and maintain a healthy digestive tract, while omega-3s are important for healthy ovulation. High FSH levels can lead to menstrual problems including PCOS, and omega-3s are shown to reduce FSH levels.
Flax seeds act as estrogen blockers, which help our bodies reduce excess estrogen. They also are high in omega-3s which are shown to reduce FSH levels and are anti-inflammatory which helps curb inflammation, and contain lots of protein which balances blood sugar.
Raw carrots have been shown to have hormone-balancing effects because they're high in magnesium, but also high in fiber which is key for our gut health - which in turn aids healthy hormone production.
Cashews contain zinc and selenium which are important nutrients for the production of healthy follicles. They are also rich in fiber and high in protein, which aids blood sugar regulation and will help you maintain higher energy levels.
Peanuts (and peanut butter) contain high levels of magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. But if you're up to using almond butter, that's better for follicular because it's higher in omega-3s
Greek yogurt is high in protein and full of probiotics which aid gut health! And a healthy gut = healthy hormone levels!
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which aids progesterone production, are high in omega-3s which lower FSH levels, and contain phytoestrogens which can reduce the effectiveness of estrogen in the body.
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
Serves: 2 Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 4+ hours
Overnight Oats Base
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2/3 cup carrots, grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cashew milk
Peanut Butter Yogurt
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 tsp maple syrup
First, combine all the ingredients for the overnight oats base in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix to combine, then set aside.
Combine the ingredients for the peanut butter yogurt. Mix until uniform, then set aside.
Bring out two jars and fill them up with yogurt + oats. Mix to combine then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Top with pumpkin seeds!