I feel extremely bloated and depressed after my period. What could be the problem and what can I do about it?

It is not often that many women say they feel the way you do during what is called the follicular phase – the phase after your period is over, and which generally lasts between six and 14 days. If your hormones are balanced, you should feel exactly the opposite of what you are feeling right now. But don’t worry, there are ways to bring your body back on track by eating well and taking care of yourself during this phase.

Your oestrogen and progesterone levels are on the rise since the bleeding has completely stopped. Your pituitary gland secretes FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) that grows up to 30 follicles in the ovaries; each follicle holds an egg.

It is important that you eat really clean so that you have healthy follicles, especially if you are struggling with PCOS or endometriosis. Foods that stimulate oestrogen so that a healthy endometrium lining is built are good. Eat foods high in vitamin E such as leafy greens, preparations like kimchi, sprouts, fermented foods like sauerkraut – but no yogurt please. These foods will also help stimulate follicles and develop healthier eggs.

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Since hormones are on the rise, you feel more energised and focused. When your hormones are balanced, you will be in the problem-solving phase – but minus the anxiety. This is the time to deal with problems. But if you have a hormonal issue, you will not feel motivated to do much.

This is also the time your body is in the fat-burning phase. If you regularly do high-intensity workouts, your body will start to enjoy those now, but if you are someone who prefers jogging and leans towards yoga, then stuff like intense Pilates, running and more vigorous forms of yoga will help you feel more comfortable.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.