Using Seeds to Balance your Hormones – Seed Cycling!
Do you experience painful periods and awful PMS symptoms such as diarrhea, mood swings, food cravings, headaches, fatigue, swelling, bloating, ance, constipation?
Do you have PCOS, estrogen dominance, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility?
Or do you experience symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue?
Seed cycling is a natural method to help balance hormones and help alleviate these awful symptoms!
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a natural way to balance your hormones, boost fertility and help alleviate uncomfortable and painful symptoms associated with women’s menstrual cycles. This method has been around for a very long time and used by alternative health practitioners to ease these symptoms. It consists of supplementing your diet with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds at specific times of your cycle. The seeds are raw, ground and stored in the fridge to preserve freshness and stop them from going rancid. Some of the seeds need to be ground because our bodies have a difficult time breaking down seeds. By grinding them, we liberate the beneficial phytochemicals necessary to promote hormonal balance. Each seed has a specific role it plays in that part of your cycle.
The Basics of your Menstrual Cycle
Your cycle consists of two main phases; the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The follicular phase is the first phase of your cycle from days 1 – 14 (approximately). This phase begins the first day of your bleed and lasts until you ovulate. During the first week of your follicular phase (your bleed week) estrogen and progesterone are very low which causes the shedding of the uterine lining. The second week of your follicular phase is when your hormones begin to rise. Ovulation is said to occur on day 14. This is not always the case. This is based on a 28 day cycle and every woman’s body is unique and different. The best three ways to know when you ovulate is to track your cycles, assess your cervical mucus and to test your basal body temperature. The combination of these three methods will give you the most accurate timing of your ovulation. Ovulation is when estrogen peaks and you are feeling sexy and confident! Testosterone and progesterone are also on the rise! After ovulation you enter the luteal phase. Entering this phase, estrogen and progesterone are high. If an egg isn’t fertilized then your hormones decrease and you continue to cycle.
How to Seed Cycle
Days 1-14 : Follicular Phase
Eat one tablespoon of raw, ground flax seeds and one tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds. The phytochemicals, fiber, fatty acids, and nutrients (zinc, selenium) in these seeds promote estrogen production while also aiding in removal of excess estrogens and xenoestrogens. This promotes a healthy balance of estrogen during the phase when it is the main hormone.
Days 15-28: Luteal Phase
Eat one tablespoon of raw, ground sunflower seeds and one tablespoon of raw, ground sesame seeds. This phase of your cycle is when progesterone is the star and when unbalanced, is associated with nasty PMS symptoms. The nutrients in these two seeds, especially zinc and vitamin E, assist with progesterone production to help you feed your best!
Note: If possible, it is best to choose organic seeds as this reduces your exposure to herbicides and pesticides. If you are unable to purchase organic, just purchase the conventional seeds! You will still see the wonderful benefits from Seed Cycling!
Ways to Incorporate Your Seeds?
You can incorporate these seeds into your diet in many different ways and in many different dishes from breakfast, dinner, dessert and even snacks!
- Add them in your smoothie
- Sprinkle on your yogurt
- Add some into your oatmeal
- Sprinkle on your salad
- Mix into dips such as hummus
- Eat them as a seed butter and dip your apples in them or spread on toast
- Sprinkle on top of your chia seed pudding
- Add to your baked goods and desserts
- Mix in with your nut butter
- Add then into your granola
There are many different ways to incorporate these seeds into your diet during the different phases of your cycle!
My Personal Experience
I was skeptical at first of seed cycling for hormonal balance but decided to try it since I had nothing to lose and was suffering with awful symptoms from hormonal imbalance. That was over a year ago now and I am such a huge supporter and fan of seed cycling. It is an easy and effective way to help balance your hormones and minimize those awful symptoms. I love to add the seeds to my smoothie in the morning! It ensures I always get my daily dose of seeds and it tastes delicious!
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