When it comes to your menstrual cycle it is important to balance out hormones. Whether you are experiencing, acne, infertility, PCOS, menopausal symptoms, PMS or any other symptoms, oftentimes these suggest an imbalance of hormones. If you are experiencing any of these physical symptoms, hormonal imbalances, or irregular menstrual cycles, seed cycling can help balance your hormones.
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a naturopathic approach that can potentially help balance out hormones by regulating estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle and progesterone in the second half. (1) This naturopathic approach can help balance out a wide range of issues that may stem from a hormonal imbalance. Whether you are a young woman who has just started her period, or a middle aged woman possibly experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, this natural technique can help balance and regulate your hormones.
How to Use Seed Cycling To Balance Hormones
There are two phases women go through during their menstrual cycle. They are generally split down the middle during each month although it can vary from woman to woman as no one is exactly the same. Within the first phase of the menstrual cycle you eat certain seeds that are necessary for the body’s supply of nutrients. During the second phase there are other seeds which are needed to achieve balance.
Phase One of Seed Cycling for Balanced Hormones
The first phase is called the “follicular phase”, which generally lasts from day one to day fifteen. This is when your period begins and hormone levels start to change. During this time your body is seeking estrogen. Estrogen is a vital hormone in a woman as it helps develop and maintain the female reproductive system. (2) During this time the best seeds to consume are pumpkin and flax seeds. Make sure they are raw and unsalted to prevent alterations and chemicals.
Ways to Eat Seeds for Hormonal Balance
- Consume in raw form
- Throw into a smoothie
- Grind into a nut butter
- Top off your yogurt or smoothie bowl
Be sure you are eating 1 tablespoon of each seed, per day. Flax and pumpkin seeds help stabilize estrogen levels which is what your body requires during the first two weeks of your cycle. Flax seeds contain lignans which help bind to harmful excess estrogen. It helps detox your body of harmful estrogen and decreases estrogen levels which in turn helps balance hormones. Pumpkin seeds are rich in key minerals which most women tend to be deficient in, such as magnesium and zinc. Both of these seeds are also powerful in impacting the health of endometrial tissue. This can help minimize cramps, heavy bleeding and clotting that can occur during the follicular cycle.
Phase Two of Seed Cycling for Balanced Hormones
The second phase which generally lasts between day sixteen and twenty-eight is called the “luteal phase”. The key seeds to consume during this phase are sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, which tend to be lacking in many diets. Both are generally best consumed unsalted and in their raw form. Both of these seeds help enhance progesterone levels. Progesterone is both a hormone and a steroid which plays a significant role in the process of reproduction. (3) Progesterone tends to be low in most women across the board, especially compared to estrogen. If you are progesterone deficient you may want to take anywhere between 1-2 tablespoons of these seeds per day.
Both of these seeds have properties and nutrients that help build up our progesterone levels. Sunflower seeds contain zinc which helps enhance the body’s natural production of progesterone. Zinc is a microelement which plays an important role in the body. It is responsible for regulating cell growth, hormone release, reproduction and more. (4) It is important to take a proper amount of zinc, especially for women, as it can help aid in ovulation, reproduction, fetal development and more. In addition, sesame seeds contain vitamin E which is beneficial to progesterone levels. Both seeds contain healthy fats which are necessary to maintain proper bodily function.
Benefits of Seeds Cycling for Hormonal Balance
All of these seeds deliver plant based seed fat which is highly beneficial for hormonal balance. These are an easy and delicious way to potentially improve so many aspects of a woman’s body in regards to hormones. Here are some extra benefits that you can receive through seed cycling.
- Reduce excess estrogen
- Improve estrogen/progesterone ratio
- Reduce inflammation
- Heal ovarian cysts
- Reduce impact of metabolic syndrome on the body
- Regulate cycle
- Improve fertility
- Ease PMS symptoms
- Reduce heavy bleeding and cramping
Seed cycling can be a powerful approach in balancing out your hormones. It can potentially work for all women and is great for those who are vegan or vegetarian as this is a plant-based option. All of these seeds work hand in hand to promote a healthier body and boost the hormonal balance.
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