If you’ve recently been hearing the words, ‘seed cycling’, Its nothing to do with bicycles. It’s a new brilliant way to make sure we are getting the right nutrients throughout our menstrual cycle.
Seed cycling is an old naturopathic therapy that uses nutrition, to support the body’s production, metabolism and detoxification of hormones in order to bring hormones back into balance, naturally.
Our female bodies are so complex, that we often find ourselves a little bit bemused by them, for years I suffered from heavy periods that I thought was normal, turns out I had endometriosis and I only found out 10 years later. So if you suffer from painful heavy periods and you have signs that something feels wrong, then get it checked, chances are it could prevent problems later on.
Our cycles are divided into phases.
- The follicular phase, day 1 to 14 of your cycle. when your estrogen is increasing and an egg is maturing in preparation for ovulation.
- Ovulation typically occurs on day 14 for women with a ‘normal’ 28-day cycle which is characterized by the release of an egg,
- Luteal phase. This usually happens on day 15 of your cycle, the follicle turns into a structure called the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone and helps thicken your uterine lining to prepare for a pregnancy.
- Menstruation: If the egg is not fertilized, the lining of your uterus, also known as the endometrium, will shed and this becomes your period.
Do I need to seed cyle?
Our bodies are usually naturally very good at keeping our hormones in balance, but with the number of hormone disruptors in our everyday environment, its easier than ever for our bodies to get confused. For example, drinking from plastic bottles exposes you to estrogen-mimicking compounds called xenoestrogens and not only is it in plastics, but it’s also in the chemicals we are exposed to every day such as detergents, cosmetics, receipts, even the clothing on our backs, which can cause a lot of us to suffer from estrogen dominant conditions such as Endometriosis, PMT, PCOS, and Infertility.
Seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and nutrients, like zinc and selenium, which are the building blocks needed to create happy healthy hormones. So this is why seed cycling could just be what we need, to keep things in balance.
Flaxseeds in-particular are rich in lignans, which have been shown to be beneficial in improving estrogen and progesterone ratios. There have also been studies showing that breast tenderness related to our cycles is improved by including flaxseeds in your diet too. Sesame and sunflower seeds also contain lignans and essential fatty acids which support the hormones. So by choosing the right seeds needed for each cycle phase, it could vastly improve your menstrual health, less pain, regular periods, less breast tenderness etc.
Where To Start?
I made some seed balls as they are really easy to snack on, rather than having to make a smoothie or carry lots of packets of seeds around. I prepared 14 and took 1 a day or you could take 2 a day and make more. So far my menstrual pain has eased, and my breasts don’t seem so tender before my period, its supposed to be 3-6 months before you see any improved results, so give it time.
Heres a really simple guide to which seeds would be good to start with, simply put the chosen seeds which preferably are organic and high quality, into a food blender with some cacao powder, and a little raw honey to make them stick, you could also try adding dates which give a good source of fibre, a good digestive system is vital, which can aid your body in expelling those pesky excesses estrogens.
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds work well for this phase as they work to detox any excess estrogen whilst preparing the body for adequate progesterone production in the second half of the cycle. pumpkin seeds are also high in iron which is beneficial in this half, if you have heavy periods.
Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds work well for this phase as sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E to support progesterone levels and sesame seeds are high in zinc and selenium which block excess estrogen.
So if you want happy hormones, or if you just like the sound of these as a tasty healthy snack, and they are tasty especially when you add a little coconut oil, honey, dates and raw cacao. I prefer to use raw cacao than dark chocolate as this is the purest form of chocolate, which contains magnesium and zinc, also known minerals to be lacking in people with endometriosis and other estrogen dominant conditions. So maybe worth giving a try.