A nutrition practice called SEED CYCLING is said to help balance female hormones and curb hormonal symptoms. Does science gets involved in this? Let’s take a look.
Your hormones are greatly influenced by your diet, sleep patterns, stress levels, physical environment and movement routines. When less than optimal, these can challenge your body’s natural biology, throwing your hormones out of whack. For women, hormonal imbalance is the root of many health issues such as irregular periods, acne, PCOS, low libido, thyroid disorders, and chronic fatigue. Also, women suffering from premenstrual syndrome, infertility, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, and general hormonal imbalance can give it go.
What is seed cycling?
It is a naturopathic remedy which is a popular way for women to help rebalance female hormones by regulating the hormone estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle (follicular phase) and the hormone progesterone in the second half (luteal phase).
A typical seed cycling involves eating flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds at different times of the month to balance certain hormones.You can mix two tablespoons of ground seeds (grinding the seeds increases the surface area for absorption to the essential fatty acids inside) into a smoothie or sprinkle them on your oatmeal. It is insisted that the seeds be raw and freshly ground. (Chewing well, of course, counts as grinding.)
How to start & how seeds influence your hormones?
Days 1-14 of your cycle(1st day of menstration)
1-2 tbsp daily of raw, organic, freshly ground flax seeds
1-2 tbsp daily of raw, organic, freshly ground pumpkin seeds
Both flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which promote enhanced uterine blood low and maintain healthy cell membranes. Flax seeds contain special properties called lignans which can help to bind excess estrogen in the first phase of the cycle while pumpkin seeds, high zinc, support progesterone production and release for the second phase of the cycle.
Days 15-28 of your cycle
1-2 tbsp of raw, organic freshly ground sunflower seeds
1-2 tbsp of raw, organic freshly ground sesame seeds
Sesame seeds, which also contain lignans, help to block excess estrogen during this period while sunflower seeds, high in mineral selenium, assist in the detoxification process of hormones in the liver.
For menopausal and postmenopausal women without a regular menstrual cycle, it’s often recommended to use the phases of the moon as a guide to cycle dates, with day one of their cycle falling on the new moon.
It is claimed that positive hormonal changes will be noticed after just a few months of cycling. Keep a journal to mark your symptoms through your seed cycling experience and work with a doctor and health coach to help support you while you rebalance your hormones.