How To Use Seeds To Balance Your Hormones + Why It Is Crucial For A Healthy Cycle

Contributor: Avery Geary
Photographer: Saffron & Sage
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Through every aspect of our lives, our minds and bodies are connected. Holistically, health is a state of well-being and optimal vitality. When we are healthy, there is balance within our bodies, where we can take everything in, digest what is needed and eliminate what does not serve us.


Balancing comes from an understanding of the connection of the mind, body, and soul. Through this, other aspects of our lives - our relationships, our food, our jobs and our life experiences come into balance as well. When we are in a state of balance, we listen to our bodies, and make choices that support and provide nourishment. For women this relates to harmony within our menstrual cycles. Having balance inside our bodies ensures balance outside.

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Ideally, a women’s cycle lasts 28-days, however it can range from 21-35 days. A particular method, known as seed cycling, is based on using various seeds to support hormonal balance, receive PMS symptoms and stimulate menstruation, if absent. Enhancing hormonal support is critically important to ensure balance between the phases of your cycle.

There are two phases:

Phase 1: Follicular phase: begins after menstruation

Phase 2: Luteal phase: begins after ovulation

Begin phase 1 on the first day of your cycle (starting the first day of menstruation) and continue for 14 days (around time of ovulation).

1. FOLLICULAR PHASE:  This phase is ideally 14 days, starting on the first day of menstruation. Estrogen levels are low and increase during this phase in preparation for ovulation (potential pregnancy). Rising estrogen levels increase luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, while decreasing estrogen levels cause the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), to release an egg.

Seeds that are high in omega 3’s help to reduce inflammation and regulate FSH levels, supporting reproductive function.

Flax Seeds

+ High in lignans (phyto-estrogens) to block excess estrogen production.

  • High in omega 3s

 

Pumpkin Seeds

+ Rich in zinc, which prepares the body for progesterone secretion in the next phase.

  • High in omega 3s

 

Fish Oil (Bonus)

  • Contains EPA and DHA, important omega 3 fats

  • High in lignans

Begin phase 2 after ovulation has occurred to enhance hormonal balance (up until your next period occurs).

2. LUTEAL PHASE: This phase should last (at minimum) 10 days (any less is a indicator of low progesterone). Here, progesterone is enhancing the uterine lining and facilitating egg implantation. The luteal phase is brought on by the sudden drop in estrogen, FSH and LH, which occurs just after ovulation.  Progesterone increases during after this occurs. Estrogen also increases during this phase, but if it is too high, PMS symptoms may result (causing mood swings and discomfort).

Seeds high in Omega 6 fatty acids help reduce PMS symptoms and support fertility.

 

Sesame Seeds

  • High in lignans to balance estrogen and progesterone levels

  • High in omega 6

 

Sunflower Seeds

  • High in selenium, which supports proper liver function to support hormone excretion

  • High in omega 6

+ Bonus: Evening Primrose Oil is also helpful. It works to enhance Omega 6 and alleviate PMS symptoms.

Notes:

*Raw, unsalted seeds are best - to ensure high nutritional quality.  Seeds can be eaten with other foods (added to smoothies, on top of grain bowls and sprinkled on salads).

*For guidance on foods that support each phase, reference here

 

 

Original reference: Kristin Dahl   

Original article