Did you know that there is a natural solution for PMS, irregular menstrual cycle, or acne and hormonal related mood fluctuations? Let us find out more about seed cycling. Seed cycling is the inclusion and rotation of a variety of seeds into your daily diet at varied times in the menstrual cycle. Typically, the menstrual cycle has four phases;
– Menstruation phase
– Follicular phase
The regular cycle is 28 days and the first day of menstruation is day 1. Eating pumpkin and flax seeds from day 1 to 14 or the follicular phase will help to increase the amount of estrogen produced while at the same time providing an amazing amount of fiber for estrogen metabolism.
These seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and micronutrients like zinc and selenium, which are vital in the production of healthy hormones. Flax seeds contain lignans which are beneficial in the prevention of osteoporosis (affects mostly women of older age/those experiencing menopause). Lignans also boost estrogen and progesterone levels as well as reduce the risk of heart disease in women. Pumpkin seeds also contain lignans, which may reduce the risk of breast cancer development.
Women suffering from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can include flax and pumpkin seeds in their diet to reduce the production of androgens that cause alopecia, hirsutism (hair growth on chin, chest in women), and acne.
From day 15- 28(After ovulation/ luteal phases); Consume 1-2 tablespoons of freshly ground sunflower and sesame seeds to boost progesterone production. During this phase, progesterone levels should be at an n all-time high and this is very vital for reducing the unpleasant PMS symptoms like mood swings and bloating.
Grinding the seeds makes it easier for the body to absorb the essential fatty acids, minerals, and the other micronutrients. Seed cycling is very important because hormonal imbalances can occur as a result of xenoestrogens (which are hormone-production and function disruptors) that we are exposed to from chemicals, cosmetic products, and food preservatives. With seed consumption, our bodies are able to produce sufficient amounts of estrogen and progesterone hormones, thus hormonal imbalances and the effects are prevented.
HOW TO MAKE SEED CONSUMPTION FUN
- Add the seeds into yogurt, smoothies or juice
- Make energy bars/bites using the seeds (the type of seeds varies with the phase in the cycle)
- Make butter with the seeds and use them on your toast or in your stews.
- Use on salads
- Add into your breakfast cereals.
NB: Incorporate other seeds such as fenugreek, dill, etc into your diet as they have loads of health benefits besides hormonal balance.