Monday, December 16, 2013

Seed Cycling: Balancing Women's Hormones With Food

Balancing hormones is like...well, a balancing act. It can be quite a tricky aspect of health because so many factors play into our hormone levels. It can take quite a while to balance our hormones as well, and I have to admit, it is my Achilles' heel.
My hormones have been all over the board. Throughout the years, I have experienced everything from periods that were so painful I have passed out, vomited, or had to sit down wherever I am standing due to lower back pain, to losing my period for about 6 months. I have been anaemic, had headaches, mood swings, PMS...all of the above.
Even now on my journey to health, my hormones continue to cause some disturbance.
As of recent, I noticed my cycle getting shorter and shorter. 25 days...21 days...18 days. That's when I thought I needed to really tackle this because it is just unfair getting a period that often.
I casually mentioned this to one of my colleagues and she told me
about seed cycling. Of course I was a bit skeptical about something that sounded so easy producing profound results, but I also loved the idea of "Food as medicine".
She was saying that her cycle was getting longer and longer and she was skipping many months, which is what brought her to seed cycling. After beginning the program, her next cycle was exactly 28 days. Her last 3 cycles have been exactly 28 days. She was even saying her PMS symptoms were virtually gone!
All of this was convincing enough for me to give it a go.

Now I have only been doing this for one month. That's only one round of each pair of seeds. And guess what! I had exactly a 28 day cycle! I KNOW! HOW AMAZING! Now, it could be coincidence or any number of things, but this is literally all I have changed in the past month and I got my period on day 28 exactly. And even better, I had no PMS symptoms! No bloating, no excessive appetite,  no unexplained just came. This was so abnormal for me...but I'm now a believer in seed cycling.
Now that being said, I still got cramps and back pain on days 2-3 of my period, but definitely not crippling or bed ridden pain which is my norm. So I will be continuing the seed cycling journey to see where it leads me. But it is so simple and so natural (literally, food as medicine) I recommend any curious about it to give it a shot for a month or a few and see how you go!

Here are the basics of seed cycling:

The plan:
Day 1-14 (from the first day of menstruating until ovulation)
1-2 Table spoons of freshly ground flax and pumpkin seeds daily
This is when our estrogen levels are increasing. The flax seeds here block excess estrogen getting stored in the body, along with containing omega 3 fatty acids, allowing for healthy cell membranes and have an anti-inflammatory effect in our body. The pumpkin seeds, high in zinc, support the release of progesterone, maintaining our balance.
Day 14-28 (ovulation to first day of period)
1-2 Table spoons of freshly ground sesame and sunflower seeds
During this time progesterone is being made and utilized. Sunflower seeds contain the trace mineral selenium, required for liver detoxification. Whilst the sesame seed’slingansare blocking excess estrogen and contain omega 6 fatty acids for hormone synthesis.
It is helpful to keep track of your cycles, how long they are, what your symptoms are to track changes. This is a natural process so I recommend allowing 3 months for balancing your cycles.

The key hormones involved in regulating a women's cycles are oestogen and progesterone. When these are out of balance, symptoms appear such as bloating, cravings, faitugue and cramps.

I recommend using organic, raw seeds and grinding them in a coffee grinder (a morter and pestle can do the job too though). Grinding them ensures the lingans are readily assessable and easily absorbed by the intestines. Try to only grind enough for a few days as the fresher they are the more potent they will be. Once ground be sure to store them in the fridge in an air tight container, to maintain that freshness. You can add them to bliss balls, smoothies, sprinkle on your salads or if you get stuck in a hurry mix them up in a glass of water.

Will update you all in a few months as to how it is working out for me and would love to hear anyone with experiences in seed cycling :)

1 comment:

  1. I have recently been reading a book on hormone imbalances and how they affect us and what we can do to get back into balance. Diet is at the top of the list. My Hormones is the name of the book, by Doug Ginter. Diet is something we can change, and it makes us feel better when things are all in balance. is his book site, worth a look if you want a resource on this.