What is wellness?
Sometimes it can feel like you need to buy expensive supplements or wearable trackers, JUST to feel like you’re staying on top of your health. What if you could go back to your roots, and nature could help you have an almost perfect period?
Cue seed cycling.
Seed cycling is a food-based method you can use to balance your hormones and regulate your cycle. If you have hormone-related issues like PMS, cyclical breakouts, mood swings and even period pain, seed cycling is worth trying! So how can seeds impact your hormones? Read on to find out!
The concept is actually pretty simple. Since your hormones fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle, you can eat different types of seeds to naturally boost certain hormones.
Your hormones fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle. After your period, the hormone estrogen increases to build up the lining in your uterus. Once you ovulate, progesterone kicks in and sees you through until your next period.
When you have optimal hormone levels, you should experience little to no uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. You can see symptoms as a way in which your body tries to get your attention. If your body has everything it needs to do its job, it has no reason to ask for your help and you can continue to focus your attention on school, friends and your hobbies instead of cramps and PMS.
Back to the seeds…
You can be proactive and help your body out with seeds. In fact, some seeds have plant versions of estrogen (known as phytoestrogen) and others have key building blocks your body needs to make hormones. Rotate (or cycle) through certain seeds on a regular basis to help boost and maintain your own healthy hormone levels.
Small Seeds, Big Impact
Here are some details on the most common seeds used to balance hormones:
- Flax seed - contains phytoestrogen that directly promotes estrogen levels
- Pumpkin seed - sometimes known as pepitas, they provide zinc, which supports your ovaries, and a fatty acid called GLA. Healthy fats are used as the building blocks for all your hormones and are necessary for hormone balance.
- Sunflower and Sesame seed - both contain Vitamin B6 which is a building block of progesterone. The fibre also binds to any excess estrogen (which can cause PMS in the last 2 weeks of your cycle) and moves it out of your body through your digestive tract.
How Do You Seed Cycle?
Simply eat 2-4 teaspoons daily of fresh ground seeds! Choose flax or pumpkin on days 1-14 of your cycle, and sunflower or sesame on days 15-28. It’s easy to eat the seeds each morning sprinkled on some oatmeal (see my easy recipe below!), a fruit salad or added to your breakfast smoothie (yum!).
Tips & Tricks
It’s important to grind your seeds just before you use them to get maximum benefit. You can use an old coffee grinder or a high-powered blender. One tip to make using seeds easy is to grind ¼-½ cup of seeds at the beginning of your week and store it in the freezer.
Superfood Overnight Oatmeal Recipe
Want an easy and delicious way to get your seed intake? Make this yummy superfood oatmeal for breakfast to experience the benefits. The cacao nibs and coconut add a crunch!
1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
½ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) berries
½ banana, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 Tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
2-4 Tbsp freshly ground seeds for where you are in your cycle
To quickly cook steel cut oats, combine 1 cup of oats with 2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl and soak overnight in the fridge.
To cook, microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, then microwave on high for another minute.
Top your oatmeal with banana, berries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and 2-4 Tbsp seeds depending on where you are in your cycle.
If you want to avoid uncomfortable period symptoms, try giving your body what it needs naturally to balance your hormones. Seed cycling is a simple daily ritual that you can use to maintain hormone balance throughout your menstrual cycle!
For more info on using food to balance hormones and have a better period, check out @naturalhormonehealing on Instagram
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Post written for Blume by Natural Hormone Healing