Seed cycling for hormone magic
Seed cycling is a great way to bring some balance to your hormones. Alongside other hormonal supporting behaviours, it adds some great anti-inflammatory omega 3’s and supports both estrogen production and metabolism, which is key during the follicular phase.
Day 1 – 15
At the beginning of your cycle (when you start bleeding) you’ll eat 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ground flaxseeds and raw pumpkin seeds. I whiz these up in my NutriBullet and sprinkle on some porridge or include in my morning smoothing.
Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds create balanced estrogen, through elimination, which is key in the follicular phase so you don’t run into estrogen dominance. There have also been studies that show the lignans found in pumpkin seeds may help to prevent breast cancer.
Day 15 – 28
On day 15, or following ovulation if you’re tracking your cycle, switch to 1-2 tablespoons each of raw sunflower and sesame seeds. They support progesterone levels, a key hormone in the luteal phase.
In combination with a hormonal balancing lifestyle seed cycling can help balance hormones, resulting in less painful period cramps, reducing breast tenderness and some PMS symptoms.
Painful periods are caused by excess prostaglandins, estrogen dominance and inflammation. These seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower inflammation and the effects of prostaglandins. Many health professionals recommend adding magnesium and fish oil along with eating loads of veggies, while the seeds work their magic over a few months.
There are some great seed cycling recipes over at The Minimalist Baker.