Guest blog by nutritional therapist Ewelina Sadzik who specialises in digestive and hormone health.
It isn’t a magic solution; however, through consuming different seeds each half of your menstrual cycle, you’re supporting the natural levels of your oestrogen or progesterone. When either of these hormones are imbalanced throughout your cycle, you might end up with period cramps, tender breasts, food cravings, mood swings, skin breakouts…all the things so many women see as normal around periods.
Did you know?
Menstrual cycle offers women a productivity blueprint; it can help you harness the power of your fluctuating hormones in different phases of the cycle. By tracking your cycle, you will be able to see when you are at your most creative, energetic, efficient or have the best communication skills. You will also know when it’s the best time to do more HIIT based exercise, and also when to rest and opt in for restorative forms of movement.
Some of you might be experiencing symptoms that stop you from enjoying certain phases of your cycle. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Painful periods and monthly PMS should not be your normal!
Getting to the bottom of your menstrual symptoms could provide you with answers to the way you feel, and especially during and in the lead up to your period. Once addressed, it will offer you the opportunity to make the most of your cycle.
Seed cycling – what is it?
In short, it’s a really useful tool to help support the natural levels of your hormones.
How does it work?
The hulls of those various seeds contain lignans, which help bind excess hormones for safe removal from the body once no longer needed and prevent them from being reabsorbed. What’s more, the seed oils contain essential fatty acids – the building blocks for making your sex hormones, as well as vitmains and minerals which support them further.
Here’s how you do it:⠀⠀
Phase 1: Starting from the first day of your menstruation until ovulation, consume 1 tbsp of both ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds each day.⠀⠀
Phase 2: From ovulation until menstruation, add 1 tbsp of both sesame seeds and sunflower seeds each day to your meals.
It may take 2-3 cycles of consistent seed cycling for you to start seeing benefits.⠀⠀
- Enjoy these on salads, with smoothies, sprinkled on yoghurt or overnight oats. Or simply as a snack. Make sure the seeds are raw and not roasted. ⠀⠀
- If you grind the seeds, or buy them ground, make sure you keep them in the fridge to preserve their natural oils as these are sensitive to heat.⠀⠀
Are you on hormonal birth control?
While seed cycling won’t balance the synthetic hormones coming from the pill or other method you are using, and in most cases your natural hormones are ‘switched off’ as a result, seed cycling can support your hormones when you decide that it’s the right time for you to stop hormonal contraception. I often advise beginning the work on your hormonal health at least 1 month before coming off hormonal contraception and seed cycling could be a good addition.
Hormonal contraception also depletes a variety of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) so it is important to maintain a balanced and nutrient-rich diet – nuts and seeds form a part of it!⠀⠀⠀
Will you be giving seed cycling a go?
Check out more info on Ewelina’s website.