While it may be a bit of a stretch to say that every woman you know is having menstrual cycle issues, it’s not terribly far off. It seems like reproductive issues are incredibly common these days, doesn’t it? Up to 10 percent of women—roughly 5 million Americans—suffer from PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. Writer and director Lena Dunham recently went public about her struggle with endometriosis. It’s great that women’s health issues are getting more attention in the national dialogue.
If you have minor hormonal issues, are trying to conceive, need to balance your hormones during menopause or just want to support your natural cycle, you may want to consider seed cycling. Seed cycling is a gentle and natural way to support your body as it moves through the various stages of your monthly cycle.
The Female Hormonal Cycle
First, here’s a bit of background on how the female cycle works. During the first half of cycle, estrogen is the dominant hormone controlling your reproductive system. Estrogen stimulates the growth of the uterine lining to prepare for a potential pregnancy.
The second half of your cycle is dominated by progesterone. This hormone supports the lining while preventing your ovaries from releasing another egg in case of pregnancy.
How Seeds Support Your Cycle
You may already know that synthetic chemicals called xenoestrogens mimic the body’s natural hormones. Many women have also spent time on hormonal birth control pills, which can lead to estrogen dominance and other hormone issues.
By supporting the manufacture of the correct hormones at the proper time in your cycle, you may be able to balance your hormones and restore its natural rhythm.
How to Seed Cycle
To seed cycle, all you have to do is consume estrogen-balancing seeds during the first 15 days of your cycle and progesterone-supporting seeds during the second half.
Days 1-14: Consume ground flax and pumpkin seeds. According to One Green Planet, flax seeds contain lignans, which help block excess estrogen. Pumpkin seeds support progesterone balance so your estrogen-progesterone levels remain at a healthy ratio. Most importantly, both of these seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the manufacture of all hormones.
Days 15-the end of your cycle: Consume sunflower and sesame seeds. These seeds contain selenium and zinc, which support hormone balance by keeping estrogen level in check and supporting the production of progesterone.
Bonus tip: Look for unsalted, ground versions of your seeds. Take 1 tablespoon of each seed per day when it’s meant to be consumed.