Seed Cycling is perfect for you if
- You have an irregular cycle (skipped cycles or cycles that come too close together)
- You have estrogen dominant symptoms including depression, irritability, mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating, blood clotting, uterine fibroids, PCOS, weight gain around the hips/waist, fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis, reduced sex drive, fatigue, anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, hair loss, headaches, etc
- You’re a man with enlarged breasts, sexual dysfunction, or infertility
- You’re going through menopause and are experiencing hot flashes and/or night sweats
Hormones can become unbalanced due to:
- Excess exposure to environmental toxins, including:
- Parabens – preservatives used in cosmetics and other personal care products to prevent microbial growth are shown to possess endocrine disruptor activity. They interfere with normal hormonal function and can cause developmental, behavioral, and fertility issues.
- Perfumes – musk xylene and musk ketone are common chemical bases for perfume scents and have been linked to PMS, disruptions in the estrogen/progesterone balance, decreased ovarian function and infertility.
- Triclosan – antimicrobial used in hand sanitizing products and in antibacterial soaps are linked to thyroid and reproductive issues.
- Oxybenzone, Methoxycinnamate are endocrine disruptors found in sunscreens.
- Use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies. Synthetic birth control is not meant to be used for long periods of time.
- Digestive issues and liver congestion/detoxification issues.
- Stressful lifestyle – when more progesterone is used to make cortisol (the stress hormone) makes it low in relation to estrogen.
- Unresolved emotional issues – the mind-body connection is very powerful and unresolved emotions eventually cause physical ailments.
- Poor diets that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. The Paleo diet serves women with estrogen dominance well.
- Lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol use.
How to Seed Cycle:
From day 1 (the first day of your period) to day 13, a woman is in her follicular phase. Use 2 tbsp of either ground flax seeds or pumpkin seeds which naturally boost estrogen and helps support this phase.
From Days 14-28, a woman is in her luteal phase, which is when you need a progesterone boost. Sesame and sunflower seeds are great for this.
If you have an irregular cycle or are skipping periods, use the full moon as day 1 of your cycle.
Put your seeds in smoothies, sprinkle them on oatmeal, yogurts, and salads, or spread tahini (sesame seed butter) on fruits or breads.
It’s important to note that when you work with natural hormone balancing protocols, it does take a few months to regulate. So, if you are trying to use this method as birth control, be sure to use other birth control methods, such as condoms, until you have your cycle balanced.
Other ways to support hormone balance include:
nutrient densewhole foods and drinking lots of water! Stay away from overly processed foods like fast food restaurants, lunch meats, cold cereals, pre-made dinners andall the white stuff – flour, pasta, breads. Avoid “lite” foods that have excessive amounts of salt or sugar.
- Eat healthy fats! Low-fat diets are one of the reasons woman are having hormonal problems. Hormones are made out of cholesterol. If you don’t eat enough cholesterol, your body can’t make hormones. Eat avocados, almonds, coconut oil, coconut milk, extra virgin olive oil, butter, etc.
- Watch your soy intake. It can be healthy for you, but in small amounts. You shouldn’t have a gallon in your fridge. Soy is a goitrogen, which blocks iodine uptake in the body. Iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, the breasts, and the ovaries. Iodine deficiency causes thyroid disorders (including goiters, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer), cysts in the breasts and ovaries, and cancer of the breast and ovaries.
- Minerals! Unfortunately, our soils are depleted of minerals. Minerals are vitally important to balancing hormones. So, eat foods high in minerals or include a good multivitamin daily. Organic meats and chicken, beans and legumes, veggies (spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, artichokes, cabbage, zucchini, sweet potatoes, olives, etc), fruit (bananas, prunes, raisins, melons, nectarines, kiwi, grapes and peaches, blackberries, etc.).
- Get plenty of rest! Strive for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid/limit caffeine. The truth is that too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved too like pregnancy, presence of toxins, or stress.
- Avoid toxins as much as possible – chemical cleaners, pesticides, plastics. Filter your water and if you can’t go all the way organic … wash your fruits and veggies! Look into the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” to save money on produce.
- Detox – try to detox twice a year. The spring and the fall are perfect times to do a detox program
If you are looking to become pregnant, regulate your cycle, experience a healthy/enjoyable life change, or find a way to understand your cycle better to prevent pregnancy; then give seed cycling a try.
Also note that BeWell offers functional testing on hormone imbalances as well as a special package for healthy preconception, conception, and pregnancy.