As you may know already my profession as a Nutritional Therapist is all about using food to heal and balance your body and health concerns. Today I’d like to tell you about seed cycling and fatty acid cycling, which can be used to balance a woman’s hormones.
What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling and fatty acid cycling can be used to regulate your body’s hormonal balance. The aim is to regulate estrogen in the first half of your cycle and regulate progesterone in the second half of your cycle.
By balancing your sex hormones, you could experience benefits in the form of reducing acne, regulating periods, normalise body weight, and boost fertility.
Why does it work?
Throughout the different phases of your menstrual cycle, your body has varying needs, depending on which phase you’re in and what your body is trying to do.
During the first half of your cycle, estrogen should be surging, your body temperature should be slightly lower, and your body would be trying to produce and release an egg. It’s during this time that you need foods that support your natural production of estrogen and anti-inflammation processes.
During the second half of your cycle estrogen lowers and the star of the show becomes progesterone. Progesterone is responsible for creating a warm environment for a fertilised egg to plant. It can be responsible for making you feel like you need to cuddle up and rest and it’s during this phase that your body needs Omega 6 fatty acids that help your body to stay warm.
How to seed cycle?
You should aim to eat 1-2 tablespoons of the seeds below (total) per day. These should be sprouted or soaked. Grinding up the seeds can also make them easier to digest and absorb.
If you are supplementing fatty acids as well, or instead, you should be aiming for 1-2 capsules of the fatty acid of choice per day.
First half of cycle – the Follicular Phase:
Beginning from day 1 of your period, up until ovulation (in some women that’s around day 14)
- 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkinseeds and/or flax seeds
- 1-2 capsules of fish oil, cod liver oil or flax seed oil
Second half of cycle – the Luteal Phase:
Beginning from ovulation (in some women that’s around day 14) – up until the last day before your period starts again.
- 1-2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds
- 1-2 capsules of evening primrose oil
There are other foods that are estrogenic and should be avoided or eaten with caution. Soy, hemp, chia seeds, soy protein, pea protein, hemp protein, alfalfa sprouts and hops are all estrogenic foods and can contribute to hormonal imbalance and estrogen dominance.
Milk and conventional (non organic) meat can be high in hormones that can also contribute to your own hormonal imbalance.
And last but definitely not least: plastics, artificial fragrances and many body care products can also significantly contribute to hormonal problems try to limit these products or replace them for natural alternatives.
Need More Guidance?
I could help you to balance your hormones and deal with underlying issues in your helth during one-on-one Nutritional Therapy Consultations. You could call or email me, and I’d be happy to talk through an action plan with you.