Seeds fixed my hormones. ‘I’m sorry, say whaaaat?” you ask.
Let me back up a bit. You probably know about my Celiac story and how I battled with a parasite, but what you might not know is that I’ve actually also had some pretty severe hormonal imbalances too. When it rains it pours, right? 😉
(I have to say that I’m still grateful for all the health issues I’ve had because it wouldn’t have led me into this career!)
Years ago, when I was first in my nutrition training, I learned about some of the negative side effects of the birth control pill. I decided to stop taking it.
However, months and months went by after stopping the pill, and I never got my period. At first, I really didn’t care; I mean, not having to deal with it was sort of awesome. But, I very quickly realized I did want to have kids at some point, and it certainly was not a normal symptom to not be menstruating. In fact, there is an official name for it: amenhhorea.
I went to my doctor, and again, much like my Celiac symptoms, I was told it’s no issue and not to worry. If I really wanted to get it, I could go back on the pill. I left, knowing I did not want to go back on the pill as that would simply mask my symptoms and not address the root cause. Since I was in school for nutrition at this point, I decided to attempt to tackle it naturally. After all, when you’re going about it naturally, you really have nothing to lose.
A good friend, and fellow nutritionist who had battled with PCOS in her 20s introduced me to the idea of Seed Cycling, as it really helped her. I will preface with the fact that it SOUNDS absolutely LUDACRIS. But, as with lots of things, don’t knock it until you try it. 🙂
I figured it was worth a try and low and behold, 3 months later (the approximate it usually takes, my period re-appeared).
The premise of seed cycling is that you use certain seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower), on a scheduled rotation that follows the lunar cycle, to regulate your hormones. All hormonal problems stem from an imbalance in the body between progesterone and estrogen and the seeds contain beneficial nutrients that help balance out progesterone and estrogen.
Seed cycling is pretty simple overall; the hardest part is remembering to do it every day.
The following instructions are for those who do not have a cycle at the moment:
If you do have a cycle, you would start the first two weeks of your cycle on Day 1 of your period.
Note: The seeds must be freshly ground and I find a coffee grinder to be best. Otherwise, they may pass through your digestive tract whole and you won’t get any of the benefit. In addition, if they aren’t freshly ground, they go rancid very quickly and lose most of their health benefits. You can simply add the to a smoothie, granola or oatmeal or put it on top of a salad.
Keep at it for at least 12 weeks, and see what happens. For me, and clients that have tried this, their cycle syncs pretty closely with the lunar cycle after 2-3 months.
I have yet to see any official studies on this, however can tell you that it has worked for enough clients, that I don’t really mind if there’s no science behind it.
Each of the seeds have a certain benefit that help balances out the hormones: Flax and sesame seeds contain lignans, which are powerful for eliminating excess estrogen, while pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which supports the release of progesterone.
In addition, while there are a TON of reasons for hormonal imbalances, one that is prevalent among young women is consuming the wrong types of fats, or not enough healthy fats, especially when they are worried about their weight.
Healthy fats actually regulate the body’s production of sex hormones. This is why women with incredibly low body fat and fat intake often stop menstruating.
The beauty of this is that you have now addressed the ROOT CAUSE of your hormonal imbalances and not masked it with another pill!