This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite supplements and tips for optimal health, energy, and digestion. Everything is natural and food based, tried and tested by yours truly.
The first tip I’m sharing is to use seed cycling in support of your natural moon (menstrual) cycle. When we decided to try to conceive, I learned that I had low progesterone levels, and some pretty high estrogen levels. Because other hormonal imbalances and syndromes occur in my immediate family, I took the numbers very seriously, and decided to research ways to balance my hormones. Seed cycling is a natural way to help balance your hormones while adding some nutrition to your daily meal routine. Seeds taste great on top of salads, oatmeal, mixed into yogurt, and ground into smoothies, soups, and sauces. If you ever experience PMS, anovulation, menstrual cramps, hot flashes, mittleshmerz (ovulatory pain and mood swings), or hormonal acne, your hormones may be out of whack, and you can confirm with a quick blood test! Read more below on how you can optimize “seed cycling” for hormonal harmony!
*Many people utilize birth control to balance hormones, and that’s great if it works for you, but there are also some natural ways that can help create small changes and ripple effects in your hormonal health if you are NOT using birth control.
How it Works
The Follicular Phase refers to Day 1 (first day of period)-14 of your cycle, as you produce follicles/eggs. This phase is estrogen dominant. I use ground flax in my breakfast oatmeal and smoothies, which binds up extra estrogen, and pumpkin seeds on my salads and soups, which promote progesterone production. Check out my SOUPER easy Mushroom Pumpkin Seed soup that I’m having this week and my vegan protein energy balls with ground flax!
The Luteal Phase is approximately day 15 (or the midpoint of your cycle) to the last day before your period starts. This phase is progesterone dominant, as it is the phase of the cycle during which you would hypothetically conceive post-ovulation. During this phase, I use ground sesame seeds in cookies, soups, and sauces, which binds up that extra estrogen, as well sunflower seeds in baked good and on salads. Check out my Sesame Sunflower Cookie recipe here.
Why it Works
Lignans are a group of phytochemicals shown to have weakly estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties. When seed hulls containing these phytochemicals are digested and absorbed in the intestinal tract, progesterone/estradiol ratios are positively effected and mid follicular phase testosterone is higher. The seed hulls naturally bind up extra hormones that cause imbalance and help us with mid-cycle and PMS symptoms like cramps, acne, anovulation, short luteal phases, irregular cycles, and more.
If you want to utilize the seed hulls, it is best that you grind your seeds up with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.