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Archive for hormones

Seed Cycling for your Hormones in 2019

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.

7 Signs that your Hormones aren’t Balanced

  1. Fatigue
    Constant bouts of being either wired or stressed is related to adrenal fatigue and spiking cortisol levels. I have felt the fatigue from imbalanced hormones and it’s intense–feels illness related, leaving you tired after a great night’s sleep
  2. Mood Swings and Irritability
    Comes from imbalance of estrogen and testosterone. Everyone’s going to be cranky sometimes! But if you rage with consistency, this may be why.
  3. Skin changes
    Especially cystic acne, which happens around the chin and on the forehead. Zits happen, but shouldn’t be happening much past puberty. If you can’t correlate it to a new skincare regime or food in your diet, then it could be hormonal
  4. Hot flashes/night sweats
    This is big time for me. I sleep on top of the covers and our AC bill is through the roof! This is from changing levels of progesterone.
  5. Changes in bowel regularity
    Your liver processes hormones and food toxins, so if it is overloaded or not functioning properly then you will also get bowel effects with hormone imbalance
  6. Low libido
    You can thank estrogen levels for this, (and decreasing testosterone). Some of these symptoms are also those of depression though, so best to get a hormonal blood test first to rule it out.
  7. Inability to lose weight
    The ultimate enemy of hormonal imbalance. Raised levels of estrogen and cortisol make losing weight harder than normal. You can persevere though!

Do any of these 7 signs that your hormones aren’t balanced resonate with you? Last week, I wrote about my Pre-PCOS, and then realized that my tips would not be useful if someone did not know their hormones were out of whack. As a woman in your 20’s or 30’s, especially if you are thinking of conceiving, this is something to have checked via bloodwork. There are so many ways to attack hormone imbalance that I’ve discussed in other posts, including changing diet, increasing exercise, laying off the booze, acupuncture and herbal therapy, and essential oils!

One of the main reasons I diffuse essential oils is to remove the hormone interrupting free-radicals and environmental factors that effect my hormone balance like plastics, household cleaners, and make up products.

7 signs that your hormones aren't balanced