Tag: women’s health

My new e-book is here!

  I am so excited to share my first e-book, Six Ways To Improve Your Period Pain! In it, you’ll find six ways to get started on improving your period pain, including ways to integrate these changes into your life.   Period pain is so […]

How well do you know your menstrual cycle?

This isn’t a trick question!   There are a few signs that tell you it’s worth becoming more familiar with your menstrual cycle.   Are you surprised every month when your period arrives? Do you get hit like a brick with PMS every month, feeling […]

Stories I loved this week.

 

hampstead heath

Have you ever considered moving towards a minimalist lifestyle? I have. We seem to accumulate so much stuff, especially with a child and despite my regular clear outs, they never seem to make a dent in the stuff. (The Cut)

 

How getting rid of stuff saved this woman’s motherhood. (Motherly)

 

The speculum finally gets a redesign. (Wired)

 

“Light remains one of the most powerful influences on our wellbeing and behaviour.” (The Guardian)

 

How to care for your mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell!). (The Chalkboard Mag)

 

Why are more American teenagers than ever suffering from severe anxiety? (New York Times)

 

More than half of girls in the UK are too embarrassed to talk about their periods. This blows my mind!. (The Telegraph)

Stories I loved this week.

It’s nearly the beginning of October and hopefully we’re all getting to grips with packing school lunchboxes during the week. Here are some nice lunchbox tips. (Cup of Jo) The bacteria in your gut may be shaping your waistline. (The Economist) Have you tried mediating […]

How To Manage PMS

  Do you dread the week before your period? How much do you dread it?   I used to count down the days, waiting for the familiar aches in my back, bloated belly and throughly grumpy mood.   I used to think all women suffered […]

Have you tried seed cycling?

sunflower

I first heard about seed cycling a couple years ago on a natural health podcast and found it very intriguing.

The basic principle of seed cycling is that it is possible to use the primary micronutrients in a few seeds to help balance female sex hormones.

Infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, PMS, acne, fatigue and other problems that have links with the menstrual cycle and female sex hormones are becoming more common.  Some of this is due to lifestyle and diet choices, which for some women can cause sub-clinical deficiencies in zinc, selenium and B vitamins –  some of the key micronutrients that help build female sex hormones.  Adding these micronutrients back in systematically can help restore balance.

What are the female sex hormones and why are they important?

If you think back to your biology classes in high school, there are four phases to a woman’s monthly reproductive cycle. At each phase in her cycle, a woman’s body produces different hormones to support the different activities that are happening in her uterus and ovaries.

  1. Menstrual phase: Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  2. Pre-ovulatory phase: Estrogen and Luteinising Hormone
  3. Ovulation: Luteining Hormone
  4. Post-ovulatory phase: Progesterone

Good, balanced hormone production is important not only for regular menstrual cycles, but only for stress management. Too much estrogen (known as estrogen dominance) and too little estrogen can both be problematic in their own way.

Some doctors will prescribe the OCP as a means of hormone balancing. Before going down that route, there are some natural methods, like seed cycling, to consider.

The nitty gritty of seed cycling

You’ll be using flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, all of which have different micronutrients that support hormone production at different phases of the menstrual cycle.

Flaxseeds and sesame seeds: Both seeds contain lignans, a polyphenol phytonutrient which can block excess estrogen production in the body.

Pumpkin seeds: The zinc in this seed supports progesterone release, which is important for having normal, low pain periods. Zinc also ensures that excess estrogen doesn’t convert to testosterone, which can be very problematic, particularly in PCOS sufferers.

Sunflower seeds: The selenium in this seed supports phase 1 liver detoxification (where your liver begins to clear excess estrogen from the body).  Selenium also helps produce glutathione peroxidase, a very powerful antioxidant.

How to do it

This can take between 1 and 4 cycles to see an effect, so bear with it. If your cycle is longer or shorter than 28 days, just start the second phase the day you ovulate. Day 1 starts the first day of your period. If you aren’t tracking your cycles already with an app or notebook, I strongly urge you to do so. It’s interesting to look back and see how different events can affect the length and strength of your cycle.

Day 1 – 14 (follicular phase): 1 tbsp flax seeds, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds – these seeds help your liver clear the extra estrogen that can occur during this time of your cycle and the zinc in pumpkin seeds prevent excess testosterone production.

Day 15 – 28 (luteal phase): 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp sesame seeds – these seeds are rich in zinc and selenium which help progesterone production during this phase of your cycle. They are also high in essential fatty acids, which help balance progesterone and estrogen and support the cell membrane (outer layer) of your eggs.

Take the seeds in the morning if possible, try to get organic seeds and with the flax, try to grind them fresh because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground and kept out for too long.

There are so many different ways to have the seeds in the morning.

  • Add them to a morning smoothie
  • Mix them up with some organic full fat Greek yoghurt
  • Make an omelette and then sprinkle them over the top
  • Mix them into a morning salad
  • Date balls! Try this recipe and add in the relevant seeds for the respective time in your cycle
  • Or simply take them with some water

Have you tried seed cycling? Did it work for you?

Photo by Unsplash

Stories I loved this week.

It’s finally spring and there seems to be a real lightness in the air here in London. Maybe it’s the crisp yet sunny days, maybe it’s the promise of warmth and lighter evenings. I know that I’ve been feeling in better spirits recently, though a […]