You may have already read Sarah’s journey of beginning Seed Cycling (SC) for hormonal health in Part 1 so Sarina thought we could now explore the importance of hormones across our menstrual cycle and why they may go out of balance.
Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers. They affect many different processes including growth, development, metabolism, mood and reproduction. In particular, female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone have a major influence on women’s health. These are the two key players that help regulate the menstrual cycle.
The first half of the cycle (approximately days 1-14,the first day being the day you start your period), is called the follicular phase. During this time, estrogen levels rise, and prepare to grow, thicken and mature the lining of the uterus and help mature the egg prior to ovulation.
The second half of the cycle is the luteal phase (approximately days 15-29). This is where progesterone levels start to rise. Progesterone is our natural ‘relax hormone’ and works in the second half of the menstrual cycle to thicken and maintain the endometrial lining and support egg implantation in the wall of the uterus.
If pregnancy doesn’t take place, progesterone levels begin to fall which brings on your period and the cycle restarts.
For most of us, the compounding effects of stress, poor nutrition and lifestyle choices as well as chemical exposure such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can throw out the delicate balance of these hormones leading to a host of symptoms that Sarah and most of her friends experienced.
When we explore the process of SC, these four key seeds consumed at different times of the month provide specific nutrients such as lignans, zinc and vitamin E, to support the production and elimination of estrogen and progesterone at the exact time your body needs it during your cycle. The basis of seed cycling is that it is a gentle yet effective way to support optimal hormone balance.
I wanted to break Sarah’s journey of implementing SC for her hormone health down even further so that you have an understanding of how it works. The process she began to follow, is detailed below:
Phase 1 (Follicular Phase): Consume 1 tablespoon of each daily; ground pumpkin seeds and ground flaxseeds.
These seeds deliver a powerful dose of Omega 3 fatty acids and essential nutrients including zinc and selenium. Together, these seeds naturally support healthy estrogen levels. Flaxseeds provide a great source of fibre and lignans which foster healthy estrogen metabolism and may prevent estrogen dominance.
Phase 2 (Luteal Phase): Consume 1 tablespoon of each daily; ground sunflower seeds and ground sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of zinc which help boost progesterone production and also contain lignans that help block excess estrogen while progesterone rises. Plus, the sunflower seeds in phase 2 deliver a great source of selenium and Vitamin E which may assist the liver to detoxify any excess estrogen.
As a health practitioner myself, I am incredibly passionate about practices that support women in achieving a greater understanding of their body and hormonal health. SC is one of my favourite tools to teach women how they can understand their body, the menstrual cycle and the elements that nurture or deplete it. In a world filled with health trends, SC feels to me like a secret garden for women taking charge of their hormonal well-being and finding balance when so many seem to be spinning out of control.
Earlier this year I came across an incredible woman who had a similar mission to me. Melissa Kovacevic, Functional Nutrition Coach and EFT Tapping Practitioner created The Seed Cycle. A done-for-you, pre-ground, organic and packaged product to make SC a little more convenient. Melissa created these blends based on the needs of her clients who were facing hormonal issues like mood irregularity, acne, weight gain and difficulty conceiving. None of these women wanted hormonal based medications or band aid solutions. They wanted a natural alternative that could support their hormones while fitting into their busy lifestyles. So The Seed Cycle, a family owned business based in Canberra was born! They are passionate about putting the heart back in to hormone health and helping women like Sarah reach their full potential. You can visit The Seed Cycle for more information.
If you’re experiencing a hormone imbalance, difficulties with your menstrual cycle or want to improve the health of your periods, SC is an incredible place to start. SC is not just about seeds; it is about reclaiming a connection to the primal rhythms that define the power of womanhood. It is about embracing the natural path to hormonal balance and saying goodbye to the hormonal based medications and aids of the past.
Many thanks to Sarina forsharing her knowledge of SC and about hormonal balance during the menstrual cycle for The Leak! You can read Part I of Sarina’s blog here.
Sarina Coventry, Women’s Health Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc) / EFT Tapping Practitioner and one of the team at The Seed Cycle. My passion is to support women in processing trauma, achieve nervous system regulation and healthy periods.
To contact Sarina for professional support please visit www.sarinacoventry.com