Seed cycling/seed rotation diet is a growing diet trend known to stimulate hormonal balance, fertility and reduce the symptoms associated with menstrual health especially in women above 30 and also those reaching menopause. It mainly involves consuming different types of seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds at different times of the month to regulate hormones. Also Read: Hormone Balancing Foods: Choose The Right Ones
What Is Seed Cycling?
Seed rotation is a naturopathic remedy stated to balance hormones by regulating the hormones estrogen in the first half of the menstrual cycle and progesterone in the second half. Some of the purported wellness incentives include regulating the menstrual cycle, reducing acne, treating polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, endometriosis, infertility and alleviates hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue and mood swings linked with menopause. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in improving thyroid hormone levels, hair growth and lessens water retention and cellulite. Also Read: Know Your Hormone Balancing Foods
How Does It Work?
Seed rotation/cycling diet comprises eating 1 tablespoon each of freshly ground flax and pumpkin seeds per day for the first 14 days of the menstrual cycle that is during the follicular phase where more estrogen is required to strengthen endometrium. In the second half of the cycle 15-30 days, i.e. during the -luteal phase it is recommended to eat 1 tablespoon each of the ground sunflower and sesame seeds per day until the first day of next period cycle. This hormone works well to thicken the uterus lining and preparing for implantation. Different types of seeds have the ability to promote or hinder the hormones estrogen and progesterone levels.
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Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance In Women:
In most women hormones are produced in adequate levels that support a healthy menstrual cycle. But certain health disorders like PCOS, hypothyroidism, over-exercising or malnourishment can result in hormonal imbalance. Furthermore, during menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease remarkably elevating the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and can lead to hot flashes and weight gain.
Besides these, stress, environmental toxins, unhealthy diet, food sensitivities, high caffeine intake and alcohol intake can also contribute to an irregular cycle, painful periods and infertility.
Supplementing the body with superfoods will facilitate to produce an adequate amount of estrogen and progesterone is an easy and preferred form of healing. Seed cycling/rotation diet not only benefits women with hormonal imbalances but also helps with a healthy cycle.
Functions Of Seeds:
A noteworthy amount of phytoestrogen in flaxseeds can assist in increasing or reducing estrogen levels as needed during the follicular phase. Phytoestrogens are beneficial plant compounds that mimic the action of estrogen.
Pumpkin seeds with ample amounts of zinc support to enhance progesterone production in preparation for the next part of the cycle.
In the luteal phase, lignans a polyphenol abundant in sesame seeds inhibit estrogen levels from increasing drastically. While sunflower seeds loaded with vitamin E supports to boost progesterone levels.
Seed Rotation Diet For Menopause:
Seed cycling diet has also shown beneficial effects in improving the symptoms and hormone balance during menopause.
Flaxseeds overpowered with polyphenol lignans are well-known to increase estrogen levels, stimulate hormone metabolism, lessen hot flashes, vaginal dryness and improve the overall quality of life in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Apart from these, it also exhibits cancer-fighting properties and lowers the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Sesame seed also supports postmenopausal women's health by improving hormone balance, antioxidant levels and maintains lipid profile under control.
Other Health Benefits of Seed Cycling/ Seed Rotation Diet:
Adding flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds in the diet regimen is a great way to uplift health.
The treasure trove of nutrients present in these seeds includes fibre, magnesium, manganese, copper, thiamine, vitamin E and healthy fatty acids. These nutrients are known are vital for good reproductive health and total well-being.
Flax, sesame and sunflower seed intake has shown to lowers cholesterol levels, control blood pressure levels and thereby lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds may also avert the risk of breast cancer, regulate blood sugar levels and pumpkin seeds assist in urinary disorders. Sesame seeds are valuable in reducing inflammation and improving athletic performance.
What Are The Conditions Seed Rotation Is Used For?
Seed rotation is a natural therapy that can be used by women with symptoms of estrogen dominance as well as low estrogen levels including:
PMS (bloating, moods, pain, energy, headaches)
Fibrocystic and painful breasts
Low thyroid issues
Hair loss and brittle hair
Weight gain around the hip and thighs
Furthermore, it also supports women in pre-menopause and menopause experiencing:
Nutritional Components In Seeds
Flax seeds are best known to support healthy estrogen production and help in lengthening the luteal phase, improving ovulation, and mitigating PMS symptoms.
Sesame seeds also contain a fair amount of lignans that block the excess production of estrogen during the second phase of the menstrual cycle when progesterone rises.
Pumpkin and sesame seeds both contain ample amount of zinc that improve the formation of the corpus luteum in the uterus.
Omega 3 fatty acids present in flaxseed, pumpkin seeds enhance blood flow to the uterus, increase progesterone secretion and maintain healthy cell membranes.
Sunflower seeds high in selenium supports estrogen detoxification in the liver.