In a perfectly healthy woman, the menstrual cycle and the estrogen/progesterone production will happen naturally with no help or intervention. This is, unfortunately, not the case for many women today. Excessive stress leading to excessive cortisol release, environmental toxins, poor diet, food sensitivities, digestive issues, and high coffee or alcohol consumption can all contribute to irregular or painful periods, and even infertility.
Which seeds should be used in what part of the cycle?
From Day 1 (first day of bleeding) to Day 14/15 (the middle of the cycle), we need more estrogen in order to build up our endometrium (uterus lining). This is called the follicular phase. With seeds such as flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, we can naturally increase our estrogen levels.
Days 1-14: 1 to 2 Tablespoons of ground or milled flax and/or pumpkin seeds daily.
Excessive levels of Estradiol form of unhealthy Edtrogen, E2 have been linked to breast and prostate cancer. Flaxseed not only suppress estradiol production, but it also pushes estradiol metabolism in a positive direction by generating a higher ratio of the protective metabolite 2-hydroxy-estrone versus the more harmful 16-hydroxy-estrone.
From Day 14/15 to Day 28/29, or the second part of the cycle (also known as the luteal phase), the corpus luteum begins to release progesterone. This sex hormone will help thicken the uterus lining and prepare it for implantation.
The high contents of zinc in sesame seeds and vitamin E in sunflower seeds have been shown to stimulate progesterone production (see references below). By adding sesame and sunflower seeds into our daily diet in the luteal phase, we can naturally support the body to produce more progesterone, a sex hormone of which many women experience low levels.
Days 15-28: 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sesame and/or sunflower seeds and/or Evening Primrose Oil daily.
If you have a very irregular period, you may start with the new or full moon as day 1, and then day 14/15 will be either the full or new moon (opposite of which you started).
Some hormone imbalace symptoms:
High estrogen (or estrogen metabolites) can be the cause of tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.
Low progesterone levels can manifest in ways similar to the above, along with feeling anxious, not being able to fall or stay asleep, and menstrual headaches.
Rebalancing your cycle using a simple food-based technique like seed rotation can help alleviate many of the symptoms in as little as one or two months.
Easy ways of adding seed rotation to your diet:
The easiest way to incorporate the seed combinations is by adding either two tablespoons of one seed or one tablespoon each of two different seeds to smoothies, salads or soups.
Another way to ensure regular seed consumption is by making your own seed crackers. They can easily be baked in a regular oven or prepared with a dehydrator.
Let me know how it goes!