In my 22 years of working in aesthetics, I have seen how many of my clients try to manage hormonal breakouts with birth control pills and topical prescriptions. Unfortunately, these methods just mask the root cause of the symptoms.
Don’t give up! I am here to educate you on these natural beauty and lifestyle secrets! There is more that you can do to have a balanced body and clear skin.
Could something as simple as eating seeds help to balance hormones naturally?GOOD BYE mood swings, bloating, cramping, PMS and hormonal acne? HELLO happy days and smooth glowing skin?!
What is Seed Cycling, anyway?
Seed cycling involves rotating seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds throughout the month to help balance hormones during women’s menstrual cycles. The concept behind the cycling is that the seeds contain lignans that help to bind and excrete excess hormones. On the other hand, they also contain minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids that support the production of hormones at different phases of your cycle.
Eating seeds in a certain format can ultimately help your body find balance! The result? A more even mood and clear radiant skin!
Basic Principles for Balancing Hormones
Estrogen and progesterone balance are key to healthy body. Too little estrogen can lead to a thin uterine lining or a lack of ovulation and too much estrogen can cause irregular periods, depression, and harsh PMS symptoms. Progesterone is essential for getting pregnant and sustaining pregnancy, but a deficiency has been linked to symptoms of PMS, fatigue, irregular periods and recurrent miscarriages.
Ok, with that said…
Throughout the menstrual cycle, the female body is dominated by estrogen for the first half of the cycle (days 1-14), and dominated by progesterone during the later half (days 15-28).
Seeds For BALANCING Estrogen (Days 1-14):
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which allow the smooth transmission of hormones throughout the body.
Flax contains lignans, which blocks the absorption of and assists the elimination of excess estrogen out of the body.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, calcium and magnesium content, which allows the body to release progesterone, reduce cramping and clear the skin. The combination of these two processes allows for the balance between the two hormones.
Seeds For Progesterone (Days 15-28)
During the second half of the cycle, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds will encourage the production of progesterone.
Sesame seeds are high in zinc, calcium and omega 6 fatty acids which are essential to progesterone production. As well as, reducing acne, headaches, cramping.
Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin B6 and selenium which support the liver, having a positive effect on the reduction of breakouts and removing excess hormones and toxins. They’re also rich in magnesium, which works with calcium to reduce cramps and calm mood. Just like the flax seeds the lignans in the sesame seeds deter excess estrogen production.
Eats the Right Seeds During Your Cycle
Keep in mind–this part is very important!–ONLY consume the seeds appropriate for your cycle on the given weeks. Aim to avoid sunflower and sesame seeds during the first half of your cycle, and avoid pumpkin and flax seeds during the second half.
Healthy Tip: Choose raw, unsalted versions of each of the seeds.
In the first 14 days of your cycle, have one tablespoon each of ground flax seeds and ground pumpkin seeds daily. In the latter half of your cycle, work in one tablespoon each of ground raw sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Grinding the seeds breaks down the tough outer layers and makes their nutrients more easily accessible to the body.
Add to smoothies, salads or soups or even blend with water or juice for a quick drink. Make a sauce, salad dressing or your own tahini or seed butter. Go ahead, get creative!
Smoothies, dips/spreads, dressings, sprinkle on yogurt, salads are great vehicles for your seed regimen.
ADD TO SMOOTHIES, DIPS: Daily Dosage GUIDE
Days 1 -14: Add 1tbsp. of ground flax meal and 1 tbsp. of pumpkin seeds.
Days 15-28: Add 1 tbsp. sesame seeds and 1 tbsp. of sunflower seeds.
*For extra support, add 1500 mg of Fish Oil (EPA+DHA) on days 1-14; and add Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) on days 15-28.
And ONE last suggestion!
Did you know parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrances, etc. are found in every day beauty products? These are toxic chemicals that are absorbs through your skin, and can alter the natural rhythm of hormones. Scary right?
Use Natural Products and Facial Treatments
Therefore, f you’re going to give seed cycling a go, I would highly recommend switching to (if you haven’t already) natural facial products and choose to have organic holistic facial treatments, which can help prevent further alteration of your hormones.
Hormones can take a while to balance using natural methods, so be patient and give yourself at least 3 months for this process.
Please let me know how you do, or if you have any questions! Feel free to drop a comment below.
Until next time,
Mei-Lana Chow RHN