A Naturopathic Approach to Rebalancing Your Hormones with Seed Cycling

A Naturopathic Approach to Rebalancing Your Hormones with Seed Cycling

Written by Tayla Gardiner Naturopath at Cura Wellness

Finding harmony in all areas of life, especially our health, is an area that resonates deeply with many women as we navigate all seasons of life including our menstrual cycle. Our hormones play a delicate symphony within us, influencing our mood, energy, creativity, and overall well-being. Now more than ever, women are increasing their awareness around cycle syncing and how to honour our cycles through a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. As a Qualified Naturopath, I want to share some gentle yet effective ways to restore and maintain hormonal balance from a holistic perspective.

Nutrition and Hormone Balance:

1. Boost your Dietary Fibre Intake

Fibre is essential for eliminating waste from the body. As your hormones require sufficient detoxification processes to effectively excrete excess hormones, fibre is key to ensure your elimination pathways are doing their best job bybinding onto the waste products and excreting via the bowels.

2. Seed Cycling

Implement Seed Cycling into your dietary routine. Seed cycling is a nurturing ritual that invites us to harmonise with the cycles of nature and our bodies.  (more on this below)

3. Zinc 

Zinc is essential for hormonal health to support hormonal development andmetabolism. Zinc is also a key nutrient for maintaining moods, managingpremenstrual symptoms (PMS) and down-regulating menstrual pain. Dietarysources of zinc include oysters, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, cashews,legumes, eggs, chickpeas, whole-grains, dairy products, meat, spinach, nuts.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is a woman's best friend. Magnesium is incredible for reducingPMS-related presentations, period pain, mood swings, promoting sleep quality,boosting energy levels, and reducing stress. Magnesium levels can significantly deplete during times of heightened stress, however this is the time when we need it most as it's one of our calming minerals, helping to reduce feelings of stress. It can become a vicious cycle! This is why it's so important to ensure you consume magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, cacao and possibly supplement under the guidance of a qualified practitioner if required. Maintaining practices and lifestyle habits that help to calm your nervous systemand lower stress levels also helps to prevent this essential nutrient frombecoming depleted.

5. Iodine for Hormone and Thyroid Health

Another mineral we don't often think of too often for our hormones is iodine!Iodine is crucial for supporting our thyroid health. Considering our thyroid isresponsible for hormonal development/production, metabolism, energy, moods,ovaries and breast tissue then it's definitely a nutrient you want to ensure you geta good intake of. Dietary sources include seaweed (nori, kelp, wakame), fish/seafood (cod, tuna, oysters, shrimp), dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt), eggs, beef liver, chicken. Please note, this will not be suitable for everyone especially in individuals with certain thyroid conditions. If you're concerned, please consult a professional.

6. B-Vitamins and Hormone Balance

B-Vitamins are essential for energy production, hormonal metabolism, moods,and encouraging liver detoxification. They provide us with the key cofactors foroverall vitality and give us a boost of energy!

7. Omega 3s

Omega 3 essential fatty acids help to reduce menstrual related pain as theyreduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, andwalnuts lend a hand in hormone production, while cruciferous vegetables such asbroccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale etc support their metabolism. infographic on the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle. menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulatory phase and luteal phase

Mindful Movement

Each phase in your menstrual cycle requires you to adapt to your hormonal needs at that time, which also requires you to modify your exercise routine to align with each phase.

Menstrual Phase

Slow down your physical activity by allowing yourself to rest, or engage in more gentle/restorative forms of movement such as yin yoga and/or nature walks.

Follicular Phase

As oestrogen begins to increase post-menstruation, you may feel moreinclined to amp up your activity levels by doing a power yoga session, going for a hike, or adding resistance bands/light weights to your Pilates or strength workouts.

Ovulation Phase

This is the peak of your motivation as oestrogen is at its highest point! Intensify your movement through heavier strength/weight training, cardio workouts, running and cycling.

Luteal Phase

As you're entering your premenstrual phase, begin to slowly reduce your intensityby opting for mat pilates, reducing your heart rate/pace when running/cardio

Hormones and Our Nervous System

For The Mind Hormonally, our body works best when our nervous system is regulated and calm. In our modern day, it's hard to avoid distraction, noise, stimulus, notifications, stressors, however if you can invite mindfulness practices into your daily routine, this will help to modulate your body's stress response and support hormonal balance. Mindfulness practices may include deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, journalling, outdoor walks listening to the sounds of nature, and painting. Finding a ritual or practice that you enjoy is the key to maintaining consistency. Prioritise Rest & Sleep. Beyond restoring energy levels, obtaining 7-9 hours of deep, restful nights sleep is conducive to restoring and rejuvenating your hormones.  Prioritise a restorative night's sleep by creating a calming night-time routine. Unplug from screens, dim bright lights, diffuse lavender essential oil in an oil burner/diffuser, read a book/journal/meditate, and create a serene sleep environment.

Herbal Support for Hormone Balance

As a Naturopath, I'm a sucker for utilising herbal medicine to help regulate and restore hormonal balance, and/or addressing hormonal related conditions/symptoms.
  • Gentle infusions of Peonia, Chaste tree, Raspberry Leaf, Tribulus, and Black Cohosh act as hormonal modulators which may help to modulate and balance hormonal levels.
  • To nurture the nervous system, where stress/anxiety is related to premenstrualsymptoms/mood fluctuations, I love to prescribe adaptogenic herbs such as Withania, Korean Ginseng, Rhodiola, Siberian Ginseng and Bacopa.
  • To directly minimise menstrual pain, antispasmodic herbs are great for this as they act by reducing pain receptors and inflammation specifically in the pelvis region. Herbs such as Ginger, Cramp bark, Skullcap and Kava.
*Disclaimer: this information is for informative educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice or treatment without consulting a qualified practitioner prior to use.

Understanding Seed Cycling: A Naturopathic Perspective 

Seed cycling is a holistic approach that utilises the power of seeds to support hormonal balance throughout the menstrual cycle. It taps into the nourishing properties of specific seeds to regulate the ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone. Seed cycling follows a pattern that mirrors the menstrual cycle's two distinct phases: the follicular phase (Days 1-14) and the luteal phase (Days 15-28).During the follicular phase, flaxseeds are incorporated due to their abundance of lignans and omega-3 fatty acids to nurture oestrogen production, as well as the addition of pumpkin seeds which are packed with zinc and essential fatty acids to support progesterone production. Throughout the luteal phase, sesame seeds are encouraged to support oestrogen metabolism and excretion due to their lignan content and a source of healthy fats. Sunflower seeds are also utilised throughout this phase for their source of selenium and Vitamin E to help promote progesterone production. How to Seed Cycle

How To Begin Seed Cycling

Embarking on a seed cycling journey is a way to connect with your body's natural rhythm. Getting started can feel overwhelming so here's a few recommendations to consider before getting started:
  • -Mindful Seed Selection: Begin by sourcing high-quality, organic seeds from The Seed Cycle.
  • Cycle Synchronisation: Sync your seed consumption with the respective phases of your menstrual cycle. (See below for the different stages of your menstrual cycle and how to determine which phase you are potentially in).
  • Incorporating it into your Daily routine: During the follicular phase (Days 1-14), consume 1 tablespoon each of freshly ground flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds daily.
  • Transition to 1 tablespoon each of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds during the luteal phase (Days 15-28). You can add these to a smoothie, mixed with yoghurt, or added to a glass of water.
Listen intuitively to the subtle cues your body and mind give you such as your energy levels, mood shifts, and physical sensations. By tuning in, you can adjust your daily activities, exercise routines, and self-care practices to align with each phase. As a naturopath, my aim is to support you in harnessing the power of your menstrual cycle for overall well-being. Embrace nourishing foods, gentle movement, stress management, and restful sleep throughout the month. By harmonising with your cycle, you can cultivate a deeper connection with your body and enhance your vitality. Feel free to reach out to Tayla for guidance and support on your journey to hormonal harmony.

About Naturopath Tayla Gardiner

If you’re looking for further support with hormonal health, please contact Tayla via email hello@curawellness.co, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation (Australia-wide only).ContactEmail: hello@curawellness.coInstagram/Tik Tok: @curanaturopathyWebsite: curawellness.co

Abstract: Identifying The Four Stages Of Your Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5): Your cycle begins with your period, a time of shedding and renewal. During these days, oestrogen and progesterone levels are relatively low. It's a chance for your body to release what's no longer needed, and a time for gentle self-care. Follicular Phase (Days 6-14): As your period ends, the follicular phase begins. Your body starts preparing for potential ovulation by nurturing a new follicle in your ovary. Oestrogen levels rise, bringing a sense of renewed energy and focus. This is a great time to embark on new projects and engage in physical activities. Ovulatory Phase (Around Day 14): Around mid-cycle, ovulation occurs. This is when the mature follicle releases an egg, ready for fertilisation. Ostrogen peaks to its highest point, and you might feel a surge of confidence and sociability. It's an ideal time for social interactions and embracing creativity. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28): After ovulation, the luteal phase unfolds. Progesterone takes the spotlight, preparing the uterus for a potential pregnancy. If conception doesn't occur, both oestrogen and progesterone levels drop towards the end of this phase. You might experience a mix of emotions and a desire to turn inward. Self-care and relaxation are key during this time.
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