If you are anything like me, you know one of those ladies that are of a 'rare vintage' then you have probably looked at ways to get the hormones in check. However, hormone disruption is not just caused by perimenopause, it can happen to both men and women at any age due to the oestrogenic environment that will live in. What does this mean? Let me explain.
Modern day living subjects us to a variety of environmental exposures that cause hormone imbalance, particularly oestrogen dominance. The use of pesticides, hormones in animal rearing, the use of plastic wrapping and plastic containers and personal and household products expose us to a class of chemicals called xeno-oestrogens. These chemicals have similar structure to oestrogen found in the body, so they bind to receptors on cells and mimic the effects of natural oestrogen. Then just like natural oestrogen they are transported to the liver to be deactivated, broken down so they can be excreted via faeces or urine. Balance restored? Not really. Here is the kicker. These xeno-oestrogens are toxic, the liver becomes overwhelmed with the detoxification process and the excess hormones are not broken down effectively, but instead they recycle back into the system, causing hormonal imbalance.
Seed cycling is a concept that is more anecdotal than proven, but there have been many positive reports about its effects. It involves two stages using four different types of seeds. Both men and women can use this protocol. Why do men need to worry about oestrogen? Well men have some oestrogen, just as women have some testosterone, but the balance has to be correct in order for male or female characteristics to flourish. Man boobs? Thats too much oestrogen right there! So man boobs definitely benefit from this protocol. Ladies with with hairy chins? The same, because one of the components of the protocol, flaxseed (aka linseed) is known as an oestrogen adaptogen. This means that if you have too much oestrogen, it will bind to the excess and move it out of the body through the bowel. If more oestrogen is required, (say in menopause) the lignans, which are the natural phyto-oestrogens found in flaxseeds (and sesame seeds) are activated by the gut microbiome. You literally can't lose in this hormonal balancing game!
So here's what you have to do:
Days 1 to 14 of the menstrual cycle (for men this would be after the new moon so get your app started!) Eat 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 1 tablespoon of ground pumpkin seeds daily
Days 15-28 of the menstrual cycle (or just plain day 15 for you blokes) Eat 1 tablespoon of ground sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon of ground sesame seeds daily
I use a cheap coffee grinder to grind the seeds from fresh, as they are more potent if consumed soon after grinding rather than them being pre-ground or grinding up in advance. You can also use a magic bullet, mortar and pestle, you get the picture!
Mix them with yogurt, add to smoothies, soups, whatever takes your fancy!
Thats as easy as it gets. With no side effects, no risk and not much effort. Bear in mind that hormonal balance is critical to avoiding menopausal symptoms, infertility and most of the chronic diseases that are happening in epidemic proportion. Its just one simple step to being the most healthy you can be!
Happy seed cycling!