hormones

Seed Cycling: A natural way to balance your cycle & improve your fertility

Seed cycling is becoming more popular to help balance hormones and regulate your cycle. Seed cycling is all about eating certain seeds (yes,  food) in your daily diet at specific times throughout the menstrual cycle. It’s being recommended for everything from hormone related acne, to PMS, menstrual cramps, irregular cycles and infertility, but how does it work? Can seed cycling really benefit fertility? 

It’s important to keep in mind that natural therapies like seed cycling are nutritionally supportive choices take time to see rewards but are easy to do and enhances your essential fatty acids.. which promotes health and longevity. 

Seed Cycling Basics

The basic concept of seed cycling is simply to consume flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds at specific times during the menstrual cycle to promote hormone balance and support the phases of the menstrual cycle. 

Here’s why it works:

1) Lignans in seeds have gentle phytohormone activity, which help to eliminate excess estrogen, a common concern linked to genetics, excess body fat and chemicals in the environment.

2) By balancing estrogen levels, seed lignans help to encourage healthy hormone balance.

3) Seeds are an excellent source of essential fats, which your body utilizes in its own natural hormone production.

  • During the follicular phase (the first half of the menstrual cycle), flax and pumpkin seeds are used to balance excess estrogen and encourage progesterone production for normal ovulation. Flax seeds are an especially rich source of lignans that bind to excess estrogen to help the body eliminate it. Pumpkin seeds are used for their essential fats and zinc content, important for progesterone production.
  • During the luteal phase (the second half of the menstrual cycle), switch to sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Sesame seed lignans help balance excess estrogen, but are not as potent as the flax seeds used in the first phase. Sunflower seeds offer natural selenium content for liver support and hormone regulation as the menstrual cycle comes to a close.

How To Use Seed Cycling To Fit Your Cycle

We know there are many varying cycle lengths and each woman may ovulate on a different cycle day.

  • For women with 28-30 day cycles, start your follicular seeds from cycle day 1 (the first day of your period) to around day 14 (or whenever you know you ovulate). Switch to luteal phase seeds after ovulation (around day 15 to day 28 or 30).
  • If a 20-24 day cycle is normal for you, chart your cycle and follow the seed cycle recommendations for your specific follicular and luteal phase patterns.
  • For women with irregular cycles, experts from Laura’s Natural Life suggest beginning your follicular seeds at the next full moon and switching to the luteal seeds 14 days later. Click the following link for our guide to BioRhythmic Lunar Fertility Chartingif interested.

Tips for Seed Cycling

1. Invest in a good grinder (a coffee grinder used only for seeds/nuts works great).

2. In order to benefit from the oils and lignans, buy organic, raw, whole seeds and grind them immediately before adding them to your favorite foods choices. Otherwise, your seeds may pass through your digestive system completely undigested.

3. Aim to consume 2 tbsp of ground seeds daily, using equal amounts of the suggested seeds for each phase of the menstrual cycle you’re in.

4. Fresh ground seeds can be added to many delicious foods! 

5. If you’re using raw seeds, you can soak them overnight for easier digestion. After soaking, rinse them and drain well, then dry roast them in the oven for 10 minutes at a heat no higher than 300o fahrenheit.

6. Seed oils become rancid over time. To preserve the freshness of your seeds, store them in the refrigerator or freezer, especially if you’re grinding more than one serving of each seed at a time, and use them as needed.

Seed cycling round-up

Be consistent and give it time. Experts suggest it takes at least three complete menstrual cycles to experience changes and benefits from seed cycling. It’s a good idea to note your symptoms in a journal.

Seed cycling is a convenient, affordable and nutritious choice to encourage healthy hormonal balance.  

References
– Hall, A. (2014, April). Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance. Retrieved from: http://theherbalacademy.com/seed-cycling-for-hormonal-balance/
 

WHAT IS MTHFR

What is an MTHFR Mutation? Whats the solution 

Each of us has a unique genetic makeup, which is the ‘code’ that makes you, a well you. When it comes to genetics everyone has differences ...you may be certain that you defects, variations or mutations, but not to worry , everyone has them.  

MTHFR is the most commons among the mutations and has been linked to a decreased ability to detoxify, as well as over 55+ chronic health conditions including Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, blood clots, infertility, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, birth defects, and certain cancers....also, its linked to our speciality, unexplained fertility & reoccurring miscarriages.  

 Every single cell and tissue in your body experiences methylation. Methylation protects your body by repairing damaged cells, optimizing DNA cell function, processing toxins and hormones, metabolizing B vitamins, and regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which control mood, behavior, sleep and your overall mental health.

The good news is that, while we used to think that our genes were static and there was nothing we could do about them,  now we  know that isn’t true! An emerging science called epigenetics shows us that genes can be both turned on and turned off based on our environment and nutrigenomics based on how food expresses our gene expression 

This is incredible news! It means that your genes are not your destiny.

I believe there are three steps to identifying and overcoming MTHFR mutations: The first step is to educate yourself on what the MTHFR gene mutation is and its potential impact on your health. 

What is MTHFR?

Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (or more conveniently known as MTHFR), is an enzyme that works as a catalyst for important biochemical reactions in your body. One of the main reactions is to convert vitamin B9 (or folate) into a usable form, known as methyl-folate. Methyl-folate is critical in a process called methylation.

Methylation is used by Every single cell and tissue in your body. 

One of the most important tasks methylation performs is turning homocysteine into methionine. Methionine, is a veritable powerhouse – building proteins, repairing and regenerating cells, detoxifying, controlling inflammation, and helping your liver to process fats, among many other functions.

Most importantly, methionine produces glutathione,  your body’s most potent detoxifier. Research has shown that those with autoimmunity and cancer have lower levels of glutathione compared to people without those conditions. 

In addition, methionine plays an important role as it is also broken down by your liver into an anti-inflammatory called SAM-e (s-adenosylmethionine), which helps break down your brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) and assists with the repairing of cells.

One of the most important tasks methylation performs is turning homocysteine into methionine. Methionine, is a veritable powerhouse - building proteins, repairing and regenerating cells, detoxifying, controlling inflammation, and helping your liver to process fats, among many other functions.

What is the MTHFR Gene and the Genetic Mutation?

However, up to 50% of the population has a mutation at the MTHFR gene.

The more mutations you have the less of the MTHFR enzyme is able to do its job effectively and the greater the potential impact on your health.

So an overview of what happens:  MTHFR mutations reduce your ability to clear heavy metals

Heavy metal toxicity is often a root cause of autoimmune disease, especially Hashimoto’s, Scleroderma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

In Hashimoto’s , hypothyroidism ,  infertility. and reoccurring miscarriages ...this is particularly harmful because your ability to methylate is already decreased.

At our center we  specialize in fertility and we know that some genetic variants are   essential address for pregnancy, so we now offer genetic evaluations of your 23&me results to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients for your genes to be fertile . 

WISHING YOU THE BEST !! 

TEAM @ WFS 

KEY TAKE AWAYS

1)  The main roles of the methylation process is to help you to detoxify heavy metals such as lead and mercury and when you have mutations at MTHFR you cannot do that effectively, that heavy metals are often a main root cause for those with autoimmunity and other chronic conditions.

2) Unexplained infertility & autoimmune patients  usually have levels of metal toxicity.   These patients almost always have at least one MTHFR mutation. Anyone with an underachieve thyroid, increases your inability to methylate and your inability to methylate based on the mutation also negatively affects your thyroid. 

3) If  you do have one or more mutations, I’d recommend you get tested for heavy metals and work with a functional medicine practitioner to safely remove or chelate these metals from your system.

 

 

SUPERFOODS that BALANCE your HORMONES

You are unique and so are your health needs, so you have your own choices of superfoods to add to this list. Instead of just eating healthy the trick to hormonal balance is to eat right for your body’s individual healing needs. Once you do, your diet can work like powerful medicine to nourish and heal.

 

Here’s a quick lowdown on the list:

 

SuperFoods To Balance Your Hormones

 

1. Thyroid: Brazil Nuts:

These are rich in selenium, a mineral that protects thyroid cells from oxidative damage. The selenium helps form seleno-proteins that bring down the TPO antibodies. Three organic Brazil nuts each day will give you the daily-recommended dose of 200mg of selenium. If you don’t tolerate nuts, you can take a selenium supplement (200 mg/day).

 

2. Adrenals: Camu Camu

You may already have many symptoms of adrenal burnout and not know it, such as: exhaustion in the morning, craving salt and sugar, crying spells, feeling tired but wired at night, and black circles under your eyes. Camu camu can help stabilize your adrenals by boosting vitamin C, which is found in the highest concentrations in your adrenal gland. In fact, the Peruvian berry has more powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties than vitamin C supplements.

 

3. Menopause: Maca

This potent root from the Andes has traditionally been used to boost energy, vitality and sexual desire. It is a true herbal adaptogen, which means it adjusts to your individual hormone imbalance whether that is due to menopause, estrogen dominance or your menstrual cycle. As maca can cause digestive upset in some women, start with a small dose. Read more about maca here: https://www.hormonesbalance.com/articles/the-10-hormone-balancing-wonders-of-maca/

 

4. Estrogen dominance: Broccoli Sprouts

Most women who have this hormonal imbalance don’t even realize the signs, which include PMS, endometriosis, water retention, cellulite, weight gain, moodiness and infertility. How do broccoli sprouts help? They contain di-indolyl-methane, which detoxifies a form of estrogen called estradiol, helping ensure you don’t have too much. Read more here (including recipes): https://www.hormonesbalance.com/articles/5-hormone-balancing-superfoods-recipes

 

5. PCOS: Flaxseed

Polycystic Ovarian syndrome is a hormonal condition that causes issues like too much testosterone and insulin. It can lead to ovarian cysts, stubborn belly fat, high blood sugars (increasing risk of diabetes Type 2), acne, facial hair and oily skin. Women with PCOS usually also have erratic or absent periods and fertility issues.

Flaxseeds contain a form of fiber called lignans, which can help lower your blood glucose and insulin and also address imbalances in estrogen levels.

Warm wishes

 

Anna