I have always been interested in the correlation between good nutrition and optimal function of the body. I know when my food and fitness is aligned then my body performs as it should and emotionally I feel so much better and am stronger, more resilient, manage stress better and my sleep is good.
I am a big advocate of including nuts and seeds in my diet because seeds can help balance your oestrogen and progesterone levels which have become more important as I have got older.
Hormonal imbalances in women are often the underlying cause of weight struggles, depression, anxiety, hair loss and much more.
High oestrogen levels can be the cause of tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast and ovarian cysts.
Low progesterone affects the body in ways like the above, along with feeling anxious, not being able to fall or stay asleep, and menstrual headaches.
This technique can be used by anyone who is experiencing irregular periods, heavy flows, substantial PMS, and even women going through peri-menopause and menopause. Its important to note that all oestrogen are not the same, just as we have good and bad fats the same can be said for oestrogen and flax seeds. The ones that tends to be high in oestrogen-dominant women is oestradiol, also known as E2. Excessive levels of E2 have been linked to breast and prostate cancer. Oestrogen dominance has also been linked to thyroid issues.
Flaxseed supresses oestradiol production, and nudges oestradiol metabolism into a positive direction by generating a higher ratio of the protective metabolite 2-hydroxy-estrone versus the more harmful 16-hydroxy-estrone.
- The follicular phase our bodies need more oestrogen to build up our endometrium (uterus lining). With seeds such as flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, we can naturally increase our oestrogen levels.
From Day 15 to Day 30 - The luteal phase. The high contents of zinc in sesame seeds and vitamin E in sunflower seeds have been shown to stimulate progesterone production. We can naturally support the body to produce more progesterone, a sex hormone of which many women experience low levels.
Last summer I had quite an invasive operation for the initial signs of cervical cancer. The operation went well, and I recovered quickly which I attribute to my health and fitness routine. All seemed to be fine until one day I woke up and felt completely depleted of energy. I put it down to working too hard and maybe a touch of the flu, but it meant I was bedridden for a day or two.
The following the month the same happened and then 5 days later my period came. I am very rarely ill and the debilitating effects of my slump in energy levels were extreme. I am a food and fitness consultant and so I need to keep myself in optimum health to work but the effects of my energy levels meant I was unable to work.
I started doing some research and came across forums in which others who have had the same operation were experiencing similar effects and often far worse. I started to look at my nutrition and research further into the positive effects of seeds within our food plan. I have included seeds every day but what I hadn’t tried was the impact of seed rotation with specific combinations of seeds at stages of the menstrual cycle.
Day 1-14 – Pumpkin and flax seeds
Day 15-30 – Sunflower and sesame
Quantities recommended are 2 tablespoons of each type of seeds spread over the 2 weeks. I started to trial these over a 3-month period. The initial month I was still lacking in energy but not for several days just one, on the second month again the same but on month 3 things started to change. I still felt tired, but it wasn’t debilitating and meaning I was bedridden.
I believe in the power of nutrition and have carried on over the remaining 6 months implementing the seed rotation and I have experience positive effects from the process. It’s not a miracle cure and nor would I say I feel perfect, but I am so much better, and my energy levels are not affecting my day to day life.
If you are struggling with the balance of your hormones I suggest you try seed rotation. As with any change you need to work to get consistency as this has been key to my success. I add the seeds to my daily breakfast of overnight oats with fresh fruits, so I know I am consuming them every day. I also make up 2 small boxes with each of the combination of seeds, so they are ready to use, and I have the quantities ready.
If you’d like to learn more about how to align your Food and Fitness and be the best version of you. Contact Louise@foodandfitnessbylouise.com