The menstrual cycle has four stages—menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. While the length of the menstrual cycle can differ from individual to individual, within a range of 21 to 35 days, in a 28 day cycle, the follicular phase usually lasts about 14 days, from the first day of your cycle till ovulation. During this half, some follicles in your ovaries start maturing to prepare for the release of an egg (ovulation), and oestrogen level rises. After ovulation, during the luteal phase, progesterone is produced, along with some oestrogen. The interactions between all these hormones regulate your menstrual cycle.
Imbalance in your hormones can cause problems such as irregular periods. Seed cycling is a naturopathic method suggested to help maintain hormonal balance through the consumption of different seeds such as pumpkin, flax, sesame and sunflower during different phases of your cycle. Eating combinations of these seeds may potentially help manage issues such as PMS, PCOS, hot flashes, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and help you deal with menopausal symptoms. During the follicular phase, a combination of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds is used for their potential oestrogen balancing quality. Nutritionist Shweta Shah of EatFit247 recommends a recipe for bliss balls that is perfect for the first half of your menstrual cycle, the follicular phase. This recipe uses the super seeds flax and pumpkin, along with chia.
Related Story: How To Track Ovulation—And Why Doing So Is Essential
Besides having a host of other benefits, these seeds may also have an effect on managing your body’s hormones. Flaxseeds are high in phytoestrogens called lignans, a plant compound that is associated with mild oestrogen-like or anti-oestrogenic properties. A study published in Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research suggested that flaxseed supplementation can have an impact on hormonal levels and clinical symptoms of PCOS. Some studies such as an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association presents that phytoestrogens like lignans may improve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of phytoestrogens as well as zinc, which plays an important role in hormone regulation. Chia seeds can help improve insulin sensitivity and manage blood sugar levels.
Please consult your nutritionist or physician before trying these remedies to see if they are suitable for you.
- Flax seeds: 1 cup
- Pumpkin seeds: 1 cup
- Organic almond butter or peanut butter: ½ cup
- Chia seeds: 2 tbsp
- Date syrup: 2 tbsp
- Dairy-free milk: ¼ cup
Step 1 :
In a pan, slowly roast the seeds until they release their natural oils. Wait for them to cool down and grind them into a fine powder.
Step 2 :
In a mixing bowl, add the seed powder and the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3 :
Mix everything well and roll the mixture into 14-15 equally-sized balls like laddoos. Eat this delicious treat as suggested (one per day).
Stay tuned for the recipe to seed cycling bliss laddoos for the luteal phase.