CONTENT HUB

Have a Better Period Through Seed Cycling

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Pink background with images of pads. Text says cycle health: common is not normal

Ladies, your period is not something that just “comes around” once a month. 

It’s one of the biggest predictors of our underlying health. 

Bloating, cramping, heavy bleeds, migraines, low energy, breakouts, etc., are very COMMON period symptoms. However, they are not NORMAL! 

Your menstrual cycles should be pretty seamless. 

“This is just how it is each month,” says almost every girl.

As women, our bodies are capable of incredible things. We were built to carry and build an entire human being.

This takes strength!

Unfortunately, sometimes I think that our strength creates a negative belief that any discomfort or pain we feel is just “how it’s supposed to be.”

Those PMS symptoms you feel every month? While they might be common, they are not NORMAL!

They are clues that our body needs some love. That things are not in harmony.

 

What Does a Healthy Period Look Like?

 

The monthly menstrual cycle is a sum of three different phases: the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. 

A healthy cycle lasts anywhere between 21 and 35 days. The average cycle lasts 28 days, but that’s not a concrete rule. 

 

 

Follicular Phase:

The first phase of your cycle typically lasts 7 to 21 days. As you approach ovulation, the pituitary gland releases FSH, which stimulates your ovarian follicles to grow. 

Estradiol, our “best estrogen,” increases as we approach ovulation. 

 

Ovulation:

Ovulation is the release of an egg. The dominant follicle from your follicular phase swells and is triggered by LH to rupture and release your egg. 

Ovulation usually occurs around days 14-18 of a healthy cycle

 

Luteal Phase:

The final phase of the menstrual cycle is the luteal phase, which usually lasts 10-16 days. 

Estrogen decreases, and progesterone increases during this phase to prepare for pregnancy or begin thinning the uterine lining. 

While there is no concrete rule about what a healthy period looks like, here are some guidelines that indicate you have a healthy period.

Your period should be mostly fluid, with no large clots. Dime-sized ones are okay, but anything bigger than that is abnormal. 

Also, you should only lose about 50 ml (3 tablespoons) of blood during your period. For context, a regular-sized tampon holds about 5 ml of blood. 

A healthy period only lasts 2-7 days. 

 

Fun fact: it takes your follicles 100 days to mature, so any period problems you are experiencing now are most likely a result of what was going on three months ago. 

 

Common PMS Symptoms

 

Most women experience various symptoms a week or two before their period comes. 

These symptoms can include

  • Irritability 
  • Headaches 
  • Acne
  • Breast tenderness
  • Water retention
  • Food cravings
  • Back pain

 

PMS symptoms are clues from the health of your luteal phase. Most of these symptoms result from hormonal imbalances, such as increased estrogen and decreased progesterone. 

 

How to Have a Healthier Period

Before you create a game plan to alleviate some of your symptoms, you need to create awareness to know which symptoms you’re experiencing and how often. 

 

Keep a journal or log of the following:

 

  • Your cycle length (day 1 is the first day of bleeding)
  • Number of days you bleed
  • Mood, energy, hunger
  • Tenderness, pain, stress
  • Basal body temperature

 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what you can monitor to assess your hormone and cycle health, but it’s a good start. 

Food is Medicine

 

Focus on eating more leafy greens and high-quality fats like olive oil, fish, flaxseed, and egg yolks a week before your period starts. You can also incorporate organic berries and high-quality proteins into your diet to support your menstrual health.

This is also where seed cycling comes in!

Seeds contain EFAs (hormones love these) and lignans (they act like a bouncer to estrogen) to support happy hormones.

Here’s how you can incorporate seeds into your diet to optimize your hormones:

 

Follicular Phase (days 1-14)

On the first day of your bleed to ovulation, estrogen is in the driver's seat, while progesterone is in the back. As you approach ovulation, progesterone begins to backseat drive and kick into gear.

During this phase, you want to consume seeds that bind to excess estrogen and support progesterone.

Flax seeds contain lignans which act as a bouncer to estrogen. They pick up and escort estrogen out of the body. 

Another option is pumpkin seeds, which are high in zinc and support progesterone.

I recommend incorporating two tablespoons of flaxseed, chia, hemp, or pumpkin seeds daily. I recommend that you take at least two of these each day for the best results. 

 

Luteal Phase (Days 15-28) 

This phase is from ovulation to the start of your next cycle. You want to consume seeds that continue to block excess estrogen and support healthy hormone levels.

Sesame seeds are a great option as they contain those special lignans to block estrogen.

You can also eat sunflower seeds. They are high in selenium which is an essential nutrient for happy hormones.

Add two tablespoons of sesame and sunflower seeds into your diet daily to support your hormones during the luteal phase of your cycle. 

You should also stay on top of your hydration regardless of which phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid any foods that may be inflammatory or triggering to your body. 

Try out this recipe for a yummy snack that supports your hormone health!

 

 

Get Help with your Hormones

 

Hormone health can be a complex issue, and while a simple step like seed cycling can make an impact, there’s so much more to improving your overall hormone health. 

Relying on seeds ALONE is a bad idea. Truly, this strategy is very minor in comparison to other, more important things, that should be addressed first!

At KJO Coaching, we have an incredible team of coaches who have backgrounds in science and nutrition and can help you achieve your goals and improve your health (mentally, physically, and hormonally!). 

 

Click HERE to learn more about working with us!

 

Check out the original Instagram post here.

 

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