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In honour of International Women's Week, it's a time to celebrate the resilience and strength of women around the world, and to acknowledge the unique challenges that women face on a daily basis including those related to their mental and physical well being. One area where women's health is particularly impacted is in the realm of hormonal balance. The delicate interplay of hormones can have a profound impact on everything from mood to physical health, and an imbalance can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including but not limited to bloating, cramps, acne, mood swings, headaches and psychiatric impairment. Yet, there is a natural approach that has been gaining popularity among women seeking to support their hormonal health: Seed cycling

What is seed cycling? 
Seed cycling is a natural and effective way to support hormonal balance and overall well being. This practice involves consuming specific types of seeds at different times of the month, and has been shown to promote hormonal harmony, reduce menstrual discomfort, and alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. 
That being said, let's delve into the benefits of seed cycling for women's health and explore how this simple yet powerful technique can be integrated into your daily routine. Self care is how you get your power back. 
Let's start by exploring the science behind seed cycling. The menstrual cycle is regulated by a complex interplay of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, and imbalances can lead to a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, PMS, and fertility issues. 
The first phase of the menstrual cycle is the follicular phase, which begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts until ovulation. During this phase, estrogen levels are low, and the body prepares for ovulation. Consuming flax seeds and pumpkin seeds during this phase can help support estrogen production and balance hormones. Flaxseeds are high in lignans, which are phytoestrogens that help regulate estrogen levels in the body. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is essential for the production of progesterone and can help balance estrogen levels.
The second phase of the menstrual cycle is the luteal phase, which begins after ovulation and lasts until the next menstrual cycle. During this phase, progesterone levels rise, and estrogen levels decrease. Consuming sesame seeds and sunflower seeds during this phase can help support progesterone production and balance hormones. Sesame seeds are high in lignans and phytosterols, which can help balance hormones and reduce inflammation in the body. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which can help support hormonal balance and reduce PMS symptoms.   
Seed cycling also has other health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and a boost in energy levels. Flax seeds, for example, are a good source of fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion and reduce inflammation in the body. Sesame seeds are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and boost energy levels. 
So, how can you incorporate seed cycling into your diet? It's easy! You can add a tablespoon of each type of seed according to your menstruation phase to your smoothie, oatmeal, or yogurt in the morning. Alternatively, you can snack on a handful of seeds as a midday snack. It's important to consume fresh, organic, and raw seeds to ensure you're getting the maximum health benefits. 


DAYS 1-14 OF YOUR CYCLE (menstruation & follicular phase
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds
DAYS 15-28 OF YOUR CYCLE (menstruation & luteal phase) 
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds
Overall, as mentioned and to reiterate, the main benefits of seed cycling is hormonal balance. By incorporating these nutrient-dense seeds into your diet, you can help regulate hormone levels and support the natural rhythm of your menstrual cycle. This can lead to fewer PMS symptoms, more regular periods, improved fertility, and can even help cope with PCOS. It can also be incredibly beneficial if you’re coming off of hormonal birth control or struggling with post-birth control syndrome symptoms. By incorporating these nutrient-dense seeds into your diet, you can promote longevity and support your body's natural rhythm. In order to flourish as females, we need to be more mindful, in tune with our bodies and aligned with ourselves. Hormonal harmony is a great place to start for our mental, physical and emotional well being, our confidence, our happiness, our courage, our ability to create a family, our bone health, our ability to perform optimally and our overall quality of life. 
At Rawcology, all of our products promote hormonal harmony. 
 Our Grain-Free Granola and our Granola Snack Bites are filled with sprouted pumpkin seeds, sprouted sunflower seeds and some flavours have sprouted flax seeds. As a result our products support each phase of your menstrual cycle, but depending on which phase you’re in you can alter the dosage by adding more pumpkin seeds, flax seeds or sesame seeds to your daily recipes. In addition our grain free granola is ideal for hormonal balance as it has a low glycemic index, is rich in nutrients, anti inflammatory and won’t spike your blood sugar. 
Here are a few recipes to support each phase: 
Phase 1 -  Follicular phase blueberry bowl 
  • ½ banana 
  • Handful spinach 
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ avocado 
  • 1 scoop protein powder 
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds 
  • Dash of Cinnamon 
Toppings: Rawcology Blueberry Grain Free Granola, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, drizzle almond butter and fresh berries 

Phase 2 -  Luteal phase vanilla smoothie  
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nut milk 

Toppings: Rawcology Chocolate Granola, sunflower seeds, almond or cashew butter, banana

Feel good, look good and Rawc on ;) 

-Chloe Tilp, CNP