My menstrual cycle is irregular. How can I balance my hormones to regularise it?

Disproportion of hormones in the body disrupts its normal functioning. There could be many causes for hormonal imbalance including poor nutrition, chronic stress, obesity, thyroid disorder, oral contraceptive pills, anorexia, autoimmune disorders and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (pesticides). It is extremely important to identify the underlying cause and make necessary lifestyle changes.

Seed cycling is one of the methods to fine-tune the hormones. It involves consuming certain seeds depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle.

To explain, our body produces different hormones during the different stages of the menstrual cycle. Specific micronutrients in certain seeds help to nourish the body and provide minerals that are required to produce particular hormones as per the phase. This is how seed cycling aids in release of the right hormones, at the right stage of the cycle and in the right amounts.

Once the hormones are balanced, a lot of issues like PMS, infertility, absence of menses, peri-menopausal symptoms resolve. Seed cycling also plays a very important role in healing conditions like PCOS, ovarian cysts and endometriosis.

The menstrual cycle has two phases and traditionally each phase was of 14 days, making it a 28-day cycle. However, now our cycle could range from 21 to 35 days. During the follicular phase, from days 1 to 14, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds should be consumed.

In the leutal phase, (days 14-28) sesame seeds and sunflower seeds need to be eaten.

Rules of seed cycling

1. Have 2 tbsp of the mentioned seeds every day.

2. The seeds should be unroasted, unsalted and freshly ground.

3. Store the seeds in dark and cool environment as the essential fat can get oxidised.

4. Seeds can be consumed as is or mixed in a smoothie, salad, soup or breakfast cereal.

Remember, seed cycling is a small way to reset the hormones. It will be more effective if you have wholesome, nutritious food and increase physical activity.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.