Sprinkle your way to a flush-free menopause

Sprinkle your way to a flush-free menopause… by eating different seeds according to the moon’s phases

  • Tracy Dyson reveals how she manages perimenopausal hormonal fluctuations
  • The 50-year-old acupuncturist praises seed cycling for its balancing effects
  • She uses the lunar calendar to determine her monthly seed combinations 

Each morning, Tracy Dyson checks her calendar, then sprinkles a tablespoon of seeds over her muesli or blends them into a breakfast smoothie. 

For the first two weeks of each month she chooses flaxseed and pumpkin seeds; for the next two she switches to sesame and s­unflower seeds — never mixing the combinations. 

At 50, Tracy, an acupuncturist and women’s health expert, is keen to manage the hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause and, like an increasing number of women, has found that ‘seed cycling’ keeps her foggy head and mood swings at bay. 

Tracy Dyson, 50, has revealed how eating seeds according the the lunar calendar can help women during the menopause 

Seed cycling has its roots in ­Chinese medicine and has grown in popularity over the past year, with wellness influencers and experts extolling the virtues of a strategic — and visually appealing — bit of seed sprinkling. 

You can even buy kits and blends, for example Seed Cycle 3kg Box Pumpkin Flax and Sunflower Seeds (£23.97, fodabox. com), or Organic Seed Cycling Seed Syncing Moon Bites — Pumpkin, Flax, Sesame, and Sunflower (£65, etsy.com). 

Before she tried seed cycling, Tracy was experiencing fluctuating body temperatures, erratic periods, brain fog and poor sleep. ‘But after a month of the seed method I noticed things improved considerably,’ she says. 

The acupuncturist says that seeds are a natural source of fibre and support the metabolism of healthy oestrogen

‘The forgetfulness had d­isappeared and I was sleeping much better. I did wonder if I might have been enjoying a placebo effect, but when we went on holiday and I skipped the seed cycling for a few weeks, my old perimenopausal symptoms returned.’ 

Tracy is so evangelical about seed cycling she recommends it to all her midlife clients. Scientist and naturopath Dr Vera Martins, of veramartinsnaturopath.com, explains: ‘At midlife, h­ormone levels naturally drop and seed cycling can help to boost production. It appears to work quietly in the background, helping to level off some of the more extreme hormone fluctuations.’ 

She points out that seeds are a natural source of fibre (supporting the metabolism of healthy oestrogen), omega-3 fats (good for the heart, skin and reducing inflammation), protein (for strong muscles), plus extra vitamins and minerals. Regular consumption could lead to improved energy levels and give skin and hair a healthy glow

HOW IT WORKS  

Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds are a rich source of phytoestrogens — plant compounds which mimic the effects of oestrogen. In the first half of a month, they can support dwindling production of the hormone. Their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and regulate production of follicle-stimulating hormone, which triggers the release of eggs from the ovaries.

Sesame seeds are a good source of zinc, and sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium and vitamins B6 and E, which support progesterone production — important for the second half of the month.

If you have a regular monthly cycle, the accepted advice is to start on your flaxseed and pumpkin seed mix on day one of your period

BLITZING IS BEST

Dr Martins warns that seed cycling demands organisation and commitment. For a start, your seeds should be freshly blitzed in a blender — this makes it easier for the body to absorb their nutrients. Ground seeds can lose their potency quickly, so nutritionists recommend blending a few tablespoons at a time and storing them in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Eat them for breakfast, sprinkle on your salads, or add them into flapjacks, bread or energy ball snacks. Aim to consume two tablespoons of seeds per day — one tablespoon of each seed type for the stage in your cycle. 

LUNAR TIMING 

If you have a regular monthly cycle, the accepted advice is to start on your flaxseed and pumpkin seed mix on day one of your period (the first day of your cycle), then switch to sesame and sunflower seeds on the day you ovulate (usually day 14), shortening or extending each phase to fit your natural cycle. 

If your periods become irregular or absent, many nutritional therapists recommend timing your cycle to coincide with that of the moon. Start day one of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds on the first day of the full moon and switch to sesame and sunflower seeds 14 days later (around the time of the new moon). 

‘It really is such a simple process, inexpensive (about 10p per tablespoon) and so easy — it is just a question of keeping an eye on the calendar and making sure you are eating the right seed combinations at the right time of the month,’ says Tracy Dyson. 

Despite all the hype, Dr Martins warns not to expect speedy results. You might need three months of committed seed cycling before you notice any changes. And anyone with severe menopausal symptoms should manage their expectations. 

‘If you are really struggling with the menopause, seeds may not help. Consider talking to your GP about HRT instead,’ she says.

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