Ladies, are you struggling to lose those last few extra pounds? Do you deal with irritating PMS, infertility or even depression? Did you know the common link between these problems could be that you have too much estrogen?
Estrogen Levels Matter
We all need estrogen and we can’t get away from it – our bodies naturally produce estrogen to help us prepare for babies. Estrogen also maintains skin and hair health, and it keeps our cholesterol levels in check (which is one reason why women often see high levels of bad cholesterol as they approach menopause). So, estrogen is a good thing…in the right quantities.
But, estrogen can also work against us, too. Too much estrogen can actually make us fat and lead to a few common reproductive disorders, like PMS, PCOS, fibroids and infertility. Yikes! This just doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Estrogen and progesterone, two main female hormones, counteract each other; estrogen can prevent progesterone production if there aren’t enough nutrients and enzymes available for both. When this happens, estrogen dominance occurs. Estrogen dominance can get worse from stress, excess weight, poor liver function and environmental estrogens (called xenoestrogens).
When we’re chronically stressed (which, unfortunately, is very common in modern society), our progesterone is converted to cortisol. Overproduction of cortisol fatigues the adrenals; when this happens, more cortisol is produced, further reducing progesterone levels!
If circulating estrogen is too high, it promotes fat cell growth, especially around the hips and abdomen, and this fat makes even more estrogen, creating a vicious cycle! Hormone replacement therapies and birth control pills contribute to excess estrogen too.
A healthy liver is needed to properly detoxify excess estrogens. However, if our livers are busy with food and environmental toxins, they may not be able to keep up. Alcohol detoxification uses the same nutrients as estrogen but alcohol takes precedence; if all the nutrients required for estrogen detoxification are used for alcohol, estrogen just keeps circulating.
Xenoestrogens from cosmetics, plastics, food cans and environmental waste stimulate estrogen receptors and cause the production of more estrogen.
You can see that our bodies can become quite stuck in an estrogen dominant state! Luckily, there’s an easy first step any woman can take to balance estrogen levels in her body.
When I came off birth control pills a few years ago, my cycle was a mess. I felt terrible and had this stubborn layer of fat that I couldn’t get rid of no matter what I tried. One thing that helped me was seed cycling.
Seed rotation is becoming pretty popular and it’s an all-natural way for women to balance their progesterone and estrogen hormones. It’s super easy too!
For days 1 – 14 of your cycle (or the first half), eat 1 tbsp each of ground flaxseed and ground raw pumpkin seeds daily. I like to grind the seeds up and mix them together so I can sprinkle them on salads, smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal.
For days 15 – 28, (or the second half), eat 1 tbsp each of ground raw sesame and ground raw sunflower seeds each day.
(You can also consume these seed combinations in sync with the moon phases: Start Day 1 on the first day of the New Moon, and switch to the sesame and sunflower seeds on the first day of the Full Moon.)
Continue seed rotation for at least 3 months to see any benefits; depending on your estrogen levels and symptoms, you may want to keep this up for longer than 6 months. (And, the healthy fats in these seeds help reduce inflammation and nourish your brain!)
A note about flaxseeds: Some sources state that flaxseeds should be avoided because they are phytoestrogens; phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen and some can cause even worse estrogen dominance. However, flaxseeds suppress the production of the dangerous estrogen – estradiol – and promote its breakdown (estradiol has been linked to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men). In fact, ground flaxseed helps to promote the production of the healthier forms of estrogen.
Want more info?
If you think estrogen dominance may be playing a role in your inability to lose weight, check out my free guide to kick start your metabolism naturally. It walks you through 3 simple steps you can take now to start balancing your hormones and living a long, healthy life! And, if you feel you need more support and want to learn more, please contact me for a free 1 hour transformation conversation!