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We are meant to FLOW!
Many of us think of our bodies as static and believe that it should perform at the same level all the time. However, it is against our nature to be so!
We as women are, instead, very cyclical— just as everything in our lives and in the world arounds us: from the seasons, to the moon, to our hormones and menstrual cycles...
For this very same reason, expecting ourselves to wake up today feeling exactly the same way we did yesterday is a huge misunderstanding of how our natural forces work!
As women, we want to make sure we are eating conforming to what we are actually needing at various stages of the month. By doing so, we can be at our very best and fully benefit form each phase that our body navigates through without fighting it, but FLOWing (and BLOOMing😉) instead!
With our BLOOM mueslis we want to help you get essential nutrients you need throughout the month, so that you find and feel the balance that comes from fueling your mind and body with high quality ingredients--all in synchrony with what is going on with your hormones and your menstrual cycle.
So...let's dive into it!
Phases of the Menstrual Cycle🧚🏻♀️
MENSTRUAL PHASE (PHASE 1) 🌑 : During this time of the month, progesterone production drops off as our corpus lute disappears, triggering the shedding of our uterine lining in our menstrual phase (a.k.a. our period/bleeding). Our estrogen levels peak and the drop, stimulating our hypothalamus to prepare for a new cycle of ovulation.
FOLLICULAR PHASE (PHASE 2) 🌓: On this phase, the hypothalamus signals our pituitary gland to send follicle-stimulating hormone to our ovaries, telling them to get ready to release another egg. During this phase, several egg follicles start to swell in preparation. Estrogen increases to thicken our uterine lining so that it can host an egg.
OVULATORY PHASE (PHASE 3) 🌕: This is perhaps the second most known phase (right after menstruation), for it is our most fertile window! During this period, a sharp rise in follicle-stimulating hormone followed by an increase in luteinizing hormone, also from the pituitary, stimulates one follicle to swell further and burst, releasing an egg into one of the fallopian tubes--this egg then travels to the uterus. Estrogen levels continue to increase, continuing to thicken the uterine lining and supporting the growth of immune system cells in our uterus. Testosterone takes a quick surge and drops right around ovulation.
LUTEAL PHASE (PHASE 4) 🌗: During the fourth and last phase, the corpus lute (the follicle from which the egg bursts) grows on the surface of our ovary, causing the production of progesterone. The rise in progesterone then signals the body to keep the uterine lining intact and the pituitary gland to stop sending out follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, ensuring that only one egg is released into the uterus at a time. Estrogen levels continue to rise. Towards the end of the cycle, if the egg hasn't been fertilized (a.k.a.🤰🏻🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏾🤰🏿), the corpus lute is reabsorbed into the body. Progesterone production will soon halt as a result, triggering our period. Testosterone increases towards the end of this phase. Here the cycle re-start again, with the menstrual phase (or phase 1).
Source: TheWomanCode, Alisa Vitti.
✨ Seed Cycling ♻️
Seed cycling is the functional medicine practice of eating certain nutrients (via seeds) at specific times of the menstrual cycle in order to support healthy hormonal balance. During the first half of our cycle (phases 1 and 2), we want to incorporate flax and pumpkin seeds into our diet. During the second half of our cycle (phases 3 and 4), we want to focus on the consumption of sunflower and sesame seeds.
First half of the cycle:
Flax Seeds are high in lignans (a polyphoneol found in seeds), which have been proven to help alleviate high androgen levels, breast tenderness associated with periods, and PCOS symptoms.
Pumpkin Seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and zinc, which make them ideal to lower inflammation, boost sleep, reduce headaches and help to prevent joint pains.
Second half of the cycle:
Sesame Seeds have a type of lignan that has been found to help regulate cycles. These little seeds carry a great amount of magnesium and zinc, as well as Vitamin B1, which has been linked to reduction of severe cramps and other PMS symptoms.
Sunflower Seeds contain tons of vitamin B1 and B6, as well as magnesium and zinc. Vitamin E is also present, which is believed to act as cramps and migraines fighter.
Everything above might sound kind of complex, but good news is: we've done the job and decided to simplify it all for you!
All of our BLOOM mueslis are designed based on the seed cycling functional protocol, so all you really need to do is to pick the right one for each phase and enjoy our mixes with your favorite method preparation!
Through this ritual, we can help our bodies to properly equilibrate the production and elimination of our sex hormones, which in many women tend to be totally "out of whack" due to long-term use of birth control pills, poor nutrition, low or extreme physical activity and overexposure to environmental toxins.
You've read yourself how much hard work our bodies have to endure every single month, over and over all the way from our first period and until we reach menopause. For this reason, and because hormones are particularly powerful substances, keeping them happy is VITAL not only for our reproductive system, but for our overall health!
**Always remember that natural paths will never mean magical fixes! The consumption of the seeds is not a 'pill' or potion we ingest and every single symptom and hormonal imbalance is gone overnight. Instead, the seed cycling method, as well as the consumption of nutrient dense foods, exercising according to the phase of our cycle and managing stress are adjustments that will only have real effects when implemented overtime, as a lifestyle!