Can Chia Seeds Influence My Hormone Levels? – Our Guide
Chia seeds are well raved about in the health food industry, these little seeds are packed full of omega 3’s and fibre, but just how good are they for your hormones?
Well, chia seeds have been backed by studies to help hormonal balance, they can help with insulin resistance in women which can cause mood swings as well as estrogen dominance in people.
We’ve composed a short informative guide below which will cover why chia seeds are good for you, the negatives, seed cycling, hormones and other foods which can affect you.
Let’s get into it!
Are Chia Seeds Good For Women?
Chia seeds have general benefits for all genders, but for women in particular they are packed with health benefits.
For example, they can help reduce the chances of breast or cervical cancer due to their omega 3 fatty acids which help to kill cancer cells.
We’ve listed some other benefits of chia seeds below.
- Stops stress – Tryptophan is an amino acid found in the consumption of seeds, it could help your body to produce serotonin which in turn helps to produce feelings of calmness in stressed women.
- Can keep you full for longer – These kinds of seeds are packed full of fibre and can absorb up to 10x their weight in water, keeping you full till your next meal thanks to the high dose of fibre and also helping weight loss.
- Boosts energy – Chia seeds before a workout could give you the same energy as a high sugar bar, they can also give your metabolism a boost.
- Helps with skin ageing – These little magic seeds can be blended up into a paste and applied to the skin, helping to increase collagen levels and clean your face due to the antioxidants.
- Can help PCOS – Women with PCOS who suffer from irregular periods and insulin sensitivity might benefit from a daily intake of chia seeds, this is because chia seeds can help to lower blood sugar.
- Hormonal balance – As we mentioned above, chia seeds can help with hormonal imbalance since they are a source of estrogen.
Find out here more about Can I Drink Chia Seeds While Intermittent Fasting?
Are There Any Negative Effects With Chia Seeds?
Although chia seeds are full of benefits for women, it’s important to cover the negatives of these types of seeds too.
Chia seeds generally have no negative health side effects unless you consume too many of them, if eaten in excess, they could potentially cause allergies, diabetes issues (if your blood sugar drops too low), digestive problems if not soaked first or high blood pressure in some people.
It should also be noted that these seeds are very high in calories which can lead to weight gain in some people if eaten in excess.
Here’s an article for you that will help you understand better chia seeds, Are Chia Seeds Good For You
What Is Seed Cycling?
If you are interested in chia seeds and how they affect hormones, you might have heard or been new to the concept of seed cycling.
The idea behind seed cycling is that you consume different types of seeds during the period of your cycle to help balance your hormones and feel your best, these could be; flax seeds, sunflower seeds or chia seeds for example.
Most of the time, this will consist of two tablespoons of seeds each day, sprinkled on salads or smoothies, for example, some benefits could be better moods, less pain during periods, no hot flushes and it’s even been said to help women get pregnant in some cases.
Seeds can either inhibit or help boost the hormones estrogen and progesterone levels in your body depending on what you need.
Which Seeds Can Affect Hormones?
Typically, for seed cycling, you will consume sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. For the first two weeks of your cycle, it would be a tablespoon of flax and pumpkin seeds for the second half, sunflower and sesame seeds.
We’ve gone into more detail about how each type of seed affects your hormones below.
Flax seeds are full of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants for the body. The lignans in the antioxidants help to reduce excess estrogen which is important during the follicular phase of your cycle when combined with pumpkin seeds so that you cannot have too little estrogen.
Pumpkin seeds are consumed during the follicular phase to balance progesterone levels and estrogen levels in the body while the lining of your uterus becomes thicker. The zinc in them also helps to boost progesterone production.
Sesame seeds tend to be for the second half of your cycle since the seeds are full of zinc which boosts the levels of progesterone and stops the excess production of estrogen, this can help to boost your chances of fertility and also PMS symptoms like bloating and cramping.
Sunflower seeds are very high in vitamin E, boosting progesterone levels, the selenium in them additionally helps get rid of estrogen in the liver. One to two tablespoons in the day can help keep out of whack hormones balanced.
Other Foods Which Affect Hormones
It’s useful to know that seed cycling and chia seeds can be useful to your hormones, but what about other foods, can they affect how you feel?
We’ve listed a few other foods which can influence hormones below.
- Salmon – Salmon like tablespoons of flax seeds are high in omega 3 fats which support the production of hormones in your body, it also helps to stabilise hunger levels from hormones in the body.
- Fruit and veg – The basic fruit and veg can help keep your hormones in check thanks to being naturally high in vitamins and minerals, try to get them organic and pesticide-free when possible.
- Avocados – Avocados can help your stress thanks to their beta-sitosterol, this, in turn, can help balance estrogen and progesterone as part of a super-charged hormone diet with seeds.
- High fibre foods – A high fibre carbohydrate diet clears the overproduction of hormones in the body, starch can help to keep melatonin and cortisol levels where they need to be as well.
- Probiotics – Probiotics like kimchi and yoghurt are excellent for your gut health and hormones, try to incorporate prebiotics too such as garlic and asparagus since this allows bacteria to flourish on them.
- Cruciferous vegetables – These kinds of veggies like broccoli each day alongside pumpkin seeds can help hormones balance since they metabolise estrogen in the body.
To conclude, chia seeds can affect hormones in your body by helping to balance them, this in combination with a typical seed cycling protocol could improve how estrogen and progesterone are produced in your body throughout your cycle, helping to combat PMS and bloating.
Apart from hormones, chia seeds are also great for you due to them being high in fibre and omega 3 acids, they can safely be eaten in moderation as part of your healthy diet to enjoy their full benefits.
You may also want to try tea with chia seeds. Learn more here Can You Put Chia Seeds In Hot Tea.