Not only can you “not go wrong” with seeds, but you can actually use seeds to improve the health of your hormones. Food as medicine can be a delicious wellness plan and because we often need to eat seeds in fairly large amounts to have a therapeutic effect, I’m a fan of the Superseed Life products. Although putting a tablespoon of flax in your smoothie is a good idea, it may not be quite enough to derive benefit, but eating a Superseed Life Skinny Donut (my personal favorite product), with it’s all seed flour blend providing plenty of seeds fits the bill.
Before we get into how seeds help your hormones, we need a tiny little primer for you on estrogen. Bear with me, it’s really just a tiny bit of science and if you’re anything like me, you like to know how things work, so here goes:
The body creates many types of estrogen, possibly up to 60 types! Some types are very good, other types are bad. One of the best types of estrogen is called 2-MEO, or 2-methoxyestradiol. The bad type of estrogen is called 4-Hydroxyestrone or 4-OH. A small part of your genetics determines how much of these different estrogens you make but you can also vastly influence these ‘estrogen pathways’ in the body according to what you eat. One of the ways we influence the good ‘2 series’ of estrogen is through seeds!
Some info on specific seeds:
Sesame seeds boost 2-methoxyestradiol that protect against cancers, especially breast. While everyone who can should add sesame seeds to their diet, sesame ingestion really benefits postmenopausal women by improving blood lipids, antioxidant status, and possibly sex hormone status.
Pumpkin seeds: Before we can understand how pumpkin seeds help regulate hormones, we need to understand what estrogen receptors are. We have two main estrogen receptors: ER-alpha and ER-beta. The alpha receptor is the “accelerator” and can cause growth out of control and the beta receptor is the ‘brake’ on ER-alpha. The body needs both of these receptors but too much alpha expression can be problematic in certain situations. Pumpkin seeds may downregulate the ER-alpha, which is the one that sends strong growth signals.
Sunflower seeds: In a 2012 German study, research published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer showed reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk associated with increased consumption of sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Hemp seeds: contain fatty acids which help to lessen symptoms of PMS.
Other foods that have a beneficial effect on the estrogen pathways in the body are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Onions and garlic help too. Like seeds, they help to create the healthy ‘2 series’ of estrogen. But variation and pleasure is key and I don’t always want to eat those things! I like to moderate my intake of vegetables with a healthy treat every so often. I love knowing that I can get so many heath benefits (fiber, protein, positive estrogen benefits) from Superseed Life products, they are a regular in my family’s kitchen.