Why You Should Practice Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance
Seed cycling is an effective and relatively inexpensive nutritional therapy that makes a great addition to your hormone-balancing protocol. As women, we experience natural fluctuations in our hormones throughout the month and havedifferent nutritional, physical and psychological requirements and desires depending on the time of the month. Before we dive into how to do seed cycling, let’s talk about the different phases of our cycle.
The Follicular Phase
The follicular phase occurs during the first half of your cycle, from the first day of your period until ovulation, usually days 1-14. During this phase, estrogen and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) naturally increase in preparation for ovulation. Technically the later stage of this phase is called the ovulatory phase, where an egg is released and estrogen is at its highest.
The Luteal Phase
The luteal phase occurs in the second half of your cycle, usually days 15-30, after ovulation until your next period. During this phase, progesterone is released by the corpus luteum to thicken the uterine lining in preparation for a baby. Regardless of your desire to have a baby or not, this rise in progesterone is important because it helps to counter estrogen to keep it in balance.
How Seed Cycling Can Help
Seed cycling can be used to help relieve PMS, cramps and heavy bleeding, support fertility, aid the transition into new phases of a woman’s life, and help you transition off the pill. Taking certain seeds at certain times in your cycle will help boost either estrogen or progesterone. The 4 seeds you’ll be taking are flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. Flax and pumpkin seeds will help promote the production and proper metabolism of estrogens. Alternatively, sunflower and sesame seeds are fantastic for increasing progesterone levels naturally.
How to Practice Seed Cycling
On day 1 of your cycle, which is the day of your first full bleed, take 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds for the next 14 days. The pumpkin seeds can either be ground or chewed very well. From day 15 until the rest of your cycle, take 1 tbsp ground sesame seeds and 1 tbsp sunflower seeds. Ideally sesame seeds should be ground, but the sunflower seeds can either be ground or chewed very well. Alternatively, you can eat seed butters, such as sunflower or pumpkin seed butter. Throw seeds into salads, smoothies, chia pudding or make naturally-sweetened energy balls to get your seeds in!
Tip: Consume raw seeds for the most benefits!
What happens If My Period is Early or Late?
If your cycle is somewhat irregular and your period comes early or late, start your flax and pumpkin seeds whenever your first full bleed day occurs, taking them for 14 days, then switch to sesame and sunflower for the rest of your cycle until your next period occurs.
Can You Use Seed Cycling in Menopause?
Yes! Seed cycling can also be useful in perimenopause, menopause, and for women far beyond their reproductive years to help balance hormones. If you no longer have a cycle, you can start the seeds at any time of the month, starting with flax and pumpkin seeds for 14 days, then switching to sesame and sunflower seeds for another 14 days, then repeat.
Follicular Phase – Days 1-14: Take 1 tbsp flaxseed and 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
Luteal Phase – Days 15-30: Take 1 Tbsp sesame and 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
Seed cycling can be a great addition to a targeted protocol using a hormone-balancing diet, specific supplementation and lifestyle!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™