Seeds taste great on top of salads and in smoothies but did you know that you can incorporate seeds into your daily diet to help balance your hormones? I’m going to be sharing an ancient secret with you called SEED CYCLING!
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is the practice of eating specific seeds during two of the main phases during your menstrual cycle. It is an easy and natural way to help you balance your estrogen and progesterone levels in your body.
It can help with PMS symptoms, help boost fertility and it can also help stimulate menstruation if you’ve been missing your period.. AKA Amenorrhea.
You can start incorporating seed cycling at any stage of your life. It is exceptionally beneficial if you have just come off of the contraceptive pill or struggling with post-birth control syndrome symptoms such as acne, irregular periods, missed periods as well as PMS.
The benefits of Seed Cycling
Although there has not yet been a scientific study that proves seed cycling works, there is scientific proof that each seed contains certain vitamins, minerals and or enzymes that help the body with hormone levels as well as other bodily functions. Here are some of the benefits the different seeds have on the body:
- Helps balance hormone levels
- Helps to regulate menstrual cycles
- Relieves PMS symptoms
- Helps with Acne that is caused by hormone imbalances
- Helps stimulate menstruation if it is absent
- May even help with fertility
This is the first 14 days of your menstruation. It is the time from your period to the time that you ovulate. Your estrogen levels rise during this phase.
The seeds below are the ones that you take every day during the first 14 days of your cycle:
- 1-2 table spoons of ground flax seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds
These seeds contain phytoestrogens which help to balance your estrogen levels in your body.
Both seeds are a great source of Omega 3s which helps to reduce inflammation in the body. This is just a bonus that the seeds bring to your body.
This is the last 14 days of your menstruation cycle. It is from the time that you ovulate to the time that you get your period. During this phase, your progesterone levels rise.
The seeds below are the ones that you take every day during the last 14 days of your cycle:
- 1-2 tablespoons of ground sunflower seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons of ground sesame seeds
When your hormones are balanced, when one hormone rises, the other should slowly drop. If your hormones are not balanced, then this cycle does not happen the way that it should and you tend to get menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, irregular periods, amenorrhea and so the list goes on..
You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a 28 day cycle. A lot of women vary in the time frame of their cycle. Just make sure to track your cycle with an app and follow seed cycling with your cycle accordingly.
You can download an APP on your phone to help you track your cycle more easily.. I particularly like this one
Sesame seeds are high in Lignans which help to regulate your estrogen and progesterone levels. Sunflower seeds are going to help with liver function. By helping your liver function, you are going to help your body with proper hormone excretion.
Both these seeds are high in Omega 6s which supports progesterone levels in your body as well as reduces the inflammation in your body that is related to your PMS symptoms.
How to prepare the seeds for easy fuss free seed cycling
Fun fact of the day, seeds tend to oxidise 15 minutes after you have ground them. This means that you might be losing out on some of the benefits that the seeds can give you if you buy your seeds already ground. So grind them yourself if you can.
The best option for you is to grind a months supply of your seeds yourself and then store them straight away into your freezer
You can add the seeds into smoothies, salads or other food items that you will be eating that day. There are so many ways that you can add your seeds into your daily diet and the nice thing is, there are lots of recipes online for you to try out.
Click here for one of my favourite hormone balancing smoothies (Swapping the flax seeds for the relevant seeds to your menstrual cycle.)
A liver and hormone-loving detoxifying green smoothie which also helps rid the body of excess estrogen! SCORE!
Tip: If you’re taking collagen, you can add your collagen into this smoothie and kill two birds with one stone. Click here for the benefits of incorporating collagen into your daily diet.
You can also add a capsule of Evening Prim Rose. Evening Prim Rose is an oil that helps to balance your hormones, especially in women who are menopausal. Please note that if you have a history of cancer in your family and you know the cancer is caused by hormones, do not take Evening Prim Rose unless your doctor tells you it is ok.
Nutritional components in seeds
Flax seeds are known for helping your body to naturally support healthy estrogen production. Research has shown that Flax seeds help to lengthen the luteal phase, improve ovulation and reduce common PMS symptoms such as breast pain and cramping.
Sesame seeds also contain Lignans which helps to block out excess estrogen during the second phase of your menstrual cycle when your progesterone levels rise. Research has shown that sesame seeds are beneficial for women who are postmenopausal as it improves blood lipids, antioxidants as well as sex hormones.
Pumpkin and sesame seeds both contain zinc. Zinc helps to improve the formation of the Corpus Luteum in the uterus. This is the lining that thickens to prepare your body for potential implantation.
Omega 3, 6 and vitamin E:
Both Flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega 3. Omega 3 helps promotes blood flow to the uterus, increases progesterone secretion and help maintain healthy cell membranes.
Vitamin E has been linked to reducing PMS symptoms and can be found in pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and flax seeds.
Research has found that Vitamin E, Omega, 3 as well as 6 are essential for hormone production and follicle function.
How to incorporate seed cycling into your daily routine
Adding seed cycling to your daily routine could not be easier. All you need to do is add your ground seeds to a meal every day and you are good to go! I add mine in my smoothies, on top of my oats or even on top of salads. It is as easy as that.
Keep in mind that it can take up to 3 months of seed cycling daily before you see results. This is a normal amount of time for a natural therapy or practice to start showing signs of improvement.
Things to keep in mind before you start
- Track your menstrual cycle so that you know which phase you are in
- Consult with your doctor if he/she is tracking your hormone imbalance
- The seed cycling process works best if your seeds are raw and grounded by yourself
- Keep your seeds in the freezer. This will help keep your seeds fresh
Keep in mind that seed cycling is not a cure however, it is a natural way for you to help your body balance your hormones. Hormone imbalance can be caused by a lot of different factors. Consult with a doctor or health coach to find out the reason why. Once you have found that out, you can go to a dietician or health coach who can help give you a diet as well as lifestyle changes that you can make to help balance out your hormones the natural way.
Woman who seed cycle
Have experienced fewer headaches as well as cramping before and after they get their periods. Their skins have improved drastically with fewer breakouts and more of a glow, they experience better, more regulated mood
There might not be studies that prove the scientific effect of seed cycling, however, if you talk to people who are seed cycling or who have embarked on the seed cycling journey, you will hear first hand that seed cycling has/had enormously positive effects on their bodies and hormone levels.
It is always a good idea for you to go and talk to a doctor if you have irregular hormone levels. Sometimes, hormone levels can indicate a medical problem that may need medical assistance.
Try out seed cycling and see how it can benefit you. Some women see results within the first two months whilst others might take a bit longer. Stick with the seed cycling for a few months to see how much it can benefit you and your body in the long run.
Please let me know if you have any further questions on Seed Cycling and let me know if you try it out – I would love to know how it works for you!