What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a great tool for females to utilize while creating a healthy cycle. Specific seeds are used to support the production of hormones, as well as, the metabolism and elimination of those hormones during the appropriate phase of the menstrual cycle. Seed cycling is also a beneficial practice for women during postpartum, perimenopause, and post-menopause stages of their life.
Seed cycling is a daily practice of eating specific seeds to help balance hormones and reduce symptoms commonly associated with PMS. The goal with seeds cycling is to support the natural balance of the hormones that govern menstruation. Estrogen naturally rises during the first half (about 14 days) of a woman’s cycle and slowly falls during the second half. Progesterone is released after ovulation and is maintained by the follicle left behind to support potential pregnancy.
If too low or too high, either of these hormones can cause undesirable PMS symptoms. Eating the appropriate seeds daily can support your body to balance estrogen and progesterone so that symptoms such as acne, bloating, irritability, gnawing hunger, low libido, tender breasts, and water retention do not occur.
How Does Seed Cycling Work?
During the seed cycling process, you will consume 1-2 tablespoons of flax and pumpkin seeds during the follicular phase of your cycle (days 1-14). Then, 1-2 tablespoons of sesame and sunflower seeds during the luteal phase of your cycle (days 14-28).
During days 1-14 of the seed cycling process 1500-2000 mg of fish oil is recommended. Then, during days 15-28 of the seed cycling process 1500-2000 mg of Evening Primrose oil is recommended.
Estrogen is a primary hormone involved in the follicular phase. You can help support your body by adding pumpkin seeds and flax seeds for the duration of phase 1. Both pumpkin and flax seeds contain phytoestrogens which helps to balance levels of estrogen. The phytoestrogen contained in pumpkin seeds are known to help with symptoms of low estrogen such as hot flashes and headaches. Flax seeds are known to contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are both great sources of zinc which aids in the production, metabolism, and removal of estrogen.
In phase 2 you will incorporate sesame seeds and sunflower seeds into your diet. These seeds help to support the production of progesterone. Sesame seeds are known to improve both blood lipid levels and antioxidant status in postmenopausal women. Sunflower seeds are known to support reproductive health in females due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Flax and Pumpkin Seed:
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds both contain omega-3 fatty acids which aid blood flow to your uterus, increase the progesterone secretion, and can help support healthy cell membranes in the body. These seeds also contain vitamin E which can help ease your PMS symptoms. Consuming flax and pumpkin seeds during the first phase of seed cycling will aid in improving your estrogen levels, and at the same time prevent excess estrogen.
Sunflower and Sesame Seed:
Sunflower and sesame seeds help to boost your progesterone production during the second phase of the seed cycling process. Sesame seeds contain zinc which aids in increasing your progesterone levels while helping to block excess estrogen while your levels of progesterone rise.
There are many benefits to adding fish oil to your seed cycling routine. Omega-3s help to support your hormonal balance. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to soothe some symptoms.
Evening Primrose Oil:
Evening primrose oil helps to support hormonal balance and has many benefits. It can also help with hormonal issues such as PMS, menopause, and fertility. Evening primrose oil has also been known to help with easing uncomfortable symptoms such as easing menstrual cramps, bloating and water retention, irritability, and breast tenderness.
Is Seed Cycling Effective During Menopause?
Seed cycling can be beneficial to women who are either peri-menopausal or post-menopausal. Estrogen and progesterone levels naturally drop during menopause. Seed cycling can help to relive symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness caused by lower hormone levels in the body during menopause. For peri-menopausal or post-menopausal women, seed cycling can be started at any time and would follow the same seed rotation phases as previously discussed.
What are the Side Effects of Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a safe practice. Seeds go beyond helping to balance hormones and are beneficial to your overall health. Seeds are excellent sources of vitamins such as A, B, C, and E. Seeds also provide the body with omega-3s, fiber, protein, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, and selenium.
What are the Benefits of Seed Cycling?
Women have reported many benefits of seed cycling. Here are a few:
- Balancing hormone levels.
- Regulating your cycle.
- Relief of PMS symptoms such as painful periods, tender breasts, acne, and cramping.
- Can ease symptoms of conditions such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and PCOS.
- Can increase fertility.
How Long Will It Take to Achieve Balanced Hormones?
Hormonal changes can occur quickly. However, it usually takes three cycles which equates to three months. Factors such as medication, lifestyle, diet, and stress can dictate how long it will take to achieve balanced hormone levels.
How Do I Incorporate Seed Cycling into My Diet?
You can add the ground seeds to your smoothies, oats, soups, salads, seed butters, granola, and more. The ground seeds can even be incorporated into homemade falafel or veggie patties.
We have included some yummy recipes for you to try while seed cycling:
- Simple Seed Crackers
- Simple Pumpkin Flax Granola
- Seedy Hummus Toast
- Sauteed Spinach with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds
- Basil Pesto with Sunflower Seeds
How Do I Find Out if I Have a Hormone Imbalance?
Whether you’ve already tried seed cycling, but are still feeling some of the symptoms of PMS, or are just curious how you can improve your health, Vibrant Living Wellness Center is here for you! Consider having a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your specific issues and symptoms, or take the DUTCH test to see how your hormones are playing a role in your symptoms.
Click below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Heidi.
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