“Let food be thy Medicine” – This quote is weaved all through my blog because it is something I 110% stand by. Food is incredible and can do truly beautiful things for our bodies. In this blog post I am going to give you a basic guide on seed cycling – what it is, how it works and the benefits I’ve personally noticed from doing it.
Please ensure you check with your health care professional before making any major lifestyle changes. This information is for education purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
With that being said, let’s dive straight into all things seed cycling girl!
What is seed cycling?
The idea behind seed cycling is to eat certain seeds at different times of your cycle to help balance estrogen + progesterone levels and help PMS symptoms. As women we go through ALOT of different changes throughout the whole 28 days of each cycle and it’s unfortunate to say that many of us have struggled with some sort of hormonal imbalance at some stage.
I’m not going to sit here and write about the insane amount of studies done to show that seed cycling is the be all and end all of curing all hormonal problems because that’s just not the case. In fact, there are a very limited amount of studies on seed cycling. So, you’re thinking “why is she even writing about this?”… Because I love to experiment with a natural + holistic approach oppose to running straight to Western medicine when something is out of balance in my body. My reason behind starting seed cycling was to try and alleviate some of my PMS symptoms (mainly my dysmenorrhea) and I can honestly say that seed cycling works for me.
How it works!
On days 1 – 14 of your cycle (menstrual + follicular) you consume 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Each of these seeds support estrogen production because they contain lignans and zinc.
On days 15-28 of your cycle (ovulation + luteal) you consume 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Each of these support progesterone production because the contain zinc and vitamin E.
Flax Seeds – They are full of magnesium, iron, calcium, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids (amazing for hormone health), dietary fiber and most importantly lignans.
Pumpkin Seeds – They are high in zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, tryptophan (an amino acid that helps to promote sleep – a vital part of your health + wellbeing), omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamin E.
Sunflower Seeds – They are rich in complex B vitamins, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus and vitamin E.
Sesame Seeds – They contain protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, sesamin and sesamolin (both of which may help reduce cortisol levels).
Studies have shown that out of 36 controlled cycles compared to 36 cycles including flax seeds there were no anovulary cycles (this is where you don’t ovulate) and that the luteal phase was longer when consuming flax seeds (1)
When I started experimenting with seed cycling it took a few months for me to notice any changes within my cycle.
The biggest and most obvious change I noticed was my skin. I alwaaaaaays get breakouts either during my ovulation phase or during my menstrual phase. When I am consistent with seed cycling I don’t have anywhere near as many active or painful breakouts.
Another change I noticed was that I had a lot more energy! Not just little bursts here and there, I mean sustained + stable energy through out my whole cycle.
How to incorporate seeds into your diet!
Incorporating seeds hasn’t been hard for me but I understand that not everyone likes to eat them. I’m here to give you some inspiration on how you can be using different seeds in your meals.
All four seeds go great mixed into salads.
Pumpkin + sunflower seeds are amazing as smoothie bowl toppers.
Sesame seeds are good to use in Asian inspired meals.
Flax seeds are best when they are ground up. You can use them in your baking or blended into your AM smoothie.
Tahini is all sesame seeds. Use it as a base for a homemade salad dressing.
You can make a homemade granola adding each seed depending on where you are at in your cycle.
Why Try It?
As I’ve stated above, I love to use a natural and holistic approach to healing ailments in my body and leading + living out a healthy lifestyle before going down the Western medicine route. Using food as medicine is an easy and accessible way to help aid your body in a super gentle way.
Seed cycling is a beautiful, non-invasive routine to implement if you struggle with hormonal issues and want to try bring some balance back to your body. I am not a health care professional! If you struggle with chronic hormone issues, it’s important to work with a naturopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor or doctor to get you back on track.
There are so many beautiful ways food can help nourish + nurture our bodies. This is a basic guide on how to seed cycle and I hope it encouraged you. I’d love to know if you have tried seed cycling or if you are wanting to give it a go!
r e f e r e n c e s :