What even is seed cycling?
If you’re reading this thinking ‘seed cycling what the he…’ you’re not alone. I too, had never heard of it until I recently attended a seminar about balancing your hormones through diet and it was mentioned. I went home and researched it like crazy and thought why isn’t this common knowledge!?
So what is it? Seed cycling is consuming different seeds during different times of your cycle to help balance your hormones better. Not only are seeds rich in vitamins and minerals but they contain lignans which bind up excess hormones and the seed oils contain fatty acids which your hormones love. There are 4 seeds you’ll need:
FLAX/ LINSEED seeds (same seed it just has two names)
Why though ?
Seed cycling can help with hormonal imbalance symptoms such as heavy bleeding, fatigue, sleep issues, pls, headaches, weight gain, cellulite, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and irregular periods. It can also aid fertility and help support the body with more serious conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Sounds good right! It can also help women going through menopause.
How to do it?
Your menstrual cycle consists of two phases the follicular phase and the luteal phase.
The follicular phase (1st phase)
This phase runs from day 1-14 of your cycle ( from the first day of your period to ovulation) and is your oestrogen dominant phase.
For this phase you’ll need 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per day.
Flax seeds help to block excess oestrogen and the pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which helps prevent the estrogen from converting to testosterone and gets your progesterone levels ready to rise as you approach phase 2 of your cycle.
The luteal phase (2nd phase)
This phase runs from day 15-28 of your cycle ( from ovulation until the day before your period ) and is the progesterone dominant phase of your cycle.
For this phase you’ll need 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds per day.
Sesame seeds help to block excess oestrogen and sunflower seeds contain selenium which aids In progesterone production and helps to balance out your hormones.
But my periods aren’t regular/I don’t have a bleed/ I’m peri menopausal ?
Now this is all very well and good assuming you have a regular period cycle. Unfortunately most women don’t, or if, like me,you use a progesterone only contraception you might not have a bleed at all ( yes I am a lucky one!).
But you can still implement seed cycling to balance your hormones and you can use the moon to help. Yeah that’s right, the ocean isn’t the only tide the moon affects, it affects the one downstairs too.
In ancient times, back in the time before electricity when there was only natural light , every woman’s natural rhythm was to menstruate under the new moon and ovulate under the full moon.
So if your gift from Mother Nature isn’t regular you can start the first set of seeds on the first day of the new moon and the second set two weeks later on the full moon. Check a moon Calendar online to find out moon cycle dates.
How to prepare your seeds
You’ll need to grind your seeds up, as whole seeds pass straight through the digestive system, so you don’t absorb all the nutrients. Seeds oxidise when ground so you need to eat them pretty quickly after grinding them, don’t grind batches as they won’t last. Keep your seeds in the fridge. You can add your ground seeds to porridge, smoothies, stir fry, soups and salad.
Changes won’t happen overnight, you’ll need to do 3-4 cycles before you start to see the benefits. Be consistent and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of naturally balancing your hormones!