What the heck is seed cycling?
Simply put, seed cycling involves eating specific seeds during the two different phases of your monthly cycle. It’s an old, naturopathic therapy that uses food as a medicine to balance a woman’s natural hormonal cycle. Certain seeds are chosen for their ability to support our body’s production, detoxification and metabolism of hormones and gently urge our cycle to calm the F down. It’s also a refreshing counter remedy to the mixed bag of artificial hormones and synthetic therapies widely pushed.
What does eating a bunch of seeds fix?
Firstly, we are not doctors and seed cycling hasn’t been proven to ‘fix’ anything. In saying this, many women who experience the host of PMS (bloating, cramping, mood swings, headaches, low energy and hot flushes) that comes with a menstrual cycle have claimed to of benefited from seed cycling.
You first need to track your menstrual cycle and begin seed rotating from day one of your cycle. If your cycle is irregular or missing in action it could be worth consulting with your GP or Gynaecologist.
Phase one of your cycle (day 1 - 14)
During the first phase of your cycle, which is known as the follicular phase, your estrogen levels are increasing and an egg is maturing in preparation for ovulation. Flax and pumpkin seed rotation is used to balance your estrogen levels and help you to avoid estrogen dominance.
Eat a 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds + 1 tablespoon of ground pumpkin seeds each day to help your body build a steady level of estrogen. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and lignans (which help your body stop excess estrogen). Pumpkin seeds are high in Omega 6 fatty acids and zinc which help boost fertility and healthy immune functions.
Phase two of your cycle (day 15 - 28)
The second phase of your cycle is marked by the release of an egg at around day 14. This phase is known as the luteal phase. During this phase your body builds higher levels of progesterone which is responsible for ensuring a healthy uterine lining and making sure those eggs stick. This is the phase where many women experience PMS. This is usually caused by excess estrogen levels from the first phase of your cycle. During this phase you can use sesame and sunflower seed rotation to lower your estrogen levels and help boost your progesterone levels.
Eat 1 tablespoon of ground sesame seeds + 1 tablespoon of ground sunflower seeds each day to detoxify excess estrogen and promote progesterone production. Sesame seeds are also high in Omega 6 fatty acids as well as Vitamin E and sunflower seeds are high in Omega 3s and lignans, again to reduce estrogen and allow your progesterone levels to increase.
There are plenty of easy ways to incorporate these seeds into your diet, for example you could add them to your smoothie, porridge or as a salad topper… heck, melt some chocolate and make a ‘seed & nut’ treat.
Well there you have it... our VERY simple explanation of seed cycling. Whilst this blog post focused on helping with PMS, seed cycling has also been known to help regulate periods and alleviate symptoms associated with endometriosis or PCOS. If you are considering seed cycling for any of these conditions, it is always important to do your own research and consult your GP/Gyno before experimenting with your precious cycle. Hopefully we have planted a seed and given you a little food for thought ;)
On that note, happy cycling