Seed cycling is an easy and natural way to support hormone balance and improve fertility. The delicate balance of women’s hormones is easily disrupted by factors such as diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and environmental toxins.
Hormonal imbalances can lead to health issues such as irregular periods, acne, PCOS, thyroid disorders, and chronic fatigue. Seed cycling helps to promote the healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone levels during the two main phases of the menstrual cycle, the follicular and luteal phases.
During the follicular phase, which lasts approximately 14 days, the body produces estrogen. Incorporating 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin and flax seeds into your diet daily during this phase helps to improve estrogen levels while preventing excess estrogen. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which supports progesterone production, and flax seeds contain lignans, which bind to excess estrogen.
The luteal phase follows ovulation and lasts about 14 days. During this phase, progesterone levels rise while estrogen levels slowly decline. To support this phase, 1-2 tablespoons of sunflower and sesame seeds are incorporated into the diet daily. Sunflower seeds contain selenium, which helps the liver to metabolize excess hormones, and sesame seeds contain lignans, which also help to balance hormones.
Seed cycling can also be beneficial for women who have recently come off hormonal birth control or are experiencing post-birth control syndrome symptoms such as acne, irregular periods, or PMS. If you have an irregular or missing period, seed cycling can still be incorporated by following the phases of the moon as a general guideline.
While there is little scientific research to support the direct relationship between seed cycling and hormonal balance, the specific nutritional components in flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds are believed to play a role in supporting the natural hormonal cycle. By staying on track with the 2-week rotation, seed cycling can nudge the body into an optimal menstrual cycle rhythm and improve overall hormone balance.
During the luteal phase, the body needs more progesterone to support the uterine lining and prepare for a potential pregnancy. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to support progesterone production. They also contain selenium, which can help reduce inflammation and support thyroid function.
Sesame seeds are also high in lignans, which, as previously mentioned, can help bind to excess estrogen in the body. They also contain zinc, which can help support progesterone production. Sesame seeds are also a good source of calcium, which can be beneficial for bone health.
Flax seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that supports overall health. They are also high in fiber, which can help support healthy digestion and regularity.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which is essential for hormone production and regulation. They are also a good source of magnesium, which can help reduce stress and support healthy sleep.
HOW TO INCORPORATE SEED CYCLING INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Incorporating seed cycling into your daily routine is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. You can add ground seeds to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or sprinkle them on top of salads or roasted vegetables. Some people also enjoy making seed cycling energy balls or bars as a convenient on-the-go snack.
It’s important to note that it can take some time to see the benefits of seed cycling. Consistency is key, and it’s recommended to try seed cycling for at least three menstrual cycles to see if it works for you.
While seed cycling alone isn’t a cure-all for hormonal imbalances, it can be a gentle and effective way to support hormone balance, reduce PMS symptoms, boost fertility, and potentially stimulate menstruation if it’s absent. By incorporating specific seeds into your diet during each phase of your menstrual cycle, you can support the natural ebb and flow of your hormones. As always, it’s important to listen to your body and work with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your hormonal health.