Seed Cycling: Using Nature to Your Advantage for Hormonal Health
Wouldn't it be great if we as women had balanced hormones all the time so we didn't have to experience breast tenderness, low sex drive, emotional imbalances, bloating, and sleep problems? Alas, this is real life, and hormonal imbalances inevitably occur—especially when we factor in things like diet, activity level, and environmental toxins. Fortunately, there's a way to regulate hormones and ease these symptoms naturally: seed cycling.
What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling involves eating certain types of seeds during certain phases of the menstrual cycle to regulate hormone levels. The seeds in question—flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame—contain nutrients that naturally help regulate hormone levels. Flax, sesame, and pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which helps support progesterone production. They also have lignans, which block excess estrogen as progesterone levels rise. And sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which aids in estrogen production; and selenium, which rids the liver of excess estrogen.
Women have done it for centuries, but seed cycling has recently gotten some love for its natural ability to help ease PMS, reduce postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, and even aid fertility.
How does seed cycling work?
During the follicular phase, eat 1-2 tablespoons of flax seeds and 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds each day, starting small with 1 tablespoon and then gradually moving up to 2 tablespoons after at least a cycle. During the luteal phase, eat the same amount but instead with sunflower and sesame seeds. Women with irregular periods or no periods at all can always .
Getting started with seed cycling
Seed cycling works best when the seeds are ground, raw, organic, unsalted, unroasted, and stored in the refrigerator. They can be eaten right off the spoon or added to smoothies, yogurt, salad, or oatmeal. The best part? They're essentially superfoods to begin with. All offer healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats, plenty of protein and fiber, and nutrients that support brain and gut health as well. So it's a win-win-win!
While it can take up to three months to experience any noticeable changes, it's worth trying over taking prescription medications, having unnecessary procedures, or simply living with these symptoms. At its core, seed cycling is just another way to improve feminine health, the natural way: using the healing power of food.