What I Learned After 6 Months of Seed Cycling
In a recent post I touted the benefits of seed cycling, which involves eating a combination of seeds that naturally mimic estrogen and progesterone as a way to control menstrual cycles and hormonal changes. Like with most alternative solutions I cover—and because my own cycle decided to go rouge recently—I decided to try it for myself.
Here's what I learned.
Seed cycling got me back on track. I've almost always had a regular cycle, but it recently got so out of whack that I had trouble keeping track of it. I was either a week early or 4 days late every month—and there was no rhyme or reason to it as far as I could tell. But after a month or two of eating 1-2 teaspoons daily of ground pumpkin and flax seeds (during the follicular phase of my cycle) and 1-2 teaspoons daily of ground sesame and sunflower seeds (during the luteal phase), I'm happy to report that my cycle is back on track. Six months in, and things are still on schedule. I'm truly amazed.
Seed cycling reduced my beach-ball bloat. As any woman in her 40s can attest, there are days when you feel like yourself and days when you feel like an inflated beach ball. Bloating is no joke, it's super uncomfortable, and it's almost impossible to debloat once it kicks in. This started happening to me pretty frequently every month, again with no rhyme or reason. But after about 2 months of seed cycling, my beach-ball belly decreased drastically. I'll admit that bloating still does happen, but now it's much less frequent—and less drastic.
Seed cycling was easy to incorporate. I bought ground, raw, organic, unsalted, and unroasted seeds on Amazon; stored each in a sealed, labeled jar; and found a dedicated, easy-to-reach spot for them in the refrigerator to make sure I stuck to the routine and made it a habit. I set daily reminders on my phone until I no longer needed them. I either ate them directly from the spoon with a glass of water or added them to smoothies.
Seed cycling made me rethink breakfast. While these seeds mimic estrogen and progesterone to balance hormone levels naturally, that's not all they do. All four seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and fiber that support both brain and gut health. Because these are calorie-dense foods as well, I've simply made them part of my morning breakfast. It's a great way to get these nutrients first thing in the morning.
The bottom line
Seed cycling worked better than I could have predicted—and I have no intention of giving it up, especially as I inch ever closer to perimenopause. If you're experiencing hormonal changes, irregular periods, bloating, or other intense period-related symptoms like I was, I encourage you to give seed cycling a (natural) shot!