• Alex Bovell

What is Seed Cycling for hormonal imbalances?

Updated: Feb 10, 2019

Seed Cycling:

This is a pattern of eating that combines specific seeds throughout different phases of the menstrual cycle to naturally and gradually balance hormones. If your menstrual cycle is out of whack and you’re noticing many symptoms related to this, introducing seed cycling may be a way that you can support your system and rebalance hormones.

In my previous post i discussed the female menstrual cycle in detail. It may be useful, if you haven’t read this to click this link and read that first before continuing as it explains simply how our cycles work.

Basically we know that our menstrual cycle is extremely complicated and requires this delicate balance of hormones to run smoothly and regularly. A balanced menstrual cycle will translate to a regular 21-35 day cycle that runs smoothly with very little issues, meaning an absence of symptoms (or very little disturbance). When oestrogen & progesterone are out of balance, symptoms may begin to occur such as those described below.

What can it help?

Please note, it’s been found that seed cycling can take around 3-4 months before results are noticed, so stick with it long-term! 

- Irregular periods

- Heavy flows

- PMS: bloating, mood swings, pain, energy, headaches

- Endometriosis

- Hypothyroid

- Weight gain (hips & thighs)

- Water retention

- Fatigue

- Mood swings

How can Seed Cycling help the Menstrual Cycle?

The menstrual cycle is made up of 2 cycles – follicular phase & luteal phase. In between these 2 phases is ovulation.

Follicular Phase: This includes day 1 of your period until around day 14 when ovulation occurs. During this phase oestrogen is building up prepping the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. The seeds used help promote oestrogen balance & detoxification.

Luteal Phase: This includes the day after ovulation ~ day 15 – 28. During this time, progesterone rises to increase libido (conveniently around ovulation), maintain the uterine lining & support the possible pregnancy. The seeds used help increase progesterone production.

To explain this in a nutshell, the seeds used are nutrient powerhouses you can find in your regular supermarket. So there’s no need to go running to some holistic health shop in woop woop requesting the ancient seeds from the amazon! No, Coles or Woolies will do just fine!

Phase 1: Follicular Phase

Days 1-14 of your cycle, beginning on the first day you bleed

Take 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseeds & 1 Tbsp. ground pumpkin seeds dailyBalance & regulate healthy oestrogen absorption & productionSupport clearance of excess oestrogen

Flaxseeds contain lignans which bind to excess oestrogen in the body and help eliminate it.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, which prevents oestrogen from converting to harmful forms of testosterone. Zinc also helps the body prepare for progesterone production for the next half of your cycle.

Phase 2: Luteal Phase

Days 15-28 of your cycle, after ovulation

Take 1 Tbsp. ground sunflower seeds & 1 Tbsp. ground sesame seeds dailyIncreases progesterone productionOur body requires an increase in progesterone to protect the uterine lining and prepare for a possible pregnancy

Sunflower Seeds: provide selenium & vitamin E which is an important antioxidant the liver requires to detoxify hormones. When the liver is overburdened cramping and menstrual irregularity can occur. High in lignans which mimic progesterone actions.

Sesame Seeds: high in zinc which stimulates progesterone production. They also contain lignans which increase the bioavailability of sunflower seeds!

Why do I need to grind the seeds?

Consuming ground seeds increases their bioavailability, which means it optimises the absorption of their nutrients into the body. Additionally, store your ground seeds in an airtight container because when they’re exposed to light, air or heat their nutritional content is damaged.

I really hope this has been helpful for you. It’s such a cheap & easy way to naturally balance hormones so why not give it a go! Remember, results often don’t show for 3-4 months… please stick to it 🙂 xxx