Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Have you heard of seed cycling ? It is an alternative medicine practice that is said to help regulate reproductive hormones. It is a practice that has been around for a long time but has recently had a resurgence of popularity especially in women that may be seeking alternative therapies for regulating hormones.
It is a great option in my opinion as the side effects/ risk are pretty much non-existent.
Seed cycling is said to help balance the hormonal variations in estrogen and progesterone, as well as androgens. These hormone imbalances can cause symptoms ranging from hair growth, acne, weight changes, infertility, and irregular cycles.
Some people look to hormonal birth control to regulate these symptoms. But if you are trying to become pregnant or just looking to avoid taking hormone birth control the options can feel fairly limited.
So then what is seed cycling?
Essentially seed cycling is a diet supplementation with 4 different types of seeds : Pumpkin, Flax, sesame, and sunflower. These seeds are eaten every day in raw form and ground. Consuming the seeds raw is key because whole seeds won't break down completely in the gut, so grinding them enables your body to get the most nutrients. You can eat them alone or add them to smoothies or salads.
Seed cycling has 2 recommended stages.
Stage 1 : This stage begins on day 1 of your cycle or the first day of bleeding and continue until the day before you ovulate. This is approx 2 weeks. You should take - 1 TBSP of raw ground pumpkin in combination with 1 TBSP of raw ground flax seeds.
Stage 2: This stage begins the next 2 weeks or the day of ovulation until the day before your period begins. You should take- 1 TBSP of raw ground sunflower seeds along with 1 TBSP of raw ground sesame seeds.
So why supplement with these specific seeds anyways? Because they contain specific vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids that are believed to support hormonal function.
Pumpkin and Flax in stage 1 are to support the estrogen-dominant follicular phase when the ovaries increase estrogen levels in the body. Sunflower and sesame seed supplementation are to increase progesterone in the luteal phase.
Tips for success:
Grind one week's worth of seeds at a time
Seal tight and store in the fridge
Consume 2 TBSP of each seed daily according to stage
Happy Hormone Balance !