Hormone imbalances can cause a wide variety of issues, ranging from fatigue and insomnia to anxiety and depression. For many individuals, traditional medical treatments do not bring the desired results. One of the alternative treatments that have been gaining traction in recent years is seed cycling. Here, we will discuss the basics of seed cycling and how it can help balance hormones naturally.
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a dietary approach that involves eating a combination of different seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower, at certain times during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This practice is believed to support hormone balance and overall reproductive health.
Seeds contain many plant compounds and essential fatty acids that are thought to influence our hormones. Specifically, the seed cycling diet dictates that women should consume different seeds on specific days of the cycle in order to restore balance to their bodies. The goal is to promote the body’s natural processes in order to bring proper balance while avoiding excess estrogen or progesterone dominance.
The timing of seed consumption on this diet is important; next, we will discuss when to consume different types of seeds throughout your menstrual cycle for optimal hormone-balancing results.
Benefits of seed cycling
Seed cycling is a holistic practice that utilizes certain seeds and their oils to promote natural hormone balance in the body. Practitioners of seed cycling have reported improvements in mood, energy, libido, quality of sleep, and digestion. Certain key functions of the endocrine system are affected thanks to the powerful nutrients found in seeds. These include hormones like estrogen and progesterone as well as other products of the adrenal glands such as cortisol and adrenaline.
The practice is believed to align with one's own menstrual cycle, incorporating different flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds/oil at different times within your cycle as a way of managing hormone levels to bring even greater balance.
Studies suggest particular benefits for women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), perimenopause mood swings, insomnia from excess stress hormones (like cortisol), breast tenderness associated with PMS symptoms, and hirsutism due to hormonal imbalances.
Since seed cycling requires no pills or complicated instructions - just eating a handful of 4 different kinds of raw organic seeds every day - it's a great therapy for those people looking for natural ways to manage their reproductive health without resorting to medicines or other types of therapies.
Additionally, I have found that people have better results when they include exercise regularly into their daily routines which will help with blood sugar levels allowing better absorption of the essential fatty acids from the raw organic seeds when during seed cycling protocol!
How to Seed Cycle
Seed cycling is a simple and natural way to balance hormones in both men and women. It is a simple practice that has been around for many years. This guide will provide a practical overview of the seed cycling process, as well as the benefits of seed cycling for hormonal balance. Get ready to learn how to seed cycle and the benefits it can provide.
What are the different seeds used for seed cycling?
Seed cycling is a practice that has been developed and used for many years, although it has recently gained popularity due to its potential health benefits. The premise of seed cycling is simple: consuming specific types of seeds during certain phases of your menstrual cycle can help to promote hormone balance.
The two main types of seeds used in seed cycling are flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, although other types of seeds may also be included in the protocol. Flaxseeds are believed to help support estrogen production in the body while pumpkin seeds are thought to support healthy progesterone production.
For the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are low, you can have 2 tablespoons a day of freshly ground flaxseeds in order to encourage estrogen production. During the second half of your cycle- weeks 3-4 where progesterone levels tend to be too low- you should consume 2 tablespoons a day of freshly ground pumpkin seeds as these contain compounds that help raise levels of progesterone in your body.
Some other types of seeds that may be used include sesame, sunflower, and hemp, however, flax and pumpkin are generally agreed upon as the most important ones for successful seed cycling. Seeds should always be ground (preferably using an electric coffee grinder) before being eaten, making it much easier for our bodies to digest and absorb their nutrients!
How to seed cycle for hormone balance
Seed cycling is an ancient practice designed to take advantage of the natural hormones found in seeds, as well as the hormonal imbalances that can occur in women. It works to provide a balance of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from seed sources with their natural hormone content to maximize hormonal health.
The goal is to eat two different kinds of seeds for two consecutive weeks each month in order to meet the varying hormonal needs throughout the cycle. During your follicular phase—the first 14 days of your cycle—you are encouraged to eat one teaspoon of ground flaxseed and pumpkin seeds each day.
Flaxseeds contain high amounts of lignans and phytoestrogens that may act as weak estrogens when consumed regularly. These weaken or block excess estrogen signals in order for our bodies to produce more balanced hormones throughout our monthly cycle. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and magnesium, both important minerals responsible for balancing hormones and preventing PMS symptoms like mood swings or cramping pain.
During the second 14 days of your menstrual cycle—the luteal phase—you will rotate the flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds out for sesame and sunflower seed intake. Sesame seed contains lignans which work similarly to those found in flaxseed but on a higher level due to its higher content of lignans per gram weight than other seeds studied so far; this makes it great for helping with those pesky PMS symptoms such as mood swings or acquired irritability associated with hormonal imbalances caused by excess estrogen signals during this time period while sunflower seed consumption helps us fill up on Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and magnesium which helps cut down an overly excitable adrenal system during ovulation when more progesterone is consistently being produced.
By alternating between these four types of seed — flaxseed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, and sunflower seed — every woman's body will be adequately nourished through her hormone cycle so she can have some control over the way she manages her health.
Recipes for Seed Cycling
Seed cycling is a great way to naturally balance hormones and support your body throughout the month. It involves consuming different seeds at different stages of your menstrual cycle. This helps to reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as PMS, fatigue, and mood swings. Here we will look at some easy and delicious recipes you can follow while seed cycling.
Smoothies are a great way to incorporate the proper balance of seeds that are recommended for seed cycling. Start by combining seeds and other ingredients such as yogurt, fruit, nuts, and honey in a blender. Then blend until it forms a smooth texture. Here are some suggestions for making delicious and nutritious smoothies for seed cycling:
- Banana Acai: Blend 1/4 cup each of hemp and pumpkin seeds, 1 banana, 1 acai berry packet, ½ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup almond milk, and 1 tablespoon honey.
- Green Dream: Blend ¼ cup each sunflower and flax seeds with one handful of spinach leaves, ½ banana,1/2 avocado, ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt,¼ almond milk or any nut milk you prefer, and 2 teaspoons honey.
- Choco Orange Burst: Blend ¼ cup chia and sesame seeds with one frozen banana, 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs or powder,1 orange peeled off the rinds, ¾ cup coconut or nut milk, and 2 teaspoons honey.
Salads are a great way to incorporate many of the nutritional benefits of seed cycling into your diet. Start by adding ¼ cup each day of either flax or sunflower seeds to your favorite leafy greens, in a mix that suits your tastes and nutrient needs. Both flax and sunflower seeds are tasty additions to salads and will add healthy fats, protein, zinc, and other key nutrients.
An easy salad dressing you can make at home with well-sourced ingredients can include one tbsp each of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange juice for some natural sweetness, and sea salt for balance – combine those ingredients and you’ll have a delicious homemade salad dressing.
Flaxseed meal is also an excellent addition to any salad; it’s loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber which can aid digestion. To make a simple but effective salad with a flaxseed meal, just mix 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal with half an avocado (or one whole avocado if you prefer) and top it off with some pepper or spices to taste.
You can also make use of sesame oil in salads – its rich flavor pairs perfectly with colorful vegetables such as tomato, spinach, or cucumber. Simmer sesame oil for about 3 minutes until it has reached its peak fragrance. Add two tablespoons into the hot oil when ready, taking care not to let it burn. Drizzle the cooked sesame oil over your vegetables or salads for maximum flavor!
Seed cycling snacks are an easy and enjoyable way to increase your intake of beneficial omega-3, 6, 9, and other important minerals. Eating strategically during the four-week cycle gives your body the essential nutrients it needs to support hormones, balance moods, and improve energy levels. Snacks usually consist of a combination of nuts, seeds, grains, and/or fruits that have been blended together into bars or balls.
Small snack-sized portions of seed cycling snacks can be consumed in the middle of the afternoon or right before bedtime. They provide a slow-release source of carbohydrates that helps balance your blood sugars and prevent the fatigue that dips can cause later in the day. Some seed cycling recipes include:
-Oat bars with Sunflower seeds
-Pumpkin Seed bites with almond flour.
-Hemp & Chia Seed balls with dates & cacao powder
-Flax flaxseed crackers
-Tahini & Milled flaxseed Energy Bites
-Magnesium-rich Trail Mix Snack bars With Cashews, almonds, And Coconut Flakes
Tips for Successful Seed Cycling
Seed cycling is an effective way to support hormone balance. It is a simple practice of consuming specific seeds at different times of the month to support the body’s natural hormone production.
This can help balance hormones, reduce symptoms of hormonal imbalances such as PMS, and improve fertility. To get the most out of seed cycling, here are some tips for successful seed cycling.
Track your progress
Establishing a seed cycling routine is key to helping your body rebalance itself and get the most out of the practice. In order to properly track your progress, it's important to establish a baseline with which you can measure an improvement or lack thereof.
There are a variety of ways you can choose to track your progress with successful seed cycling:
-Pay attention to how your system feels each day and note any changes that may occur over time, such as improved energy levels or better sleep habits.
-Take daily notes in a journal documenting any changes in hormonally-related symptoms such as PMS or acne flare-ups.
-A hormone health test (such as DUTCH testing) before and after the 8-week period of seed cycling is an excellent way to measure biological evidence. It allows for comprehensive analysis allowing you to measure shifts in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, melatonin & thyroid hormones.
-Keep 10-minute pulse measurements twice per day - once upon waking up and once at bedtime following The Beck Protocol (also known as bioenergetics) - this is helpful when assessing adrenal health by tracking heart rate variability parameters over time & identifying any points of strain on the system.
Incorporate other healthy lifestyle choices
In addition to seed cycling, incorporating other healthy lifestyle choices into your routine can naturally support the endocrine system and balance hormones. Some ways of doing this include exercising regularly, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep each night, maintaining a balanced diet, supplementing vitamins and minerals as needed, avoiding toxins where possible, and reducing environmental estrogens from plastics.
Exercise is a great way to help maintain hormone balance by increasing circulation and providing an outlet for stress hormones. It also helps strengthen bones which can prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Stress levels should be managed through mindfulness practices such as meditation, journaling, or deep breathing exercises.
A lack of sleep can lead to major hormone imbalances due to the circadian rhythm disruption caused by insomnia or any other form of improper sleeping habits. A balanced diet with plenty of whole foods is key in helping keep good health while avoiding unnecessary processed foods that may contain toxins or additives that could disrupt hormone production.
A woman's nutritional needs change with age, so it's important to supplement vitamins and minerals when needed by speaking with a nutritionist or doctor if desired. Also, pay attention to environmental factors such as avoiding unnecessary exposure to plastic containers which may contain phthalates and BPA which are known endocrine disruptors found in plastics.
Incorporating these healthy lifestyle choices into one’s routine alongside seed cycling increases the chances of natural endocrine system regulation and overall well-being.
Seed cycling is a relatively simple concept that requires consistency and commitment in order to be effective. The best way to ensure you’re getting the benefits of seed cycling is to enjoy your cycle daily, usually through smoothies or meals, so your body can consistently benefit from them. It’s important to note that while the beneficial properties of seeds are many, they are only truly powerful when used consistently.
Additionally, if you are eating seeds for their nutrient benefits it’s helpful to choose organic sources and properly store them. Organic sources avoid exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, which can reduce the efficacy of your cycle as well as possibly introduce negative effects on your digestive system.
Properly storing seeds like flax, chia, and pumpkin in airtight containers after opening will create an oxygen-free environment and extend the shelf life longer than if exposed to air. Furthermore, some health experts recommend soaking certain seeds for maximum benefits like easy digestion. Flaxseed is especially prone to get stuck in teeth if not properly ground or soaked first before eating it.
The goal of seed cycling is to support the body in making natural hormone fluctuations. Other lifestyle habits such as getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining regular movement should also be included in your overall wellness routine. It's also important to note that hormonal issues can stem from other more serious medical problems, so it’s recommended to check with your healthcare provider before beginning a seed cycling routine.
By following the basic guidelines mentioned here, you can easily add seed cycling into your lifestyle for improved hormone balance and overall well-being. As you practice throughout the month, you may notice an improvement in energy and outlook — both of which are key elements when striving for better health.