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  • Writer's pictureLucy Sparkes

Seed Cycling for Hormones: How to use seeds in your daily diet for healthy hormones




Seed cycling is a natural approach that some individuals find beneficial for regulating their menstrual cycles. It involves incorporating specific seeds into your diet during different phases of your menstrual cycle to support hormonal balance. Below is a practical guide for clients interested in seed cycling:


What is Seed Cycling and How Does it Work? 

Seed cycling is a natural approach that some individuals find beneficial for regulating their menstrual cycles. It involves incorporating specific seeds into your diet during different phases of your menstrual cycle to support hormonal balance. By following a specific seed rotation schedule, individuals aim to support their natural hormonal fluctuations, potentially alleviating symptoms of hormonal imbalances and promoting regular menstrual cycles.


1. Gather the Seeds: Before starting seed cycling, ensure you have the following seeds:

  • Pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted) and flaxseeds (ground) - for Phase 1 (from the first day of menstruation until ovulation).

  • Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds - for Phase 2 (from ovulation until the first day of menstruation).

2. Track Your Menstrual Cycle: Begin by tracking your menstrual cycle for a few months. Note the start and end dates of each period to determine the length of your cycle and identify any irregularities.


3. Phase 1: Follicular Phase (Day 1 to Ovulation) - Approximately Days 1 to 14:

  • Consume one tablespoon of ground pumpkin seeds and one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) daily.

  • You can add pumpkin and flaxseeds to smoothies, yoghurt, oatmeal, or salads for easy incorporation.

4. Phase 2: Luteal Phase (Ovulation to Day 1) - Approximately Days 15 to the end of your cycle:

  • Consume one tablespoon of sesame seeds and one tablespoon of sunflower seeds daily.

  • Sesame and sunflower seeds can be eaten as a snack, added to salads, or sprinkled over soups.

5. Maintain Consistency: Consistency is key in seed cycling. Stick to the rotation throughout your menstrual cycle and try to incorporate the seeds into your daily diet.


Why Seed Cycling Might Be Helpful: Seed cycling is believed to be helpful for some individuals in regulating their menstrual cycles due to the following reasons:


1. Hormonal Balance: The specific nutrients in pumpkin, flaxseeds, sesame, and sunflower seeds can support hormone production and balance, potentially reducing hormonal imbalances.

2. Nutrient Content: Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and essential fatty acids, which can support progesterone production. Flaxseeds and sesame seeds are rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, which may help modulate oestrogen levels. Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which can aid hormonal health.

3. Menstrual Regularity: By supporting hormonal balance, seed cycling may help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce irregularities.

4. Reduced PMS Symptoms: Some individuals report a reduction in premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, cramping, and mood swings, while following seed cycling.

Here are some practical tips on how to incorporate pumpkin, flaxseeds, sesame, and sunflower seeds into your daily diet while following seed cycling:


1. Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Snack on them: Keep a small container of raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds at your desk, in your bag, or in the kitchen for a quick and nutritious snack.

  • Salad topper: Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over salads to add a nutty crunch and extra nutrients to your greens.

  • Smoothie boost: Blend pumpkin seeds into your morning smoothies for a protein and fibre boost.

2. Flaxseeds:

  • Ground flaxseed mix: Add one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to your morning cereal, oatmeal, or yoghurt for a nutty flavour and nutritional benefits.

  • Baking ingredient: Mix ground flaxseeds into your muffin or pancake batter for added nutrients and a pleasant texture. These can also be added to savoury dishes such as soups and stews to thicken sauces.

  • Flaxseed dressing: Create a simple dressing by whisking ground flaxseeds with olive oil, lemon juice, and your favourite herbs.

3. Sesame Seeds:

  • Stir-fry topper: Sprinkle sesame seeds over vegetable stir-fries or Asian-inspired dishes for a delicate nutty taste.

  • Hummus or dip: Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top of hummus or other dips for a delightful crunch.

  • Toasted sesame garnish: Lightly toast sesame seeds and use them as a topping for salads, soups, or steamed vegetables.

4. Sunflower Seeds:

  • Breakfast boost: Sprinkle sunflower seeds over your morning cereal or granola to add extra flavour and nutrients.

  • Homemade trail mix: Create your own trail mix by combining sunflower seeds with your favourite nuts, dried fruits, and a touch of dark chocolate.

  • Nut butter substitute: Blend sunflower seeds with a little oil to make a homemade sunflower seed butter that you can spread on toast or use as a dip for fruits and veggies.

General Tips:

  • Prepare seed blends: You can mix the seeds together to create a blend that you can easily add to various dishes.

  • Grind seeds: Consider grinding pumpkin and flax together & sesame and sunflower seeds together, then storing them in a jar for easy use.

  • Experiment with recipes: Be creative and experiment with different recipes to find enjoyable ways to incorporate these seeds into your meals.

  • Remember portion sizes: While seeds are nutritious, they are also calorie-dense. Stick to the recommended daily serving size of one tablespoon per seed type during each phase of the cycle.

By incorporating these seeds into your daily diet, you can enjoy a variety of flavours and nutritional benefits while supporting your hormonal health through seed cycling. Remember that making small changes over time can lead to sustainable habits. Listen to your body and find what works best for you!


Important Notes:

  • Seed cycling is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns about your menstrual cycle, consult a healthcare professional before starting seed cycling.

  • Results may vary from person to person, and it may take a few months of consistent practice to notice any effects.

I hope this helps to easily add some hormone balancing foods into your daily food intake.


NB: These seeds are also a valuable contribution to meeting your rainbow foods daily variety, therefore nourishing a healthy gut microbiome and helping to fend off nasty pathogens which may cause tummy flu, worm infections & gastrointestinal symptoms.


Sending best wishes for great hormone & gut health and happiness,

 

Lucy

Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner


P.s drop me a line via my 'Get In Touch' page or social media accounts to say 'hi' and subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love for you to join my Nourishing Connection Community :)


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