Seed Cycling to Balance Your Hormones
Seed Cycling is something that has been on my list to try for a couple of years now and I just never have. Why not do it together?! Let's jump right into it.
- Seed Cycling is simply eating certain seeds based on the phase of your cycle you are in.
- Why? It can help the body relieve PMS symptoms, balance estrogen and progesterone with each other and help heal from larger symptoms like PCOS and endometriosis.
- Our cycle is broken up into two main phases: 1. Follicular Phase which starts on the first day of menstruation and goes until one day before ovulation. (This is where an app or fertility tracker comes in handy. I use the MyFlo App by Alisa Vitti.) 2. Luteal Phase which begins on the first day of ovulation and goes for 14 days or one day before you start your period.
- Why is it important to sync with these different phases? During Phase 1, Follicular Phase, estrogen peaks to shed the lining of your uterus and then drops to signal to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands release another egg. Estrogen rises again to increase the lining of your uterus to get ready to hold an egg. During Phase 2, Luteal Phase, progesterone rises to to signal to the body to keep the uterine lining in tact and tells the pituitary gland to stop sending FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) so that only one egg is goes into the uterus at a time. If they egg is not fertilized progesterone stops, which signals your period in order to shed the lining.
- So, estrogen and progesterone must be in sync with one another in order to have a balanced cycle. When these are off a whole slew of symptoms can be released.
- Why seeds? The phytonutrients in seeds (anything in a plant that is helpful to human health) can play an important role in hormone balance. So cool!
- Lignans work to increase estrogen or bind excess estrogen to keep your estrogen levels in check. (flax and sesame seeds)
- Seeds are also full of healthy fats which aid in healthy hormone production, like progesterone. (pumpkin and sunfllower seeds)
How to seed cycle:
- During Days 1-14 (beginning on the first day of your period and going until one day before ovulation) eat 1 Tbsp. of flax and 1 Tbsp. of pumpkin seeds.
- During Days 15-28 (beginning on the first day of ovulation and going one day before your period starts) eat 1 Tbsp. of ground sunflower and 1 Tbsp. of ground sesame seeds.
- Always use raw, unroasted, unsalted seeds.
- It is important that they are freshly ground. I'll update with my measurements of how much I grind for one week. Note: if you grind ahead of time you must place in the fridge to keep them fresh.
- The easiest way is to throw whole seeds in a smoothie and call it a day. You can add them to anything you eat: oatmeal, salads, smoothies, soups, bowls etc.
- It may take 3-4 cycles to notice a difference. Be patient, your symptoms did not happen overnight either.
- Who should do it? Anyone! But especially if you have PMS, imbalanced hormones, irregular cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, perimenopause or other symptoms.