Are your periods preventing you from leading a full life? Between suffering from premenstrual syndrome symptoms to actually having your period we know that a minimum of two full weeks have gone by feeling moody, achy, and out of sorts. And the cycle starts again! Our hormones keep fluctuating and getting easily affecting by internal and external factors, and though you’ve probably tried your hands at almost everything we think you may have never heard of ‘seed cycling’ before. Seed cycling is a holistic practice aimed at balancing our raging hormones by involving alternative medicine practices. It revolves around the idea of supporting our menstrual cycle by consuming specific seeds that will help regulate our hormones and minimise any symptoms resulting from hormonal imbalances.
What Is Seed Cycling?
We are no experts here but we all have an idea about how certain hormones reign during certain phases of our cycle. The idea is that we can support our hormones by simply consuming the right seeds based on their nutritional values. This is not a new concept, historically many indigenous cultures and ancient medicine were based on the nutritional values of herbs, plants, foods, and essential oils to promote well-being in general and women’s cycles in particular.
How Does it Work?
We need to promote estrogen production during the first half of our cycle or the follicular phase (days one to 14), while the second half of the cycle; the luteal phase (days 15 to 28) requires us to support our progesterone levels.
During the first half of your cycle you have to consume one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds and one tablespoon of flax seeds as they are known to have high contents of omega-3 and zinc. Flax is a phytoestrogen plant that is known for supporting estrogen levels, while pumpkin seeds include phytonutrients that support healthy testosterone, estrogen balance as well as metabolism.
For the second half of your cycle (days 15 to 28) we will need to amp up our omega-6 and selenium, and this can be done by consuming a tablespoon each from sesame and sunflower seeds. These two seeds work on metabolizing and breaking down estrogen while encouraging the production of progesterone.
In addition to the above, these seeds are also high in omega fatty acids, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and fiber. The seeds have to be consumed raw and they should be freshly ground. You can add them to your smoothies, salads and yogurt easily.
What Are The Benefits?
If you commit to seed cycling you are expected to witness more regular periods, less cramping, moodiness and fatigue, reduction in hormonal acne, you can also treat polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, and it can greatly help with menopause.
Another surprising benefit of seed cycling has to do with your bowel movement! Yes you heard right! These seeds are high in fiber and this high fiber content is helping us eliminate excess estrogen by acting as a binder in our digestive tract (estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormonal issues).
While there are no documented risks or benefits of seed cycling, you may want to consult with an expert. But those who tried it claim that they could feel the benefits. A decrease in PMS symptoms was widely witnessed, as well as an easing of menopausal symptoms was noticed by another group. Using food as medicine poses virtually no risks as opposed to using higher dose supplements. I, personally will aim to try this for a month or so, and will report back 🙂