What Is Seed Cycling?
Also referred to as “seed rotation,” it is a natural remedy used to balance hormones, mainly oestrogen and progesterone.
Four kinds of seeds are consumed during the phases of the menstrual cycle in order to support adequate synthesis and metabolism of the main female reproductive hormones: oestrogen and progesterone.
It can also be a tasty way to benefit both your recipe repertoire and your menstrual cycle!
By balancing oestrogen and progesterone, we can see a reduction in manifestations typical of an oestrogen-dominant picture, which can show up with:
* Heavy menses
* Irregular periods
* Insulin resistance
* Mood swings
It can also benefit women with peri-menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms.
Essentially, depending on where you are in your cycle, you want to consume seeds that contain nutrients aimed at supporting the right balance of the hormone that is, or should be, “dominant” in each of the two main phases of your cycle.
DAY 1 – 14 – Follicular phase
Consume 1 tablespoon each of ground flaxseeds + ground pumpkin seeds.
DAY 15 – 28 – Luteal phase
Consume 1 tablespoon each of ground sesame + sunflower seeds
The phytoestrogens and nutrients found in these seeds aid adequate oestrogen:progesterone ratio by preventing antagonistic oestrogen metabolites from forming and encouraging excess oestrogen elimination through dietary fibre, as well as providing co-factors for progesterone synthesis.
During the Follicular Phase
Consuming seeds that contain phytoestrogens can help balance oestrogen levels. Because phytoestrogens are a plant-based source of oestrogen, they may modify the body’s oestrogen levels, helping increase and decrease oestrogen levels as needed. Also, seeds (and other foods) high in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body and regulate follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are high in zinc and lignans, which naturally support oestrogen production, help clear excess oestrogen from the body, and prepare the body for progesterone secretion.
During the Luteal Phase
Incorporating seeds (and other foods) that contain omega-6 fatty acids, which convert into gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body, supports progesterone levels and reduces inflammation. (1)
Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are high in selenium, lignans, and omega-6, which support liver function and proper hormone excretion, regulate oestrogen and progesterone levels, and reduce inflammation. Also, sesame seeds are high in zinc and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which both support progesterone production.
With a little before-hand preparation, you can easily incorporate Seed Cycling into your lifestyle and after three to four months (remember, we are working alongside new follicles) you should be able to witness the benefits.
A few ideas
- Add to coconut yogurt/nut butter + fruit.
- Blend into a smoothie or smoothie bowl.
- Add to a salad or breakfast salad.
- Add to oats or overnight oats.
- Add to avocado toast or nut butter toast.
- Add to roasted sweet potatoes.
- Sprinkle on top of hummus.
The seeds are best eaten raw, possibly lightly toasted. They will lose some of their value if cooked.
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