Women’s hormones are a complex, beautiful system that functions within a delicate balance that can be strongly influenced by many lifestyle factors including sleep, exercise, hydration, stress levels, and diet. Even slight hormone imbalances can underlie health concerns such as irregular periods, acne, PCOS, thyroid disorders, bloating, IBS and fatigue.
What is Seed cycling?
Seed cycling is a completely natural food as a medicine-based approach that utilizes the best of nutritional and naturopathic techniques to support the restoration of a hormonal balance for women. Some people call it biohacking for your menstrual cycle and considering how easy it is, you could even call it a lifehack.
It is based on the use of 4 seeds: flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame taken at specific times throughout the month, and due to these seeds containing oils, vitamins, and minerals they support the production of key female hormones namely estrogen and progesterone (1).
What stage of life does seed cycling benefit?
Seed cycling can be used at any age from young pre-puberty to the transition to menopause, however, it is particularly useful when coming off the pill or struggling with amenorrhea (missed periods).
How to Seed Cycle
Seed cycling simply involves having 1 tablespoon of a particular seed each day of the month. You would only have that seed during that week of your cycle and no others. Often what is helpful is having 4 glass jars with the seeds and a label that says day 1-7, day 7-14, and so on.
Day 1 is the first day of your menses if you are not experiencing regular periods: this isn’t woo-woo but start with a full moon. The moon controls tides can affect our centre of gravity and yes influences our hormones. What if you don’t have a 28-day cycle? Most women don’t but by following this routine we are encouraging not just a healthy period but healthy ovulation at the day 14 mark and healthy ovulation has many health benefits for women outside of fertility. Ovulation relies on healthy progesterone and this in turn reduces inflammation and supports good bone health.
Day 1-7 - 1 tablespoon of Flaxseeds (Linseed) daily.
Day 7-14 - 1 tablespoon of Pumpkin seeds daily.
Day 14-21 - 1 tablespoon of Sunflower seeds daily.
Day 21-28 - 1 tablespoon of Sesame seeds daily.
Ideas for incorporating the Seeds
The sky is the limit here but simply add a tablespoon of the seed to a meal during your day. They can be added to smoothies, and yogurts, on top of salads or stir-fries, and on top of eggs and veggies. Avoid adding them to cooked foods though such as inside muffins or pancakes and instead use them as toppings or uncooked additions, keeping those oils intact is only going to help with their benefits.
Monica still has openings for the remainder of 2022 before the new year, book here to assist with bringing your hormones into balance.
1. Phipps, W. R., Martini, M. C., Lampe, J. W., Slavin, J. L., & Kurzer, M. S. (1993). Effect of flax seed ingestion on the menstrual cycle. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 77(5), 1215–1219. https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.77.5.8077314