Seed Cycling for Hormonal Health

Seed cycling integrates different seeds into the diet at different times in the menstrual cycle to support optimal hormonal balance.

rea don to find out how to seed cycle and our secret Seed cycling Bliss Ball Recipes

Seeds carry oils, vitamins, and nutrients that can help support the body’s production, release, and metabolism of hormones. The seeds used in seed rotation are flax/pumpkin seeds, and sesame/sunflower seeds.

The lignans in sesame seeds and flax can help the body bind excess oestrogen, supporting its release, and omega-3s help cellular receptor sites to remain in good condition, which in turn keeps hormones in balance. Certain seeds are high in vitamins or minerals like zinc and selenium that help support hormone release.

How to Seed Cycle  

The seeds are rotated based on the follicular and luteal phases.

Phase 1 (the ‘follicular’ phase)

Starts with Day 1, which is the first day of the menstrual cycle (when you begin to bleed) and continues to ovulation (approx. the first 14 days or two weeks of the month).  This is when oestrogen builds up to encourage the uterine lining to plump up in preparation for possible implantation.

Phase 2 (the ‘luteal’ phase):

Luteal phase is the time between ovulation and menstruation (days 15-28, or the second half of the month), when progesterone surges to increase libido at ovulation, maintain the uterine lining (endometrium), and ultimately, to support a developing embryo. Many women ovulate much sooner or much later. In addition, some women experience shorter or longer cycles than the “ideal” 28-day cycle, so it’s important to know your body’s rhythms and read its signs.

Follicular Phase: Day 1 to Day 14, or until ovulation:

·         1 tablespoon each freshly ground raw flax seeds and pumpkin seeds daily.

Luteal Phase: From Day 15 (approx) to 28, or until menses:

·         1 tablespoon each freshly ground raw sunflower and sesame seeds daily.

Tips

·         Grind your seeds! This will help your body digest them, especially flax seeds, which can simply pass right through you intact.

·        Invest in a good grinder, reserved especially for seeds and herbs.

·         Sesame seeds are available with their hulls intact (unhulled) or with the shells removed (hulled). Unhulled are higher in calcium, which has been shown to reduce symptoms in the luteal phase but are high in oxalates which may not be appropriate for some people. Check with your practitioner if unsure.

·         Use organic seeds if possible, to minimize any potential hormonal disruptors in agricultural chemicals.

·         Sprinkle your ground seeds into oatmeal, on salads, in yogurt, or blend into smoothies.

·         Keep a journal to mark your symptoms through your seed cycling experience. It is said that benefits of seed cycling will appear in about three months.  

For those women with an irregular cycle:

The best way to begin seed cycling and find your way back to your natural rhythm, is to follow the 28-day lunar (moon) cycle. In this way, phase one is the time between the new moon and full moon; and phase two is from full moon to new moon.

When to see a Naturopath

If you need help understanding your cycle and how to know when you are ovulating.

Experiencing hormonal health concerns that aren’t resolving e.g. PMS (anxiety, bloating, cravings or depression), heavy menses, painful menses, menopausal symptoms,

If you have a more serious hormonal health diagnosis, we suggest you see a Naturopath to save time, money and optimise the potential health benefits of a targeted and accurate treatment regime. This includes conditions such as endometrioisis, PCOS, chronic pelvic pain and infertility.

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Sasha’s Seed Cycling Bliss Ball Recipes

Follicular Phase Bliss Balls

1/2 Cup Flaxseed

1 cup Pumpkin seeds

1/2 Cup Coconut

12 dates (soaked in water if Medjhool not used)

Blend all ingredients, roll into tablespoon size balls.

Notes: These bliss balls will also suit women who are peri-menopausal. Research shows that 1 tblsp of linseed a day helps to reduce flushing in menopause. These bliss balls are also great for men, pumpkin seeds are rich in selenium and zinc which is helpful for prostate health.

Luteal Phase Bliss Balls

1/2 Cup sunflower seeds

1/2 Cup tahini (sesame seeds)

1 Tblsp Cacao powder

12 dates (soaked in water if Medjool not used

1 tsp vanilla

10 drops stevia

Blend all ingredients, roll into tablespoon size balls.

Notes - these bliss balls have been made a little sweeter for those premenstrual sweet cravings.

Copyright Next Wave Therapy (2019)

Written by Next Wave Naturopaths, Emma Chapman-Sharp and Sasha Wray