Seed Cycling For Hormone Health
Seed cycling is a simple but powerful tool that can help improve hormone health and cycle balance without complicating your daily routine! By focusing on consuming certain seeds during the first and second half of your monthly cycle, you can support your natural hormone rhythms. Whether you are on the pill, trying to conceive, or just looking to get your cycle back on track, seed cycling is a great addition to your nutrition plan!
During the follicular phase (Days 1 - 14 of your monthly cycle with day 1 being the first day of your period), your body increases estrogen levels in order to build up the uterine lining. Consuming 1-2 tbsp of freshly ground flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds daily can help to support balanced estrogen levels. Flaxseeds contain lignans which help to reduce excess estrogen in the body, while pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which encourages progesterone needed for the luteal phase.
During the luteal phase (Days 15 - 30 of your monthly cycle), your body needs to increase progesterone levels which helps to thicken the uterine lining and prepare the body for pregnancy (Even if you aren’t looking to conceive right now, seed cycling is still great for your body and great for supporting a balanced monthly cycle!). Consuming 1-2 tbsp of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds daily can help to increase progesterone production. Sesame seeds are also high in lignans and zinc, helping to level out estrogen levels and encourage progesterone production, while the selenium in sunflower seeds helps to support liver detoxification.
The easiest way to incorporate seed cycling into your daily routine is to create seed cycling mixes that you can keep in your refrigerator and use daily throughout your cycle. I like to use a mason jar for each seed mix — One is labeled "Follicular Mix" and the other is labeled "Luteal Mix." Below are some of my favorite ways to use my seed mixes:
Add to your favorite smoothie
Sprinkled on top of some "nice" cream (frozen banana blended with chocolate or vanilla plant-based protein powder)
Top off a salad
Sprinkle on some coconut yogurt
Mix them into your oatmeal or overnight oats
Add them to your protein bites — Click here for my Adrenal Support Energy Bites recipe! (These are great for taking your seeds with you on the go or while traveling!)
Sprinkle on top of a piece of gluten free toast with avocado or your favorite nut butter
Sprinkle on top of a banana with nut butter
Top off your sweet potato
Sprinkle on top of your eggs
Many of my clients (myself included) have noticed improvement with their monthly cycle by incorporating seeds into their routine. Because it takes time to get your hormones back on track if they are out of sync, it may take a cycle or two for you to be able to see noticeable improvement from seed cycling. Seed cycling should also be used in conjunction with a hormone supporting diet, as well as working with your doctor or nutritionist to ensure you are getting the right nutrients to fully support your body and hormones.
1/2 cup Flaxseeds
1/2 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
If you want to get creative with your mixes, you could also add in some chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs or coconut flakes if you like. Check out some more seed cycling blends at minimalistbaker.com
Place each mix into it's own mason jar. Label each jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Create a routine and replace your seed mixes at the start of each cycle!
Note: You can also process each mix in a blender or food processor for a finer blend.
Brighten, J. (2019).Beyond The Pill. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Seed Cycling Mixes (+ 10 Ways to Use Them) | Minimalist Baker Recipes. (2020). Retrieved
6 May 2020, from https://minimalistbaker.com/seed-cycling-mixes-recipes/
Vitti, A. (2020).In the flo. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.