Guest Blog: Seed Cycling to Support Hormone Health
Seed cycling is beneficial if you experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular or absent periods, light or heavy periods, mood swings, low energy, perimenopausal, and throughout menopause. When our hormones are balanced, our body and menstrual cycle will function optimally.
Seed Cycling is when you cycle seeds throughout the month to naturally support your sex hormones. Throughout the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone naturally ebb and flow according to the phase of the cycle you are in.
There are two phases of this cycle; the first being the follicular phase. This phase starts with the onset of menstruation and ends with ovulation during mid-cycle, around days 14 to 16. Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are best to consume during this time to help balance estrogen.
Next, the luteal phase, starts after ovulation and ends just as menstruation starts, which can be cycle days 15-35. During this phase, you take sunflower and sesame seeds to help balance progesterone.
If you have a regular 28 to 35-day cycle you will start on day 1 of your cycle. Day 1 is the first day of menstruation. Take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds until day 14 of your cycle, then switch to taking 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and sesame seeds until the first day of your period.
If you have an irregular period you’re going to follow the moon phases. The new moon will be your cycle day 1 and will need to take the estrogen supporting seeds which are flaxseed and pumpkin seeds for 14 days. On day 15, the full moon, you will then switch to the progesterone supporting seeds which are Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Taking 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds per day during the follicular phase will provide the necessary nutrients to support both phases of your cycle. For example, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which supports the production of progesterone in the second phase.
Check out the estrogen supporting recipe below.
Flax and Pumpkin Balls
(Follicular Phase Estrogen Supporting Balls)
Makes about 16 balls
- ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¼ cup toasted coconut flakes, plus extra for garnish
- optional ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cashew butter or other nut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup currents
- Grind the pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds in a spice grinder or blender fitted with a milling blade
- In a food processor fitted with the s blade, add the ground seeds, chia seeds coconut flakes, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cashew butter, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and honey. Gently mix until the cashew butter has thinned and is easily spreadable
- Add the cashew butter mixture to the food processor. Process the mixture until it starts to clump together or form a ball. Add the currants and pulse to combine
- Line a glass storage container or baking dish with parchment paper.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture into 16 equal portions and roll portions of the mixture between the palms of your hands into a ball.
- If you want you can roll each ball in extra coconut flakes for garnish then place the balls in the refrigerator and allow them to sit overnight.
-Beyond The Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten page 301-302
During the luteal phase, cycle day 14-16 to 21-35, or full moon to the dark moon (or until the first day of your period), you take 1 tablespoon each of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds per day.
The vitamin E found in the sunflower seeds and the zinc found in sesame seeds help with the production of progesterone. The lignans in the sesame seeds help block excess estrogens, while the selenium in sunflower seeds helps the liver with detoxification of excess hormones and helps to improve hormonal health.
Check out the progesterone supporting recipe below.
No Bake Sunflower Rose Cookies
(Luteal Phase Progesterone Supporting Cookies)
Makes about 24
- 1 cup raw sesame seeds, plus 1-2 tablespoons for garnish
- ½ cup toasted coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon rose water
- Grind sunflower seeds and sesame seeds in a spice grinder or a blender fitted with a milling blade
- In a food processor add the ground sunflower and sesame seeds, coconut flakes, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest. Plus the mixture to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir tahini, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and rose water. Gently mix the combination until the tahini has thinned and is spreadable.
- Add tahini mixture to the food processor. Process well until the mixture starts to clump together or form a ball.
- Line a glass storage container or baking dish with parchment paper.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture into 24 equal portions and use your fingers to gently press the mixture into the tablespoon to create a rounded shape.
- If you want you can sprinkle extra sesame seeds for garnish then place the cookies in the refrigerator and allow them to sit overnight.
-Beyond The Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten page 302-303
Final Tips for Seed Cycling
Here are a few tips to start seed cycling today:
- Buy raw organic seeds, if possible, for optimal nutritional value.
- Store seeds in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid the oxidation that occurs from sunlight or heat exposure.
- Grind the seeds before you use them, and try adding them into your meals, smoothies, yogurt, balls, cookies, or you may simply eat them with a spoon.
The fiber in the seeds helps with the maintenance of regular bowel movements, and the seeds are full of healthy fats. Lignans, which are in seed hulls, bind to excess hormones and also contain essential fatty acids which are the building blocks for the production of hormones.
Having balanced hormones is so important for your overall health and your menstrual health. Seed cycling is one tool that you can do to support hormones health and your menstrual cycle.
When your hormones are balanced you will have a healthy period that looks like this: it will arrive every 21-35 days, there will be no signs of PMS, little to no blood clots, blood loss will be between 30-50 ml, no cramps (slight twinging in the uterus as it is contracting but not painful), glowing skin, and you will have enough energy to go about your day.
I hope this was helpful for you to start supporting your hormone health. Please note this is general information about seed cycling for women’s health. Before starting any new supplements or health regime please speak to your Nutritional Health Practitioner, Naturopath, or Medical Doctor.
Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner and Period Health Expert
Kasandra Miller is a Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner and Period Health Expert who helps Women with horrible PMS have an effortless period naturally. She is on a mission to help women have effortless periods and feel good in their body all month long.
She is the creator of The Period Makeover Method and it helps women eliminate their horrible PMS. When she isn’t spending her time learning about PMS and period problems, you will find her in the mountains snowboarding in the winter or paddle-boarding on the lake in the summer.